Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2011 Part One: Jewellery Graduate Show Review

New Designers review 2011-Michelle Scicluna Me Me Jewellery
Me Me Jewellery by Michelle Scicluna.

The jewellery section of New Designers also really brought home to me how important it is to see a university’s individual show where possible: when the work is crammed into such small stands it’s easy to miss the impact of an individual collection. I’ll be skipping those I’ve already covered in more detail: read about Central Saint Martins and Middlesex University in previous blogs (just click on the links).

New Designers review 2011-William Huynh
Having said everything above, viagra 100mg I did discover one jeweller that I missed at the Middlesex University Free Range show: William Huynh presented a great domed crystal in a gold winged bangle.

New Designers review 2011-Muireann WalsheNew Designers review 2011-Muireann Walshe
Muireann Walshe from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin won the Future Makers award for her unique broaches, inspired by historical finds from Ireland’s ancient history. Her jewellery is an echo of the famous Tara Brooch discovered at county Meath in 1850 and much copied in design. Muireann Walshe incorporates contemporary colour and pattern partly inspired by the Memphis School of design. Instead of a pin, these brooches are attached with magnets. I liked the fact that they were vaguely 80s, and also unlike anything else in the show. I’m always attracted to those designers who go out on a limb and don’t just follow trends.

New Designers review 2011-Hayley LambNew Designers review 2011-Hayley Lamb
New Designers review 2011-Hayley Lamb
At Truro College Hayley Lamb embedded fabric in her bold rings.

Emma Louise Simmonds, UCA, SGJ, crystallise necklace
Emma Louise Simmonds, UCA, SGJ, Platinum Bursary
Emma Louise Simmonds, UCA, SGJ, Nucleation Bracelet
From UCA Rochester Emma Louise Simmonds held centre stage with her stunning gems. She has developed a special new technique that challenges the usual methods of holding gemstones; using laser welding technology she traps cubic zirconia within metal casing without damaging the crystals, there by taking full advantage of the shape and cut of the gemstones.

New Designers review 2011-Emma Louise Simmonds
She has recently won a Goldsmith’s Craft and Design Council Award as well as Graduate Rising Star 2011 and I was most impressed with the press pack she pressed into my hands. Follow Emma Louise Simmonds on Twitter. Highly unusual and clever.

New Designers review 2011-Jong Bin Kim
Also from UCA Rochester Jong Bin Kim showed curvy jewellery that echoed the shapes of underwater sealife.

New Designers review 2011-Lucy Seddon's Paper Memories
At Sheffield Hallam Lucy Seddon‘s Paper Memories took a more ecological approach: material was sourced from old newspapers, maps and envelopes.

New Designers review 2011-Bucks New University Niti KhannaNew Designers review 2011-Bucks New University Niti Khanna
Moving on to Bucks New University Niti Khanna was inspired by Indian architecture – the domed shapes created in modern forms out of metals and acrylic using CAD design. Super cool, I’d love some of this jewellery for myself. Niti has recently accepted a job as a jewellery consultant and plans to head back to India shortly, but I hope that she does continue to design herself as she’s got something special.

New Designers review 2011-Duncan of Jordanstone Jessica Ruth HowarthNew Designers review 2011-Duncan of Jordanstone Jessica Ruth Howarth
At Duncan of Jordanstone Jessica Ruth Howarth‘s friend demonstrated how to lift her jewellery out of bespoke enamelled mini sculptures. Very sweet and different. I love enamelling, but there was barely a whisper of it at this show. I can’t think why it is so out of favour – other than it is extremely hard to do well. I studied enamelling at my local adult education college for a year and became totally hooked – after all, what’s not to like? Plenty of colour, infinite possibilities for pattern…

New Designers review 2011-Michelle Scicluna Me Me JewelleryNew Designers review 2011-Michelle Scicluna Me Me Jewellery
Michelle Scicluna of Sir John Cass London Metropolitan University had run out of cards – always a good sign! I was told to check out their website, which was emblazoned across the stand and yet is curiously uninhabited, so not sure why they would advertise it so widely. Fortunately Michelle herself is more savvy. She has a website and she’s also on Twitter. Go check her out. The Dhana Collection is made up of reinforced paper and metal, with shapes inspired by many years spent living in the ashrams of Thailand and practicing Buddhism. Really quite special.

New Designers review 2011-One Year On Li-Chu Wu
One Year On Li-Chu Wu of Birmingham City University drew me in with her multiple layer papercut jewellery. Particularly loved this nature inspired piece in sultry yellow. Follow Li-Chu Wu on Twitter.

