Our Degree show was one of the most important events for us graduating students this year.
We converted the old Museum building in Shetland into a Gallery space for a week. The large windows provided the space with lots of natural light. There were five of us in our class. Me and my friend Ella Gordon, the two youngest class members, Wendy Shaw, Monica Pothecary and Diane Garrick.
Our work was well received by all and we got lots of great feed back. The main thing people commented on was how different everyone’s work was for such a small group.
Ella Gordon, a knitter, using domestic a domestic knitting machine created a cool range of furniture and domestic items which were inspired by memory and Shetland. Her Amazing crofthouse cushions which made their debut at the Show have since been flying off the shelf like hot cakes!! She uses her surroundings as inspiration and the tradition of Shetland and knitting also plays a huge part in her work.
Wendy Shaw creates high end market blankets, cushions using mercerised cotton and has since designed a range of scarves. Her designs are created on a Shima Seiki machine which allows the designer to create their designs on a program called Desinaknit, which then converts the design pattern and knits up the fabric. A new contemporary way of knitting which end result does not have to related the the traditional way of using wool.
Monica Pothecary created digital print designs for fashion which were inspired by cars that she has driven throughout her life. She used her great drawing skills to closely analyse the cars which she then turned into fabulous prints.
Diane Garrick had a different approach and she is more interested in art, but uses textiles as her medium. She walked from the bottom of Shetland to the top and recorded her journey. She had an amazing map installation at the exhibition which illustrated the path she took throughout her walk.
As a Weaver, I displayed my woven samples, along with photography of my designs being worn. I understand that to an audience sometimes a piece of fabric might not be that interesting to look at (unless you are into textiles) so the photographs were a great way of relating to everyone.
My designs were inspired by the 1950’s and the sculptural dress shapes of the era. Throughout the project Japanese influence’s were introduced as progression. I also wanted to expand on the use of colour in my work. I find the relationships between colours so interesting and I like to play about with this.
My favourite picture is this one of Ella. It highlights the interesting pattern created using Extra Weft Figuring, and I was trying to mimic the zigzag pattern of the flare in the pleats of dresses in the 1950’s. I used mercerised cotton, and wove a long 6metre length of this piece.
Along with my woven samples I did some screen prints of a design which I used to inspire my design work. I decided that I needed something to compliment the woven peices and used this to illustrate some of my idea’s from my sketchbook.
My sketchbook is something else which is dearly important to me. I use this to record all thoughts, processes and evaluate how experiments have turned out – so cliche, but I don’t think that I would be able to back any of my work up without my sketchbook!