All in a day’s placement

Florence Clarke, a second year student of Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design at Leeds Arts University entered the North of England heat of the SDC International Design Competition earlier this year which led to a day placement at Sharps Fabric Printers.  Flo, now an SDC member, tells us about her experience.

“As an expressive designer, my processes and design ideas revolve around colour and movement. Fluidity and a vibrant colour palette are focused around themes involving nature and abstract, painterly marks. I combine this with exploring combinations of digitally drawn and hand painted motifs, alongside stitch, embellishment, digital print, and screen print elements. The detail of botanical themes and saturated colours drive the themes within my design work and excite me to create rich and passion filled designs.

I took part in the North of England heat for the International Design Competition, as I study at Leeds Arts University (a college member of SDC). The day spent in Bradford was my first experience of getting involved with SDC, and since then I have become a member of the Society and am looking forward to attending talks once I am back in Leeds for my third year. I’ve found being a member and having access to journals has really helped my progression at University, as my essays and dissertation have heavily revolved around colour.

I enjoyed the day at Perkin House for the North of England judging and although I didn’t win, the judges were very encouraging and interested in my design ‘Vibrant Tropicals’ commenting:

“Colour is key, Flo is proud of using colour.  Continue doing what you do brilliantly.  Points to consider – look into digital printing processes to enhance your designs”.

Linda Hodgson, one of the judges and an SDC member, invited me to go for a placement day at Sharps Fabric Printers (where she works). I took her up on this offer, and spent a day with her in August this year. My placement included learning about how large scale sublimation printing works, as well as having the opportunity to ask lots of questions and to see how designs are transferred to the printers. I also had the opportunity to set some of my own work into repeat patterns, and get back into using AVA software, which is particularly useful for colour separation and creating repeat patterns. I spent one-on-one time with Linda, with her showing me useful tools and ways of creating repeats within AVA that I hadn’t covered during the sessions at University. It was really great to find out about what they look for in employees such as technical and hand skills, and Linda was also really helpful in giving me research ideas and contacts that I can use for my dissertation.

My placement day at Sharps has really opened my eyes to other areas of the textile industry, and it was thoroughly enjoyable to discuss my work with Linda, to see how their business ran and to broaden my AVA skills.”

Flo plans to enter the SDC International Design Competition 2018.  For further details please visit the website.

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