Overall there was an awful lot of wonderful jewellery to look at but it does make me wonder, and worry, how on earth all these graduates will make a living: jewellery is an amazing addition to any girl’s life (and some boy’s…) but jewellery is not a necessity as clothing is. Expensive pieces are bought only seldomly, which is just as well because precious jewellery is incredibly carbon intensive to produce as well as desperately in need of an ethical practice overhaul. Fairtrade gold will only go so far… but I really do hope that this new generation of designers will fly the flag for ethical practice as well as good craft practice.

Categories ,80s, ,Birmingham City University, ,Bucks New University, ,CAD design, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Dublin, ,Duncan of Jordanstone, ,ecological, ,Emma Louise Simmonds, ,Enamelling, ,Fairtrade gold, ,Free Range, ,Future Makers Award, ,Goldsmith’s Craft and Design Council Award, ,Graduate Rising Star 2011, ,Hayley Lamb, ,India, ,Jessica Ruth Howarth, ,Jong Bin Kim, ,Laser Welding Technology, ,Li-Chu Wu, ,Lucy Seddon, ,Me Me Jewellery, ,Memphis School, ,Michelle Scicluna, ,Middlesex, ,Muireann Walshe, ,National College of Art and Design, ,Niti Khanna, ,One Year On, ,paper, ,Paper Memories, ,Sheffield Hallam, ,Sir John Cass. London Metropolitan University, ,Tara Broach, ,Tara Brooch, ,Thailand, ,The Dhana Collection, ,Truro College, ,UCA Rochester, ,William Huynh

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Show Gala Show 2014 Review

Holly Jayne Smith by Sine Skau

Holly Jayne Smith by Sine Skau.

I have been attending Graduate Fashion Week for six years now and every year I wonder how such young designers manage to be so creative. Once again the final 25 collections showcased in last week’s Gala Show were truly outstanding and revealed a wide range of talent to watch. The night began on a poignant note with a moment’s thought for the late Louise Wilson, the formidable Central Saint Martins tutor who was integral in the training of luminaries such as Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders and Mary Katrantzou. Here’s hoping that one of these finalists and winners goes on to as much success.

GFW Aimee Dunn by Gareth A Hopkins

Aimee Dunn by Gareth A Hopkins.

GFW Menswear Award: Aimee Dunn – Nottingham Trent University
I know it’s menswear but who doesn’t love stealing their boyfriends clothes? Dunn’s collection of monochrome looks were superbly put together and with Thatcher on the front of a jumper you’re never going to avoid attention. Dunn also picked up the Menswear award at the end of the evening – well deserved.

Grace Weller GFW 2014 Bath Spa Uiversity by Jenny Robins

Grace Weller by Jenny Robins.

Grace Weller by  Julie J Seo

Grace Weller by Julie J.Seo.

George Gold Award winner and GFW Womenswear Award: Grace Weller – Bath Spa University
The embroidery and workmanship that had gone into Grace’s beautiful collection of Erdem-esque floral and sheer dresses was astounding. Not only did Grace pick up the Womenswear Award but she walked away with the £10,000 Gold Award to kick start her label.

Rebecca Rimmer by Vicky Scott
Rebecca Rimmer by Vicky Scott.

Rebecca Rimmer – UCLAN
Brightly coloured clothes painted onto bigger clothes. Sounds ridiculous, works really well on the catwalk, as Rebecca Rimmer proved. Her cartoonish collection was fun and original as well as having a high impact on the audience as it closed the show.

Holly Jayne Smith by Hye Jin Chung_2

Holly Jayne Smith by Hye Jin Chung.

Holly Jayne Smith by Sine Skau

Holly Jayne Smith by Sine Skau.

Holly Jayne Smith – Birmingham City
Foot-high hats and a pop art colour palette ensured this collection caught our attention and made us rethink light blue as a staple. The models also carried co-ordinated bright sports back packs which I loved.

GFW Shan Liao Huang by Gareth A Hopkins

GFW International Winner: Shan Liao Huang by Gareth A Hopkins.

Lauren Lake – Kingston University
Coloured fur made its mark last season and Lauren Lake’s first model strode out in a huge over sized, pink fur-lined shearling coat, so it was always going to be a winner. The silver metallic skirts and block boots, pink PVC and top knots ticked all the boxes, just amazing.

Colleen Leitch – Edinburgh College of Art
80’s glamour is back in Colleen Leitch’s collection of exquisite looks brought together by scattered sequins and dark colours in draping fabrics clinched at the waist for maximum femininity.


Hannah Donkin by Jane Young.

GFW Creative Catwalk Award: Camilla Grimes – Manchester School of Art
Pink fur again, hopefully not real, (trend alert!) but this time alongside a more delicate and feminine ensemble that had hints of Jonathan Saunders about it (never a bad thing). Sheer embroidered shirts and a hooded bomber jacket were just two of the items I want in my wardrobe.

Fashion graduates of 2015, I can’t wait to see what you’ll have in store!

