Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2015: The Best Jewellery Design Graduates

New Designers Melissa Martinson 2
New Designers Melissa Martinson
New Designers part one is a jewellery lover’s paradise. First up this fabulous embroidered jewellery by Melissa Martinson of Huddersfield Uni, who has worked with AIDS sufferers in Africa using local techniques to create something wonderful. All the pieces are checked for quality and the workers paid a fair wage. I love the colours and shapes of these statement necklaces!

New Designers Natalie Adams
This amazing perspex and woven necklace is by Natalie Adams.

New Designers Maisie Welch
Maisie Welch played with resin shapes at Edinburgh College of Art.

ND Emily Gore
Emily Gore made this extravagant affair.

ND Karolina Baines
Karolina Baines used circular shapes to create this unusual neckpiece.

New Designers jade Stimpson
This organic jewellery by Jade Stimpson at Hereford College of the Arts uses unusual materials such as bone.

New Designers Chesca Dowthwaite
Chesca Dowthwaite created bold silver rings with deep bowls.

New Designers Amelia Hales
Lasercut jewellery by Amelia Hales at Nottingham Trent Uni was ‘inspired by china, made in the U.K.’

New Designers Katie whittaker 2
New Designers Katie whittakerNew Designers Katie whittaker
I absolutely loved this multi media jewellery by Katie Whittaker at Bath School of Art and Design.

New Designers Venice AW
Birmingham City Uni always turns out a selection of brilliant fine jewellery designers: and it is clearly a popular destination for Chinese students wishing to make the most of the burgeoning luxury market at home. This stunning gold necklace is by Venice AW.

New Designers Vanessa Zou
Jewellery by Vanessa Zou takes a more abstract turn.

New Designers Jing Jocelyn He
As does this Blooming collection by Jing Jocelyn He.

New Designers Rachel Codd
New Designers Rachel Codd 2
Ceramic jewellery by Rachel Codd at Cardiff Met is a successful marriage of the beautiful and the surreal. And she was also selling small pendant versions on her stand (available on etsy here), a clever business-savvy move.

New Designers Naoise Fitzgerald
These bright brooches are by Naoise Fitzgerald at the Dublin National College of Art and Design.

New Designers Senak
Resin pendants by Senak at UCA Rochester make a fun statement.

New Designers mary temilola
Mary Temilola made architectural enamelled necklace designs.

New Designers Sinead Toner
I loved the work of Glasgow College of Art students. This is sweetness made bold by Sinead Toner.

New Designers Maisie ford
And a brilliant use of variegated materials by Maisie Ford.

New Designers Maliha Khan
These chunky rings are by Maliha Khan.

Checkie Ieong showcased delicate and unusual jewellery.

ND Ieva Mikitaite
Ieva Mikitaite was a precious metal award winner for her delicate expanding jewellery. Very clever!

New designers Rachel Blair
Textural jewellery by Rachel Blair featured strange organic shapes.

New designers Chloe Michell
Enamel silver bowls by Chloe Michell at Plymouth University were part of a very strong collection.

ND Megan Maggie Gray
Over at Duncan of Jordanstone I liked these very wearable but unusual rings and earrings by Megan Gray.

New Designers Dione Bowlt
New Designers Dione Bowlt
Clever gold dipped porcelain earrings by Dione Boult are a great way to hang statement jewels without too much pressure on the ear!

ND Leah Orford
It turns out there were a couple of great designers I missed out on with my first review of the Middlesex University jewellery graduate show. Leah Orford makes jewellery that could double as sculpture.

ND Aelita Pluiskyte
Aelita Pluiskyte created an eye-catching display with her silicone necklaces.

ND Elizabeth Gray jewellery
This Elizabeth Gray necklace was inspired by crystals and microscopic sections.

ND nichakan jewellery
Organic shapes are the inspiration behind Nichakan jewellery.

ND kiki tang
At The Cass I liked floral enamel twig earrings by Kiki Tang.

ND Lynn Tunney
And lastly these playful necklaces are by Lynn Tunney.

