My graduate collection was centred around the beauty in our environment, looking at natural surfaces; their colour, texture as well as broader landscapes and forms. I focussed on exploring ways to translate the qualities of these materials using drawing techniques such as; collage, mark making and painting which capture their aesthetics. When I am analysing colour or texture I try to keep the sense of life in the work, I accept mistakes or smudges and allow work to develop without overthinking or controlling it too much. The drawings naturally evolve just like the natural materials I am working from. I gathered inspiring imagery from the coast in Cornwall to work from, as well as researching the St Ives artists and their own methods of working. Barbara Hepworth, Sir Terry Frost and Patrick Heron immersed themselves in the colours, textures and forms found in and around St Ives. These artists also look at the wider landscape of Cornwall and I have likewise explored the man made shapes and forms which dominate the Cornish coastline.
Each time I place an inked block on fabric it produces a different mark. This project has developed my printing skills and ability to control these marks and textures. Because of this the prints each have a unique quality and individuality. There is a joy in knowing that although I can reproduce colours and patterns each fabric has its own fingerprint. In an age of mass produced textiles this collection of fabrics shows how we can celebrate the individuality of our craft.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain. It was important to me that my textiles meet the basic requirements of this standard. The pigment inks I use are Soil Association UK approved which means that they have been evaluated by GOTS and they meet the basic requirements on toxicity and biodegradability/eliminability. The base cloths I used are all GOTS certified organic, this gave me the peace of mind that my supply chain in as clean as it possibly can be. The textile industry is both a heavy polluter and an exploiter of workers but by having a certification standard such as GOTS can help to tackle these problems. I have confidence that my textiles are safe for the wider environment, the producers in the supply chain and the end user without compromising the creative potential of colour and pattern.
As textile designers we produce a number of samples whilst developing our collections. I wanted to continue to use this method of design exploration but I also wanted to reduce the amount of wasted fabric. I made all my samples in a square format which is half the width of a bolt of cloth. This meant that all my samples have a second life as they can be used as furoshiki: Japanese wrapping cloths and bags. I love this method of wrapping presents and carrying items. I learned many of the techniques for furoshiki whilst I was studying in Japan and I use them in my everyday life as well as gifts for friends and family.