Categories ,2014, ,Aimee Dunn, ,Bath Spa University, ,Birmingham City University, ,Camilla Grimes, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Christopher Kane, ,Colleen Leitch, ,Edinburgh College of Art, ,Gala Show, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Grace Weller, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Hannah Donkin, ,Holly Jayne Smith, ,Hye Jin Chung, ,Jane Young, ,Jenny Robins, ,Jonathan Saunders, ,Julie J Seo, ,Kingston University, ,Lauren Lake, ,Louise Wilson, ,Manchester School of Art, ,Mary Katrantzou, ,Nottingham Trent University, ,Rebecca Rimmer, ,review, ,Shan Liao Huang, ,Sine Skau, ,Truman Brewery, ,UCLan, ,Vicky Scott

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Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2013 Product Design Review: The Best Product Designers and More

Elizabeth Roberts product design
To round off my coverage of New Designers I’m going to introduce my random top selections from the product design colleges, as well as some stray surface design and some ace work from the One Year On room. Firstly, Lizzy Roberts at Camberwell College of Art was inspired by ways in which lives can be improved. She calls these curious objects Theraputty, and they are designed for use in Occupational Therapy to help those with poor dexterity to improve strength.

Liv Stevens Pocket shelf
I like the concept of a Pocket Shelf, by Liv Stevens – store all your unsightly stuff and save the surface for cherished objects.

Rosie Holman Cardiff School of Art
It seems odd that Cardiff School of Art and Design chose to show work by their surface pattern designers at part two of New Designers, but they must have had their reasons. Tucked away at the back of a room full of architectural models I discovered some lovely displays. Rosie Holman used a mid century colour palette to hand stamp a mix of organic designs inspired by the Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford.

Louise Webber Cardiff School of Art
I loved Louise Webber‘s laser cut wood inlays featuring animals and plant life, but sadly you’ll have to make do with one slightly out of focus photo, as I can’t find her work anywhere online.

Joanne King Cardiff school of art
Joanne King was inspired by the Art Deco period in her creation of fabrics and wallpaper in a variety of textures, including silks and rich velvet. She envisages these designs in commercial interiors such as hotels and bars.

Lulu & Luca
Over in the One Year On room it was nice to see a familiar display of simple yet elegant textiles designs from Lulu & Luca, who were last spotted in Spitalfields Market.

Decorative lampshades by Josie Shenoy in #oneyearon
These decorative lampshades are by Josie Shenoy, who applies her delicate mirrored illustrations to a host of interiors and stationary products.

Katherina Manolessou hedgehog gardening bakers dozen
I spotted this print of a hedgehog mowing the lawn by Katherina Manolessou at the AOI stand; it was created as part of a project called Baker’s Dozen.

Pot handles by Aidan Blaik at edinburgh napier - productdesign
I’m not one to obsess over the small aspects of kitchenware design, but I can’t resist this exploration of pot handles by Aidan Blaik at Edinburgh Napier.

recycled glass lights from Brenda Curry at birmingham city
And I love these recycled glass lights from Brenda Curry at Birmingham City University.

Patchwork quilt by Joshua Barnes of Brighton
This patchwork quilt comes with an integrated app to help children in hospital, by Joshua Barnes of Brighton University.

Eloisa Henderson-Figueroa
Also at Brighton, product designer Eloisa Henderson-Figueroa had created an intriguing steel tree with magnetic balls, to be added and removed with children to initiate conversation.

ceramics by Alex Allday at loughborough uni
And finally, to round off my reviews of the 2013 New Designers shows, these pretty patterned ceramics by Alex Allday at Loughborough University are clearly inspired by the intricate designs of plant cells.

Here’s hoping many of the designers that I have discovered go on to long and illustrious creative careers!

Categories ,2013, ,Aidan Blaik, ,Alex Allday, ,AOI, ,Art Deco, ,Baker’s Dozen, ,Birmingham City University, ,Brenda Curry, ,Brighton University, ,Camberwell College of Art, ,Camberwell College of Arts, ,Cardiff School of Art and Design, ,Edinburgh Napier, ,Eloisa Henderson-Figueroa, ,Joanne King, ,Joshua Barnes, ,Josie Shenoy, ,Katherina Manolessou, ,Liv Stevens, ,Lizzy Roberts, ,Loughborough University, ,Louise Webber, ,Lulu & Luca, ,New Designers, ,One Year On, ,Pitt Rivers, ,Pocket Shelf, ,Product Design, ,review, ,Spitalfields Market, ,surface design, ,Theraputty

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Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2013 Surface Design for Fashion and Interiors: The Best Graduate Designers

floral antlers by Lucy Madeleine
One of the great thing about surface design as a discipline is that it encompasses so many design possiblities. Here’s my round up of the rest of my fab discoveries at New Designers 2013, encompassing wall art, textile design for clothing, cushions, accessories and embroidery. At Notthingham Trent University I loved these floral antlers by Lucy Madeleine.

