Colette Woods with samples of her design work

Graduate Colette is outstanding new designer

Somerset Surface Design graduate Colette Woods is riding high after being selected for a Special Merit Award by the Society for Designer Craftsmen at the recent New Designers graduate show in London, as well as winning the Devon Guild of Craftsmen 2010 Visual Arts Prize.

Colette, a mature student, has just graduated with a BA Hons from Somerset College, Taunton, and her innovative designs and use of materials - leather, zinc and slate - are causing tremendous interest in the design world.

The award from the prestigious Society for Designer Craftsmen means Colette is recognised as one of the most outstanding new graduate designers nationally, and will be invited to exhibit at the Society's annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London.

“Her work stood out visually as well as for the originality of the materials she uses, and the way they relate well to each other,” said Liz Clay, an assessor for the Society.

Colette’s work is also currently being showcased at a special exhibition at The Devon Guild of Craftsmen gallery in Bovey Tracey, Devon.  It is running for a month at what is the largest contemporary craft centre in the South West, and the gallery exhibits work by designers and makers of national and international standing.

For Colette, a single mother of 44 who lives in the small town of Bruton in Somerset, the Surface Design course at Somerset College built on her earlier interests when she briefly studied as an art student, and later developed her own business sourcing fabric for household name interior design companies.

For personal reasons the business closed, but Colette’s love of design led her to study further, determined to use design for products. Now her unusual ways of colouring and working with leather, zinc and slate, are creating a stir.

“I take my inspiration from the coast. I love the sea and its headlands, colours weathered or bleached by the elements, and the layers revealed,” she said.

Caption - Colette with samples of her leather and zinc work