With my final hand in approaching, I feel happy and content with the work I have produced and the amount I have achieved over the last few months. My practice has developed hugely; by broadening my specialism, I have been able to learn vital skills that have not only enabled me to become a more well-rounded designer, but also to fully express my ideas. Unit X has given me the opportunity to continue to be experimental with my work and I’m pleased that I’ve managed to explore areas that I was unable to during past projects.
Even though my specialism is in woven fabrics, I have always set myself the goal of further developing my understanding towards printed designs and how the two techniques can produce different outcomes. In the past, I have struggled to fully portray my ideas through weave, as a lot of my work focuses on illustrative mark making and individual shape development. However, during Unit X I have find that by using a Jacquard loom, rather than a Dobby, and focusing my time in the print room, I have been able to develop my ideas properly. I feel that by combining these two areas, I now know who I am and where I sit as a designer in this huge industry. I’ve found it incredibly refreshing to combine these two ways in working as I’ve learned that one can often influence the other.
During the Practice Unit, my awareness for sustainable interior textiles grew and although this isn’t a theme I have focused on as much during Unit X, I have been certain to use yarns and fabrics which portray this. Linen and Cotton fabric have allowed me to create samples consisting of the same organic feel and natural look that I’ve always loved. I also learned that I thoroughly enjoyed creating statement upholstery and therefore this was something I wanted to continue into Unit X. Through collaboration with a 3D student, I have been able to create an upholstery collection which we are both proud of and excited to complete for the degree show.
I’ve loved being able to experiment with scale and ways to add a tactile element to my work, through screen printing; using pigment dyes so the colour sits on the surface of the fabric, or layering flocking onto my samples has added more detail to my designs, yet maintained the sophisticated and simplistic side to my work.
Market and trend research has also been invaluable during this unit. As my aim has been to reinvent mid-century design, I’ve found it important to ensure I combine present day elements into my work too. By looking at current colour trends and what else is available within the interior market, it has been extremely useful in order to help me build a strong and professional collection. It has also helped me consider where I envisage my work sitting within the industry, and therefore discover the best ways to display and advertise my work.
I am confident that I have produced a portfolio which shows a variety of techniques, styles and my versatility as a designer. I’m looking forward to life after graduation, making connections at the Degree Show and using the skills I’ve learned within my role as a Studio Design Assistant at a wallpaper company from July!