Textiles students

London to be overrun with top textiles graduates

Talented textile and surface designers from Somerset College are heading to London to display their collections at New Designers from Thursday 3 July.

Twenty eight graduates from Somerset College are set to display their pieces at the leading exhibition showcasing graduate design.

New Designers is the foremost event in graduate design showcasing the work, energy and talent of some 4,000 designers. It is a chance for graduates to showcase their designs in front of industry experts. The primary goal of each designer there is to impress potential employers and get a foothold in the industry.

Neil Musson, Tutor at Somerset College, said: ‘This is an amazing opportunity for our graduates to show their creative work to the design world and to gain employment when they leave the College.

‘Our designers are highly skilled, their creations are testament to that, and will do very well in the future. Our graduates are sought after in the industry'

Students have taken inspiration from cars; urban, coast, country and mountain elements; journeys to Ireland, the aging process concrete and heat sensitive ink.

The graduate designers have produced wallpapers, furniture and fabrics from photos, hand drawn images, metals and other sources.

BA (Hons) Interior Textiles and Surface Design student Sylvia Milkins has managed to combine concrete and heat sensitive felt to form stunning tiles. Sylvia dyed the tiles with heat sensitive ink that changes as the surroundings get warmer.

Sylvia said: ‘I came up with the idea whilst writing my thesis, I thought that the urban environment added to social problems around us. Concrete is a hard and cold material, so by adding heat sensitive felt to it, it becomes a lot softer. It took a long time to experiment and get the correct dies, but I am pleased with the results.'

Sylvia has created a second range of soft furnishings that are inspired by her water garden at home. The collection is based on her water lilies in her pond.

Chelsea Whines, who is studying BA (Hons) Interior Textiles and Surface Design, has taken her influences from the countryside, coast, mountains and urban areas.

Chelsea said: ‘I really like to use all the different elements together. It gives an amazing perspective to my designs, and they come out looking fantastic. I start off by hand drawing images, then digitally scanning each image which enables me to manipulate them into how I want the designs to appear on paper and surfaces. I have used photos, typography and illustrations to communicate visual impact as well, which gives my designs a very edgy feel.'

Karen Dalby, who studies BA (Hons) Interior Textiles and Surface Design, said: ‘I took my influences from cars. When I was younger I thought each car had its own personality and story. I have incorporated these personalities into my designs.'

BA (Hons) Fashion and Textiles Student, Hollie Selway, has take her inspiration from journeys to Ireland. She said: ‘I travel to Ireland regularly to see my boyfriend. The colours I see are wonderful: greys, browns and greens all come flooding into the airplane on the journey there. I have produced wallpaper, chair and fabrics that all take their inspiration from the journey.

Neil said: ‘Our students have produced a show that will appeal to all tastes as there is such a varied mix of styles and influences. We have students who have produced clean cut images, and wallpapers that have been aged; we also have students who have used personal journeys as inspiration for pieces.'

New Designers 2008 takes place at London Business Design Centre from Thursday 3 July until Sunday 6 July. For more details visit www.newdesigners.com.

For more details of Textiles and Fashion courses at Somerset College visit www.somerset.ac.uk, alternatively email enquiries@somerset.ac.uk, or call (01823) 366 331.