New Designers show 2013-Isabelle Gallagher
This lovely art deco architectural print is by textile designer Isabelle Gallagher.

New Designers show 2013-natalie wilkins
Accessory designer Natalie Wilkins created these extraordinary collars out of paper. She rather oddly shares the same name as another 2013 graduating fashion designer called Natalie Wilkins from Birmingham City University, who I discovered on a google search – what are the chances?! Well worth a look too!

New Designers show 2013-Chak Yan Alex Kwan
MA Textile Design Innovation designer Chak Yan Alex Kwan titled this wonderful design Reborn.

animal cushions for kids by Verity Sparks
These animal cushions for kids are well cute, by Verity Sparks at Somerset College, who already runs a successful business, Sparks Clothing, in partnership with her mum.

New Designers show 2013- - charlotte buller
At Falmouth University Charlotte Buller had fun with giant 3D embroidery and beading.

New Designers show 2013-lily emma tennant
Bespoke woven trims by Lily Emma Tennant of Loughborough University. She won an award for her pretty display, made using old books as shelves.

Amelia Constance Seale
Outrageous fun: these 80s style collage feature ricrac designs are by Amelia Constance Seale, who specialised in knitwear at Central Saint Martins.

New Designers show 2013-Elizabeth Ashdown
In fact, fancy embellishments were everywhere – another stunner came from Elizabeth Ashdown, who had created a collection of hand woven Passmenterie.

New Designers show 2013-George Morgan
George Morgan presented intricately woven panels of lightweight woods. He wasn’t sure what commercial application these might have but I could see them as beautiful room dividers.

wall piece by Rachael Hopper
This bright neon wall piece is by Rachael Hopper.

New Designers show 2013-Silvia Imbergamo
Silvia Imbergamo displayed this intriguing primary coloured 3D design.

3D paper art by Emilie Osborne
More paper art by Emilie Osborne
I adore this amazing 3D interior art based on optical illusions and mathematical nets by Emilie Osborne from Arts University Bournemouth. Either piece would be a fitting centrepiece for any room wishing to make a statement!

New Designers show 2013-Krishna Odedra
Krishna Odedra at De Montford University was another designer seduced by the possibilities of woven strips of fabric. The beautiful results have applications for both fashion and interiors.

Grace Sheldrick embroidery
I discovered the delightful 3D embroidery of Grace Sheldrick at the Royal School of Needlework. I had no idea such a college still existed, but it makes me hopeful that the old handcrafting arts will not only survive but thrive in the years to come. She has also used her embroidery skills to create jewellery that mimics the natural formations of gems, which you can buy these over on etsy.

Phew, that is finally it for my New Designers part one reviews, still New Blood and part two to go though! *Many of these images first appeared on my instagram feed, where you can view my pick of design graduates as I find them.*

Categories ,2013, ,3D Design, ,accessories, ,Amelia Constance Seale, ,Arts University Bournemouth, ,Birmingham City University, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Chak Yan Alex Kwan, ,Charlotte Buller, ,De Montford University, ,Elizabeth Ashdown, ,embroidery, ,Emilie Osborne, ,Falmouth University, ,fashion, ,George Morgan, ,Grace Sheldrick, ,Interiors, ,Isabelle Gallagher, ,Krishna Odedra, ,Lily Emma Tennant, ,Loughborough University, ,Lucy Madeleine, ,Natalie Wilkins, ,New Designers, ,Notthingham Trent University, ,Passmenterie, ,Rachael Hopper, ,Reborn, ,review, ,Ric-Rac, ,Ricrac, ,Royal School of Needlework, ,Silvia Imbergamo, ,Somerset College, ,Sparks Clothing, ,Verity Sparks, ,Woven trims

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Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2014 Review: Best New Illustration & One Year On Textiles

New Designers Adam Corns 2
Illustration by Adam Corns.

I sadly missed the first weekend of New Designers this year, but I made it to the second weekend and made a beeline for the illustration degree and graphic design stands.

New Designers Horses Josephine Birch
I began with the Cambridge School of Art stand, which is always one of the strongest in show. These characterful horses are by Josephine Birch.

New Designers Francesca Esme Morris
I adored this colourful patterned work by Francesca Esme Morris.

New Designers Aleesha Nandra guitars
These wooden cutout guitars by Aleesha Nandhra feature lyrics and imagery from favourite songs.

New Designers 2014 -Jess Bennett
Jess Bennett updated Snakes and Ladders with her Space Race board game, part of a project to ‘make space cool again.’

New Designers Louise Hall- churches
Louise Hall was inspired by the churches of East London for her London Bells series.

New Designers hannah Kurz
Hannah Kurz created these truly stunning illustrations for a book inspired by Nordic folklore.