All of these images first appeared on the New Designers instagram feed (they very kindly asked me to guest post a favourite selection from both part one and part two of the show) or on my own my instagram feed: follow me there to catch my discoveries as I make them!

Categories ,2015, ,Aelita Pluiskyte, ,Amelia Hales, ,Bath School of Art and Design, ,Birmingham City Uni, ,Blooming, ,Cardiff Met, ,Checkie Ieong, ,Chesca Dowthwaite, ,Chloe Michell, ,Dione Boult, ,Duncan of Jordanstone, ,Edinburgh College of Art, ,Elizabeth Gray, ,Emily Gore, ,Glasgow College of Art, ,Hereford College of the Arts, ,Huddersfield Uni, ,Ieva Mikitaite, ,Jade Stimpson, ,jewellery, ,Jing Jocelyn He, ,Karolina Baines, ,Katie Whittaker, ,Kiki Tang, ,Leah Orford, ,Lynn Tunney, ,Maisie Ford, ,Maisie Welch, ,Maliha Khan, ,Mary Temilola, ,Megan Gray, ,Melissa Martinson, ,middlesex university, ,Naoise Fitzgerald, ,Natalie Adams, ,National College of Art and Design, ,New Designers, ,Nichakan, ,Nichakan Jewellery, ,Nottingham Trent Uni, ,Plymouth University, ,Rachel Blair, ,Rachel Codd, ,review, ,Senak, ,Sinead Toner, ,The Cass, ,UCA Rochester, ,Vanessa Zou, ,Venice AW

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Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2015: Abstract Textiles and Surface Design

New Designers Laura worrall 2
Never mind the heat, I spent three hours trawling the halls of New Designers part one at the Islington Business Centre. By the end I was thoroughly exhausted (I’m 39 weeks pregnant today) but excited, as always, by all the fabulous graduate designers I discovered. I’ll be covering my favourites in a few separate blog posts: first up, abstract textile and surface design, in a celebration of the many dashing variations of this forward looking and vibrant theme.

New Designers Laura Worrall
At London College of Communication I adored painterly abstracts by Laura Worrall, adapted for use on a variety of mediums, including textiles and tiles.

New Designers Miriam Bridson
Miriam Bridson put on another beautiful display of bold abstract design.

New Designers Aisha Khan
Aisha Khan at Bucks New University created an intriguing metallic wall installation.

New Designers Alice Ward
Bold brights were put together in this strong wall display by Alice Ward.

New Designers Logan Kelly 2
New Designers Logan kelly
Next up, I really liked this ‘Soft Bling‘ collection of digitally printed designs on crepe satin and cotton drill by Logan Kelly at Falmouth University. The broad strokes and zingy colours have a hint of the 80s and I loved the fresh use of white.

New Designers Jenna Coulthard 2
ND Jenna Coulthard
I always look forward to seeing the work of Leeds College of Artgraduates.

This year I particularly loved the great colours and shapes of Jenna Coulthard who was given a Tigerprint Golden Ticket to come show her portfolio and also recommended for her use of colour by Global Color Research. I am not surprised she got so much attention!

New Designers Benjamin Craven
Marvellous patterns by Benjamin Craven made for a strong collection.

New Designers Jessica Taylor
These juicy colours are by Jessica Taylor.

New Designers Sarah Gibson
And brilliant splashes are by Sarah Gibson.

New Designers Laura Elizabeth coles
Beautiful textural copper filigree weave in rainbow colours is by Laura Elizabeth Coles of Central Saint Martins.

New Designers Georgia Fleck
Georgia Fleck created unique carpet designs. Make your own combination with the pieces!

New Designers Natasha SamaSuwo
New Designers Natasha SamaSuwo collage
Natasha SamaSuwo at Glasgow College of Art made a series of lovely delicate collages, showcasing the resulting prints on some fab photo collages.

New Designers Caitlin Miller
Love the zingy colour combo! Textiles by Caitlin Miller at Duncan of Jordanstone.

New Designers Shauna McGregor
Designs by Shauna McGregor called to mind the 80s with their neon exuberance: overall the standard of design coming out of the Scottish colleges was exceptional throughout the show.

