Thursday, 21 April 2011

More congratulations!!

Huge congratulations go to Emma McVan, a friend and fellow student at the University of Bolton, for successfully beating a large number of other students to have her surface design chosen to grace the walls of Bolton One, a new leisure centre complex being built in Bolton.

Check out her blogsite at to see the winning Bolton One design as well as other examples of her design work.

Congratulations also to Christina Pelle, a 3rd year University of Bolton student has also had one of her designs commissioned for the Bolton One complex. Check out her blogspot at

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Scarf design photographs

I took these photographs of my sister wearing this scarf to show the printed outcome of my final design idea for my 1st year Digital Manipulation module. This bespoke scarf is digitally printed onto 100% silk and has a tag with hand embroidered washing instructions and company logo. I tried to photograph the scarf wrapped in as many styles as possible to exemplify its versatility. My sister is now the proud owner of this scarf.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Bolton Progressive Threads

I've just found a website for Bolton Progressive Threads. They are a group of 20 textile artists who frequently exhibit their work as a collective.

They will exhibiting at Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire from March to October. Strangely enough I've just discovered that an ancestor of mine used to own Gawthorpe Hall. How's that for a coincidence!

Contact details are as follows;


To be added to their mailing list:

For any other information:

Hope you enjoy the webite. I certainly did!


A big congratulations go to 3rd year University of Bolton students Rachel Dawson ( Melanie Brown ( and Danielle Burke ( for doing so brilliantly at the Bradford Textile Society competition.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Samples for company letter heads

These are my initial design ideas for company letter heads. I obviously wanted to keep the same artwork that is contained on my business card samples but wanted to separate the contact information from my company logo. I could have just placed the contact information at the bottom of the page as text only but felt it was more interesting to have a cropped representation of my artwork design alongside the text.

Another idea I have had is to use a separate image as a watermark style feature in the middle of a letter head and simply have my company name and contact details as text only in the same positions as seen on these two lay out ideas.

Final draft ideas for my business card (I promise!)

These are the final two alternative designs for my business card. My tutor suggested that I should decrease the scale of my contact details to ensure that the emphasis would be on my company name. I realise that this was necessary.

My original design had the same artwork as the 2nd sample above. Some people felt that it's too busy and detracts from the text. Also I originally had the text in black not white and this made harder to understand, especially as my company name is in Italics.

I had also experimented with alternative fonts for my company logo but decided on this font as it looks antique and the name Conway is in memory of my great great grandmother so the vintage style of the text was appropriate.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A little sample of what inspires me


Here are a few examples of the wealth of design work that inspires me. I have always had a great passion for the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, but my inspiration runs far broader, taking in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and design from the 1920s to the 1970s.

The three examples of Art Nouveau here date from 1897 and are the work of Felix Aubert. Although the remaining designs date from the 1960s you can see how the Art Nouveau style was being re-interpreted by designers such as Peter Hall in his 1967 furnishing designs for Heals and Shelagh Wakeley's designs for Fidelis Furnishing Fabrics in 1966. Meanwhile the Art Deco period was also featuring a resurgence as seen in the final design sample, taken from Janet Taylor's 1969 collection of furnishing fabrics for Heals.

Business card design

These are 3 of the alternative design lay outs for my business card. Over the past several weeks I have altered this template time after time, whether it's involved amending the text scale, font, text placing or the positioning of the art work. I have spent so much time on this now that I am no longer able to be objective and decide which lay out to go with. I'm actually starting to dislike this design and am tempted to scrap it and chose another piece of artwork to use with the text instead. Until I was required to design a business card I'd had no concept of just how complicated and time consuming the process really is. Once I've made my decision I plan to NEVER amend my business card ever again!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

All Eyes On Celia Birtwell

As with Barbara Hulanicki, Celia Birtwell is one of the designers who has always inspired me. Probably most famous for the striking designs that graced her late husband Ossie Clark's wonderful clothes in the 1960s and 1970s, Celia has recently begun designing equally exciting clothing for Top Shop and has diversified into furnishings. Above are some of my favourite examples of her work from her Ossie Clark designs upto her recent Top Shop creations. I hope you find them as inspirational as I do.

As with the illustrations created by Barbara Hulanicki, I especially love Celia's drawing style. I find her illustrations wonderfully stylised and somewhat childlike and clearly identifiable as a Celia Birtwell creation. Although they were simply drawn to illustrate a surface pattern design idea, I feel her illustrations are works of art in their own right.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Lino Prints

These lino prints were created while I was completing my Foundation Diploma in Art & Design. The project was based on the architecture in a street called Hadassah Grove. This quaint little street is an unadopted street off Lark Lane in Liverpool. I loved Hadassah Grove as it made me feel like I'd stepped back into Edwardian times as the houses all date from this era.

I greatly enjoyed using the lino printing technique as I found it amazingly versatile. Simply by cutting a tile into sections, as I have done in some of these prints, you can create prints in a variety of colours. Also, by simply repeat printing on the printing press without re-inking the tiles you can create a variety of finishes. I liked some of my prints that had a more distressed finish as these make them look antique and therefore fitted with the theme of having been inspired my the Edwardian architecture of Hadassah Grove.

I still have all the tiles I created for this project and intend to use them again at a later date. I also still have more than 200 prints that were made in a variety of colourways for the dozen or so tiles that I made. The samples here were included in my submission portfolio for my interview for the University of Bolton, where I am presently studying. As course leader Donna Claypool was greatly impressed with these pieces I think these may have helped me acquire my place. Maybe that's one reason why I love them so much!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Some inspirational textile blog sites to enjoy

Textile Blog - Trends Style Innovation Technology Textilepedia - The Textile Encyclopedia (a big thanks goes to Jenny McDonald for this one!)

Professional email address

I've finally got around to setting up a professional email account. It certainly took me long enough since I'm in the middle of my 2nd year! The email address is Just means I'll have to alter my business card I posted here earlier. More work for me. Well you know what they say .... No rest for the wicked!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

All Eyes On Barbara Hulanicki

Here is an example of a designer who has always greatly inspired me. Depending on your age Barbara Hulanicki will either be synonymous with Grahame & Brown or Biba. I have always been awed not only by the wonderful Biba designs she created throughout the 1960s and 1970s but by her vibrant and very identifiable fashion illustrations. As for her wonderful wallpaper designs for Grahame & Brown, I never fail to be inspired after just one glance of her designs. I have included examples from all periods of her illustrious career to hopefully inspire others to look into her and realise the sheer scope of her artistic talents.

Monday, 4 April 2011

scarf design motifs

I created these motif samples for my current Contemporary Textiles project brief. They were originally created from postcard sized collages which were then digitally manipulated. I think some of these designs could form the basis of new scarf designs, particularly the penultimate sample. I intend to play about with this motif specifically and maybe repeat certain elements to create a scarf design which could be digitally printed at a later date. When I have created a few experimental design ideas I will post them to show the design development. Hopefully they will be as striking and vibrant as I feel my earlier scarf designs are.