New Designers Ella Catt
This cute papercut card design is by Ella Catt at Nottingham Trent University.

New Designers Chris Worker
I was most impressed by the monochrome artworks of Chris Worker, who gives a modern spin to the art deco style of Metropolis. This rocket is part of a stencilled visual history of spacecraft and he also did some amazing tarot card designs. A really awesome body of work, do check out his website.

New Designers Claire Evans
I made a quick trip downstairs to check out the always impressive University of Brighton Design & Craft stand and discovered these samples of recycled plastics by Claire Evans, who explores new ways of working with used materials.

New Designers Holly Alexander
This interactive musical quilt by Holly Alexander blends new and old ideas together to encourage the act of storytelling.

New Designers 2014 -gordon gorilla
Hayley Moisley developed her Gordon the Gorilla character as a learning aid, with interchangeable facial features to create different emotions.

New Designers Amy Clare Barden
New Designers Amy Clare Barden crocNew Designers Amy Clare Barden croc
Back on the top floor I discovered yet more talent amongst the Falmouth University graduates. These awesome animals and the crocodile lift the flap book are by Amy Clare Barden.

New Designers Katie Ponder 2
New Designers Katie Ponder
Katie Ponder was the deserving winner of an AOI award for her From the Rite of Spring series.

New Designers Sessions Surf Shop by Joe Baines
Joe Baines created this eye catching identity for the Sessions Surf Shop.

There is something no nonsense about the way that Falmouth put their identikit boards together and bed down at both New Blood and New Designers every summer, but I would really love to see what the students could do with a stand alone show in London one year.

New Designers Jordan Wray at Plymouth College of Art
Over at Plymouth College of Art Jordan Wray depicted a host of fish in The Element of Surprise.

New Designers Katie Turner
New Designers katie turner foxes
Cute patterns featuring badgers, strawberries, foxes and mushrooms by Katie Turner would look great on wrapping paper.

New Designers Sam Thorne
Sam Thorne’s shouty lady is the best kind of optical madness.

New Designers Adam Corns
People on their iPads everywhere, and fabulous brights (see top of the post). There was some awesome work on show from Adam Corns at Birmingham City University.

New Designers Bunnies by Hollie Crooker
This tumbling pile of bunnies by Hollie Crooker is an astonishingly detailed bit of art.

New Designers award winner Matthew Alker
Over at UCA Farnham I was introduced to the award winning work of Matthew Alker.

New Designers Dogs, by Angelica Hood at UCA Farnham
These plush dogs with lolling tongues are by Angelica Hood.

New Designers Otro Mundo Libby Parra
New Designers 2014 -libby parra
I was immensely chuffed to be gifted one of the best things I found at New Designers; Otro Mundo, a beautiful limited edition risograph zine by Libby Parra, printed by Ditto Press. Her otherworldly creatures are bathed in a neon glow as they wriggle across the pages.

New Designers sparklymouse
New Designers sparklymouse face
At the end of my visit I just had time to visit the One Year On zone. This cheerful hoop embroidery is by Louise Jones, aka Sparklymouse.

New Designers Berty B
This great retro inspired textile design is by BertyB.

New Designers Neon weave
Angie Parker hand weaves these epic neon textiles; absolutely stunning.

New designers charlie mortley
Charlie Mortley’s galactic textile designs were used to great effect in upholstery.

New Designers rosie moss
And finally (phew) these lush figurative textiles are by Rosie Moss, who contributed illustrations to Amelia’s Magazine many moons ago.

Categories ,2014, ,Adam Corns, ,Aleesha Nandhra, ,Amy Clare Barden, ,Angelica Hood, ,Angie Parker, ,BertyB, ,Birmingham City University, ,Business Design Centre, ,Cambridge School of Art, ,Charlie Mortley, ,Chris Worker, ,Claire Evans, ,Design & Craft, ,Ditto Press, ,Ella Catt, ,Falmouth University, ,Francesca Esme Morris, ,Gordon the Gorilla, ,Hannah Kurz, ,Hayley Moisley, ,Hollie Crooker, ,Holly Alexander, ,illustration, ,Jess Bennett, ,Joe Baines, ,Jordan Wray, ,Josephine Birch, ,Katie Ponder, ,Katie Turner, ,Libby Parra, ,London Bells, ,Louise Hall, ,Louise Jones, ,Matthew Alker, ,Metropolis, ,New Blood, ,New Designers, ,Nottingham Trent University, ,One Year On, ,Otro Mundo, ,Plymouth College of Art, ,review, ,Rite of Spring, ,Rosie Moss, ,Sam Thorne, ,Sense of Making, ,Sessions Surf Shop, ,Space Race, ,Sparklymouse, ,textiles, ,The Element of Surprise, ,UCA Farnham, ,University of Brighton

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Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2012 Product Design Graduates: Baby and Toddler Products

New Designers 2012
Products by Zoe Tynan-Campbell.