New Designers Elidh Howie
Elidh Howie specialised in metallic 3D accessories design for handbag applications. Very slick and professional.

New Designers Chloe Pullin
At Swansea College of Art Chloe Pullin combined all sorts of techniques to create a fabulous wall of her designs – as you can tell I was really feeling the bright abstracts this year!

New Designers Naomi France
I also loved this display by Naomi France at Swansea, utilising laser etched doors that echoed her textile designs.

New Designers Anna Trainor
Anna Trainor at Ulster Uni designed optical textiles with a modernist flavour.

New Designers Anna Collins
Anna Collins created standout textiles at Birmingham City Uni.

ND Jan Kingsman
Finally, Jan Kingsman at Bath Spa Uni showed on the craft stand, but I thought her gorgeous textiles deserve to appear in this blog!

All of these images first appeared on the New Designers instagram feed (they very kindly asked me to guest post a favourite selection from both part one and part two of the show) or on my own my instagram feed: follow me there to catch my discoveries as I make them!

Categories ,Aisha Khan, ,Alice Ward, ,Anna Collins, ,Anna Trainor, ,Bath Spa Uni, ,Benjamin Craven, ,Birmingham City Uni, ,Bucks New University, ,Business Centre, ,Caitlin Miller, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Chloe Pullin, ,Duncan of Jordanstone, ,Elidh Howie, ,Falmouth University, ,Georgia Fleck, ,Glasgow College of Art, ,Global Color Research, ,Golden Ticket, ,Islington, ,Jan Kingsman, ,Jenna Coulthard, ,Jessica Taylor, ,Laura Elizabeth Coles, ,Laura Worrall, ,Leeds College of Art, ,Logan Kelly, ,London College of Communication, ,Miriam Bridson, ,Naomi France, ,Natasha SamaSuwo, ,New Designers, ,Sarah Gibson, ,Shauna McGregor, ,Soft Bling, ,surface design, ,Swansea, ,Swansea College of Art, ,textiles, ,Tigerprint, ,Ulster Uni

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Augusta Akerman: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Augusta Akerman 'a section of my first litho print'
Augusta Akerman is yes, you got it, yet another Camberwell College of Arts graduate. She contributes a painterly image to my colouring book inspired by a love of 50s modernism. Find her in Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, available now on Kickstarter.

Augusta Akerman 'Couples and Technology'
I love the way you draw figures, which artists have inspired you? I think they look very Henry Moore-esue
Yes you are very right! I have always been very inspired by that particular period around 1950‘s modernism, Festival of Britain era, having been brought up on artists like Moore, Hepworth, Ravilious and Bawden. These were the artists my parents loved, so we were always going to galleries to see this kind of work. Every summer we go to Cornwall and St.Ives was and still is an annual pilgrimage to see Hepworth‘s studio and garden, I could probably draw it from memory. After finishing my MA I had been introduced to what I would call ‘Now Illustration‘ and I found myself constantly looking at contemporaries’ work and worrying about my style. Earlier this year I decided that I was just going to let myself be influenced by the painters, sculptors and designers I grew up loving and have found myself much happier with my work.

Augusta Akerman 'Swimming Against'
Why did you decide to move away from your first degree in fine art photography towards illustration?
Towards the end of my BA at Glasgow College of Art I was already starting to move away from photography. I was making small artist books with a combination of illustrations and photographs and enjoying putting them together, designing covers and hand binding them. I returned to London and worked as a photographers assistant all the while drawing at home in the evenings and weekends. I think this was a real time of discovery for me. I was so embarrassed about my drawing skills that I didn’t really show or tell anyone but kept hundreds of small A5 sketchbooks with random illustrations in. In the end I became more and more confident and illustration naturally took over. I also wasn’t particularly interested in digital photography as I enjoyed using film so I think cost and lack of regular access to a darkroom also contributed to me moving away from it. However I still take photographs, film and digital, who knows what will happen next.

