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My passion for colour and texture has been with me since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I remember as a young child walking into art shops and googling the rows and rows of colour sorted pencils, crayons, pastels, paints and feeling like this was as near as I'd ever get to heaven. I didn't even really feel the need to do something with them...it was that rainbow of colours interacting together that made my heart sing.
So, after a senior education embedded in the arts, I signed up for a years' Foundation Course at Camberwell College of Arts in London, and subsequently applied for, and accepted a place studying Textile Design at the world renowned Glasgow School of Art, that of Rennie Mackintosh fame.
Glasgow had just been European City of Culture, and the city was a hotbed of creative talent. Glasgow was a very exciting place to be in the early 90's.
So I'd signed up for three years of playing with colour and texture. Designing fabrics. Printed, knitted, woven, embroidered. It didn't really matter which. The joy, once more, was about playing with combinations of colour and texture to create something magical.
Fabrics. Textiles. Cloth. Fibre. Call them what you will. As a core human need, we rely on fabrics for our survival. But what is fascinating is the consistent choice to decorate even in the most primitive and basic societies. Design and pattern through the ages speaks volumes about the social structure and cultural identity of the time.
So, here, now in the 21st century, our choices are also of significance. read more [+/-]
My biggest design influence is nature. I live, work and design from a rural property on the edge of the rainforest. I can hear the birds singing all day. I look out from my desk onto lush tropical gardens, and am constantly stimulated by the beauty in my surroundings. This combined with my passion for mid 20th Century, Japanese and Scandinavian design throw some serious inspiration in to the pot and what comes out are the rich, vibrant textile designs which make up a very contemporary Bird organic fabric range.
The movement back to basic principles of certified organic fibre and low toxicity dyes dictates the style of my work, and I have no doubt it will be noted as a core principle for fabric development during this early part of the Century. At Bird, we are considered pioneers in the movement towards sustainable design, and pride ourselves on having contributed to the shift of these principles towards mainstream.
It will be interesting to see whether the stats around 'going green' in textile and fabric development and in all other fabric design processes, will show a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of us as individuals and society. Will wearing organic fibre reduce our chances of getting cancer? Will we see a drop in the number of children with ADD?
Progress in technology, new fibre and the environment will feature as key contributors to fabric development in this era.