It’s funny how being a new parent suddenly changes what you see: I didn’t see any baby related design at last year’s show, and yet this was all I could see of the product design at New Designers 2012 part two.

New Designers 2012-Emma Doran
At UWE Emma Doran‘s Co-See considered all the important design issues for a new mum and I for one would certainly have loved to test her dual action cot and carry cot, which enables easy co-sleeping by attaching to the side of the bed with a drop down side. Instead I spent those difficult early days hoiking Snarfle in and out of a Moses basket on the floor when he needed to feed during the night, all the time cussing and cursing because my Caesarean section hurt so much. Now he just stays in bed with me. The Co-See was designed in collaboration with The Gro Company, and won a prestigious design award: not hard to see why! Not only is keeping baby close great for bonding between child and mother, but it also far reduces the likelihood of cot death (now known as SIDS).

New Designers 2012-Marcus Broughton
I am planning to do baby-led weaning when the time comes – offering Snarfle small steamed morsels to hold and learn to eat rather than pureeing food – but the design of Marcus Broughton‘s on the go Squeasy weaning pouches were rather delightful. He calls himself a Humanistic Industrial Designer.

New Designers 2012-Ralph Edwards
Before designing his Wholemilk storage system Ralph Edwards conducted some spot on research that identified a need to make it easier to express and store breast milk, enabling fathers to take a bigger role in feeding young babies. You can read about the process on his brilliant website diary here.

New Designers 2012-Jordan Brocklehurst
At Birmingham City University Jordan Brocklehurst had created a set of Penguin Play Safety Reins, which include an inflatable harness that ensures safety near water.

New Designers 2012-Zoe Tynan-Campbell
I loved these designs by Zoe Tynan-Campbell on the 3D Design course at Camberwell College of Arts. Her Stumped Studio makes gorgeous wooden interior accessories and toys.

New Designers 2012-Jack Hadlum
From Ravensbourne product designer Jack Hadlum had come up with the concept of Potions – ‘making mealtime magic‘ – the idea being to inspire fussy eaters to flavour their own food in a creative way with 100% natural ingredients. Fun shaped bottles contained savoury popping candy, sprayable jam and a magic colour changing milk. I can see even the fussiest eater enjoying these! He is also involved in a project called Wood Be Waste with the motto ‘do not recycle a material that can be reused‘ that has produced some lovely desk top products.

New Designers 2012-Nicola Danks
New Designers 2012-Nicola Danks
At Coventry University the Bumble range by Nicola Danksaddresses the limitations of current child transport products‘. Most pushchairs are so low slung they only afford the wee mite a view of legs and feet; she describes how it’s important for children to be raised to eye level so they can engage more with their caregiver. I have seen some very high rise prams, but Snarfle would far prefer to watch the world go by from chest height in a sling. Nicola’s transport system integrates a carrier, making it easy to transition between different modes of child transport – another brilliant idea.

New Designers 2012-Catalin-Andrei Edu
New Designers 2012-Catalin-Andrei Edu
Most of the industrial designers at Coventry fixated on cars (so not my thing) but I liked these bamboo animals by Catalin-Andrei Edu, which are made using sustainable processes.

New Designers 2012-Jose Olivierab
Jose Oliviera‘s Natures Best cot was inspired by cork production in his home country of Portugal. I love those gorgeous organic curves with a built in mobile, it puts my ancient Moses basket to shame. Jose used cork in its design not only for reasons of sustainability but also because it has qualities incomparable with any other material: it’s light weight, impermeable to liquid, acts as an excellent thermal and acoustic insulator and is resistant to abrasions because of it’s elasticity. I’d love to put my baby to sleep in this cot, but I fear he’s getting too big already.

I have mixed feelings about the quantity of stuff available for babies: when I was little there was hardly anything required to raise a child, and yet now we are drowning in ‘must have’ products. Some have undoubtedly made life easier, but I’m sure we could do without many of the items dubbed ‘mechanical mummies’ and whose production places such a burden on the environment. I am lucky to have been given so many hand me downs and we are frugal in acquiring new stuff when needed, but it’s good to see so many graduates considering both the ecological and inter-relationship implications in their clever new designs.