Augusta Akerman 'Sea to Stone'
What did you do in the period between your BA and MA studies?
I worked as a Set Decorator in film and advertising. I fell into this career, starting as an art department assistant and gradually working my way up. It was a very enjoyable job most of the time but could be also be extremely intense and stressful. In the end the feeling that I wasn’t doing exactly what I wanted to do took over and I made the decision to do the MA. I was so frightened to leave that job, because in that world you spend years making contacts and working for little money in the hope of getting somewhere. I am very lucky to have made some good friends whilst working in film and still do the odd job here and there.

Augusta Akerman 'mono print portrait'
Why did you choose Camberwell for your MA?
I chose Camberwell because it was the nearest illustration course to my parent’s house! In order to do the MA I had to move back home and save as much as I could, and I could walk there in under half an hour. The MA represented a way to take a year off from film and see if Illustration could possibly be an option for me. I didn’t apply anywhere else so it was Camberwell or nothing. When meeting the head tutor Jan Woolley and visiting lecturer Chloe Cheese, I had an overwhelming feeling that this was it, I was very close to making a big change in my life, I would have cried my eyes out if they had said no!

Augusta Akerman 'Plastic Sea Soup' nominated for One to Watch
You have described your work as a combination of classic illustration and abstraction, what does this mean in practice?
This is because I think it sits between these two worlds, sometimes I can be quite real in my representation of animals and people, and at other times I just want to work with shapes and textures. I also tend to prefer work that takes a theme or idea and presents it not as a realistic depiction, but one that leaves room for the viewer to project their subconscious onto it.

I definitely think there is an influence of the classic in what I do as inspired by great artists like Tove Jansson and Pauline Baynes. But I aim to give a sense of modern movement and sculptural weight to some pieces by working with dark texture and light washes. I spent a long time being quite soft and delicate with my line and colour choices, so I’m enjoying this moment right now where I’m being braver using black crayons and ink to be more blocky and meshing them with the silky lace lines of water colour and gouache.

Augusta Akerman 'a section from the Great Migration'
What is your preferred way to approach a new piece of work when first starting to create it?
Depending on whether it is a personal project or a commission I tend to do things differently. However they both start the same way, with research. I love researching the subject and finding out different meanings or views or small snippets of information that can be included in the work to give a little extra detail that maybe only 2 percent will ever ‘get’ but will still interest others. I work either at my desk or sometimes in my dad’s studio. When at my desk I usually put on Radio 4 or a documentary on my computer that I listen to like a radio play, otherwise I get distracted by the images if I can see the screen! When in my dad’s studio I’m usually doing something a bit more messy like mono printing or lino, he tends to listen to the radio too or is working on the computer.

How do you combine pen with litho and other methods of production?
I always work by hand, first sketching in my sketchbook, then taking the images to another level of finish either by painting over them or developing them with mono printing or another print process until I like the way they look. I like the play between hand and digital imagery, computers are extremely useful when cleaning and adding colour to images but I sometimes feel I get overwhelmed by the possibilities. I think in this extremely accessible digital age it’s easy to put off the actual thinking of the development of a piece until it is staring you in the face with 100 layers in Photoshop. I find it hard to think clearly with the back lit white screen and feel more in control with a bit of paper in front of me.

Augusta Akerman 'Amelia's Colouring Book' for online interview RGB
What inspired your piece for my colouring book?
Whilst on holiday in Cornwall I had been drawing in my sketchbook, letting my hand and brain sort of automatic draw. I was not thinking about anything in particular but allowing what I had seen or heard that day come out onto the paper. I thought it looked like a diary in a pattern format. When I came back from holiday and thought about the colouring book I returned to the pattern idea and thought it might be nice for people to colour it in. I started automatic drawing again but this time I thought about all the themes I would like to explore in new projects and shapes and images I was interested in. I decided to create a seated figure drawing what would eventually become the wallpaper as I felt this developed the idea of a dreamy state of doodling, of letting your mind wander around your worries and dreams. The male figure was added later and I liked the idea of it also speaking about a relationship with another person who understands your dreams and helps you conquer your worries. They are both just quietly enjoying a moment supporting each other to make this big mural that charts all the ups and downs of creative making. It’s the most colourful piece I’ve made in a while so the brief did pull me out of my comfort zone a bit.

