New Designers

Today Chloe and I went to London and visited New Designers at the Business Design Centre. I didn’t go last year because it was something that was only really mentioned right at the end and I didn’t think much of it, however after talking to a few of the third years about it, I decided that it was actually something that I could be really interested in

The amount of beautiful work and talent on display was overwhelming and I am so glad that I went. After going through a little bit of a creative block after our hand in, I am well and truly ‘re-inspired’!

This was by far my favourite stand – she was from the University of Edinburgh and had created this huge, bold piece, about the size of a door. I thought the layering of techniques and materials was very effective and it stood out to me so much more than the flatter pieces of work. I am always attracted to large pieces that take a lot of time and are worked into over and over again – maybe this is something to think about for my final major project?

This stand was in the ‘one year on’ section. We got talking to the girl who’s work it was and she said that she had graduated from Manchester School of Art last year but only started her business 4 months ago. This really got me thinking because I would like to start my own business after uni and am always worrying about being able to do it straight afterwards, whereas she kind of reassured me that it is okay to wait.
I really loved her quilt and the idea that she moved away from the more traditional side of such an old technique, with the shapes, colours and patterns. I took one of her business cards and will keep up to date with her work.

The main things that I took from today were:

  • Colour – I usually work in and am attracted to muted, pastel colours, but today I was drawn to much brighter, bolder combinations. This is exciting and is definitely something that I would love to explore, perhaps in the International Greetings project in September.
  • Display- it is crazy how much difference a good, professional space makes. This is something that I said after setting up the degree show, but was reiterated today. There were so many original ideas of display around today and it was very inspiring ready for next year.
  • Digital – this was another thing that I noticed during the third year degree show at uni. Such a large proportion of it was digitised and it was similar at New Designers. Although I appreciate it as a technique and am always impressed with what people produce, it is really not my style of design. I much prefer the hand made, textures side of textiles, which has been confirmed for me today. Because there is so much of it, for me, the stitched details stood out to me so much more than everything else, because there was less of it.

Walking around, I noticed that there were a few common themes in people’s work, for example fruit & vegetables, gardening and geometric collage/mark making. I loved it all but it did really make me thing about ‘gaps’ and trying to come up with original, different imagery that won’t be forgotten or swept up in amongst the huge amount of designs out there.

I think that New Designers is something that I will definitely consider for next year, and a took a few photos of how people displayed things and ideas of how to set up the space.


Today has really inspired me and has really got me thinking this evening about being ready for next year. I think I need to up my game after seeing the standard today!


Plant Dye Lecture with Jane Meredith


Today Jane Meredith, who is a plant dyer, came in to deliver a lecture and some workshop. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the workshops but did manage to get in for the lecture, because it is something that I really didn’t want to miss.

Jane seemed like a really lovely lady with a huge amount of experience and research knowledge on natural plant dying. She grows most of the things she uses in her own garden and it was really interesting to hear her speak about her way of living and doing things. She showed some photos of her garden and some of the dye baths that she has previously created and it was very exciting to hear and see all of the beautiful colours that you can achieve just by using things that you have in your garden!

I think I am going to do a bit of research on the topic and look into the basics of how to actually do it, because of being unable to attend the workshops. I am very interested in colour as a whole and I think that this has the potential to be something that I could use for my third year studies.

This year one of the things that I have worked and improved on is taking up opportunities for extra bits that are outside of the curriculum. I felt that in my first year I hadn’t really made the most of the university and everything it offers so aimed to change this for my second year. I think I have achieved this to an extent by attending workshops such as paper making and letterpress, and also today, but it can definitely still be improved on in my third and final year here.