Categories ,2012, ,Baby, ,Birmingham City University, ,Bumble, ,Camberwell College of Arts, ,Carrier, ,Catalin-Andrei Edu, ,Co-See, ,Co-sleeping, ,Cork, ,Cot, ,Coventry University, ,eco, ,Emma Doran, ,Humanistic Industrial Designer, ,Jack Hadlum, ,Jordan Brocklehurst, ,Jose Oliviera, ,making mealtime magic, ,Marcus Broughton, ,Mechanical Mummies, ,Natures Best cot, ,New Designers, ,Nicola Danks, ,Penguin Play Safety Reins, ,Potions, ,Pram, ,Product Design, ,Ralph Edwards, ,ravensbourne, ,review, ,Sling, ,Snarfle, ,Squeasy, ,Stumped Studio, ,sustainable, ,The Gro Company, ,Toddler, ,UWE, ,Weaning, ,Wholemilk, ,Wood Be Waste, ,Zoe Tynan-Campbell

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Amelia’s Magazine | Kitty McCall: Creating Colourful Interior Textiles

Kitty McCall tropicalia washbags
Designer Catherine Nice is the brains behind Kitty McCall, a brilliant new interior textiles brand you should know about. Her work is inspired by the boldness of artists such as Matisse, Gauguin and Rousseau, featuring glorious patterns that will enliven any room. First discovered at Tent London 2014, I decided it was high time I caught up with the talented designer.

Your brand was named for your grandmother, what influence did she have on you?
She was great! She only started painting quite late in her life but she had a great eye for detail and colour. Every year I would send her a painting or drawing and she would always have something positive to say. I would say she contributed hugely to my interest in Art and design.

Kitty McCall tropicalia print
You have said that colour is the most important part of design: how do you put colours together and manipulate them into a final piece?
Colour is one of the most important things in my work as it helps spark my creativity and really helps me shape my ideas for a finished piece. I’m a hoarder of magazines, fabric swatches and generally anything that can be of used to inspire future design. When putting colour together I often use paper cutting and collages to get a feel for how they work together. Once I know the palette I match them with the Pantone colour system to ensure printing will be accurate.

Kitty-McCall-tropicalia-pouf Yeshen Venema Photography
Where did you study and what was the most important thing you took from your course?
I studied at Birmingham City University. I learnt never to stop absorbing ideas and to always take a moment to take in the world around me. It’s amazing what inspiration you can miss when you’re not paying attention to the every day. Having an interest in all areas of design also helps keeps the mind and ideas fresh.

Kitty McCall tropicalia letters
How did the idea for big fabric letters come about and how are they manufactured?
When my daughter Ruby was born I wanted some letters for her room but everything I found was a bit too pink or pretty, so I decided to get some made in my printed fabrics. Each Letter is hand made by a very talented lady I know!

Kitty-McCall-paradise-birds Yeshen Venema Photography
What relevant jobs did you have before setting up Kitty McCall?
After university I spent 6 years learning my craft as a print designer for a successful commercial studio.

Kitty McCall tropicalia cushions
Why did you decide to set up your own brand and what has been the hardest thing about doing so?
I wanted to have more control over how my designs were used. The hardest thing is probably working by myself, as you have to be your own critic in everything you do. When working in a studio environment, with a number of talented designers, we can be each other’s critical eye and spot what’s missing or not working in a design, so I always found this a helpful tool. I overcome this hurdle now by trying to take time to come back to designs, and see them with fresh eyes! It means the design process is a little longer but by doing this I can ensure I’m always happy with every finished piece.

And what is the best part about running your own brand?
Complete creative freedom and flexibility in my hours.

What are your hopes for the future of Kitty McCall?
To work on more collaborations with fellow designers and brands!

Categories ,Birmingham City University, ,Catherine Nice, ,Gauguin, ,interview, ,Kitty McCall, ,matisse, ,Rousseau, ,Tent London, ,Tent London 2014, ,Tropicalia

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Josh Patterson: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Birmingham City University graduate Josh Patterson creates intense fantastical images in a distinctive colour palette that immediately caught my eye at New Designers this year. His artwork for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion was inspired by the super pretty Wilderness Festival, but will surely appeal to festival lovers anywhere. I am also super pleased to announce that Josh is creating the cover for my book… and it’s already looking absolutely fabulous.

You’ve already done exceptionally well for a graduate, how did Birmingham City Uni set you up for your career?
BCU was a great place for me to go to. The course and facilities on campus were top notch; although, I almost wish I had made more use of them during my time there. As I’m sure with most creative courses, the tutors really push you to extend the boundaries of your creative thinking. But what I found really useful about BCU was their focus on preparing us for what the industry would be like. With talks from the AOI, agents and top illustrators, I think the majority of my year left with the necessary knowledge to do well in this competitive industry.

What awards have you won?
I won two awards at the Lara Vis Com Awards ceremony this year. The first was called, ‘The Illustration Award’ and was sponsored by the AOI. I believe this was to go to the most promising new illustrator, so that was very encouraging! The prize for this was a 3-month internship with the AOI. But I’ll talk more about that a bit later. The second award was the ‘Illustration Using Print Award’ – which was sponsored by Nobrow. The prize for this one was a portfolio review with Sam Arthur, the Managing Director and Founder of Nobrow. This was a great opportunity to get some professional advise on my work, and being a huge fan of Nobrow myself, it was great to simply have a one on one chat with him.