You recently took part in New Designers One Year On – how did you get involved and what project were you showcasing?
I applied to New Designers One Year On on a whim, because I wanted to be proactive to see if I could promote myself and my work in a professional situation. When I was selected I was very happy but also a little terrified as I knew there would be a lot of preparation and self promotion needed to really get the most out of it. I was showcasing the wallpapers and textiles I had made on my MA as well as newer designs and illustrations. I was very lucky to be surrounded by some amazing designers and illustrators and got a lot out of the experience. I had done Pulse earlier in the year with UAL and do think that in the future I might only do one design fair a year, not only due to cost but also due to the amount of energy you need to sustain that level of self promotion to justify it.

Why have you chosen subjects such as climate change for the basis of your designs?
I am very influenced by nature and the natural order of things and have developed a huge respect for the world around us. I am also a constant watcher of all of David Attenborough‘s programs which means I’m a little obsessed with life cycles and repeating patterns. During my MA I knew I wanted to work with pattern and create an illustrated collection of wallpapers and textiles. The life cycles seemed to be a perfect subject as they repeat over and over again. Climate change sneaked into the work, because of researching the migration of animals and reading about the effect climate change is having on their lives, habitats and evolution. For me this is an ongoing theme and subject, I wanted to introduce and present the many circular structures that exist around us in a beautiful and accessible way, as well as providing a piece of information that some may not already be aware of.

Augusta Akerman 'Botanical Institute Wallpaper'
How do you create DIY wallpaper?
There are many ways! I have recently taught a DIY wallpaper class at the South London Botanical Institute where we used craft foam stamps, lino, foam rollers, stencils and direct printing (covering leaves and flowers in paint and pressing onto paper) to create repeat imagery. If you have the time and the space you can buy a roll of lining paper from B&Q and create your own.

What does your residency at the London Print Studio encompass?
I have been working with Lithography, a process I’ve been wanting to explore in more detail for a long time. I love the quality and possibilities of this particular printing process, you can use a number of materials to make your image as well as scratching away layers in the drawing that gives an almost etching like quality. Lithography is a lengthy process which I think puts a lot of people off. I spent 3 and a half hours grinding my large stone to get it right. I have the blisters to prove it! But even this I really enjoyed, it feels quite ancient grinding and preparing the stone then working into it with litho crayons and tusche. You can get an extremely varied quality of line that is then perfectly replicated when printing, but each print is unique with minute changes due to ink placement and roller pressure. I just love it! Although I did find the printing the hardest part this time. I was working one Saturday printing the largest stone and realised I had no more strength left to turn the wheel on the press, thank god I had nearly run out of paper!

How do you hope to grow your fabric design and wallpaper business?
After the Homes and Gardens Fabric Awards, I felt encouraged to continue with my new collection of wallpapers. I have to admit I was starting to feel a little helpless, I had applied for funding to help build the business which I didn’t get and had thought I might need to put it on hold for a while. I am now working on the new collection and hope to have it done by March 2016. It’s very hard trying to start a side business when you’re looking for freelance work and working a part time job, but I enjoy constantly working and thinking up ideas for projects. This is what I wanted! This is why I gave up other careers; in order to be in charge of my own creativity.

Augusta Akerman contributes her work to Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, available now on Kickstarter. Make sure you grab a copy before the campaign closes later this month! Read a previous interview with Augusta here.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Coloring Book, ,Adult Colouring, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Augusta Akerman, ,Bawden, ,Camberwell College of Arts, ,Chloe Cheese, ,Climate Change, ,Colouring Book, ,Cornwall, ,David Attenborough, ,Festival of Britain, ,Glasgow College of Art, ,Hepworth, ,Homes and Gardens Fabric Awards, ,illustration, ,interview, ,Jan Woolley, ,Kickstarter, ,Lithography, ,ma, ,Moore, ,New Designers, ,One Year On, ,Pauline Baynes, ,photography, ,Pulse, ,Radio 4, ,Ravilious, ,Set Decorator, ,South London Botanical Institute, ,St.Ives, ,Tove Jansson, ,Wallpaper

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