How have you found commissions for work to date?
The majority of my commissions at the moment have been from people/companies contacting me via email. Most of them having stumbled across my website or seen my stuff advertised on various social media sites. I’ve actually just been approached by an architectural company in Guatemala, Mexico – about potentially doing some illustrations for an up and coming project they’re working on. I guess that goes to show the power of the Internet and social media in today’s society! However, I do still send out samples to magazines and newspapers – that’s how I got the Computer Arts job.

What inspires your style and colour palette?
Anything and everything really… I try to document the inspirational things I see, whether it’s a quick sketch or taking a photo. Usually the latter if I’m on the move! For example, I was on the train the other day and noticed the colours in the pattern on the floor so I whipped my phone out and started snapping away. I did get a few strange looks mind you… I try to keep up to date with what is current in the industry and see how I can interpret certain aesthetics or concepts in my own way. I’ve always enjoyed drawing people with small heads and elongated figures as I find this almost adds personality to the characters in my drawings yet, allows me to maintain a strange sense of anonymity throughout an illustration.

How do you create your artworks?
I’ll sketch the roughs and scan them into Adobe Illustrator. Once the vector drawing is built up on a grayscale I’ll start to think about a colour scheme for the illustration. I like working in grayscale initially as this allows me to establish the correct tone and shading in an image. It also makes it easier when working with gradients too. After all this I superimpose the textures into the final coloured illustration.

What kind of atmosphere best suits you when working?
At the moment I work in my studio from home. I’m pretty content working by myself as it allows me to get my head down without there being too many distractions. However, I think I’ll be looking to rent a studio space soon, preferably one that is shared with other creatives as I appreciate getting other peoples inputs on my works in progress. I really enjoy freelancing as I can work to my own schedule, which is a real privilege of the job. I also love the fact I get to listen to music all day, as this is another thing I’m immensely passionate about. But, it is probably one of my biggest distractions when trying to work. I find myself forever trawling through the deepest reaches of Spotify discovering new music and making new playlists.

How did you come up with the idea for your colouring book illustration?
My submission was inspired by a recent trip to Wilderness Festival. I was so captivated by the atmosphere there that I was looking for any excuse to illustrate it, so this brief was perfect! I’ve made the illustrations slightly personal by highlighting particular events that my friends and I got up to while we were there… So there may be a few private jokes in there! In an attempt to capture a sense of the chaotic nightlife I’ve experimented with a slightly more vibrant colour palette to what I usually use. I’ve juxtaposed this chaos with the tranquil scenes of boats in the (hot-tub surrounded) lake and people doing yoga: in order to represent a genuine feel for the festival.

What have you been doing at the AOI?
For the past three months as well as working on freelance projects, I’ve also been interning with the AOI and assisting the awards manager in curating the World Illustration Awards exhibition. This has been an amazing and invaluable experience for me – especially at this stage in my career. I’ve met some awesome people, made some great connections and learnt a lot about the industry during this time. They’ve helped me out massively when it comes to accepting commissions and pricing my work as well. I would highly recommend to any illustrator (new or experienced) to consider becoming a member as it will only make you more knowledgeable of the industry, thus making you much more professional as a creative.

I hear you have a few other projects on the go, can you tell us more about them?
I’ve just finished a project for a company called RM2, who specialize in employee share schemes for private companies. They’re in the process of writing a book about their industry and asked me to illustrate the front cover – which unfortunately I can’t share with you as the book hasn’t been published yet! I also produced a series of 4 illustrations to accompany certain headings on their website. I pretty much had free reign when it came to thinking up the concepts behind this project. However, I was restricted with the colour scheme, as they wanted it to more or less match the colours of their logo. I sometimes enjoy working with colour restrictions as it encourages me to focus on other elements of an illustration and I’ll often produce an outcome with a much more interesting composition or perspective.

I’ve also just closed on a deal with a company called Bramwell Brown to produce a series of three different clock designs for them. I’m very excited to get started on this project, as I’ve not done any illustration to this kind of format before. The clocks are really cool as well; they have illustrations that rotate inside them, with a section that shows certain parts of the image relative to what the weather is like that day. They have various other themed ones as well but are interested in me creating a London styled one. And have, again, given me free reign on the concepts for the other two. So I’m very excited to get started on this one!

You can find the stunning work of Josh Patterson in Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, available from Kickstarter soon.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adobe Illustrator, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,AOI, ,Birmingham City University, ,Bramwell Brown, ,Coloring, ,Coloring Book, ,Colouring, ,Colouring Book, ,Computer Arts, ,Illustration Using Print Award, ,interview, ,Josh Patterson, ,Kickstarter, ,Lara Vis Com Awards, ,Nobrow, ,RM2, ,The Illustration Award, ,Wilderness Festival, ,World Illustration Awards

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