In South Africa

Simon Clarke is a Senior Lecturer in Printed Textiles

I was recently back in South Africa after ten years away, with a unique opportunity to extend my research into dress and textiles beyond East Africa and Madagascar. I used to live and work in Kenya so this is where my interest developed – it resulted in a PhD.

picture1bOn the Street, Maboneng – A thriving fashion and vintage scene in the city. Continue reading

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Images of Japan

Sarah E. Braddock Clarke is an Author, a Curator and Senior Lecturer for Fashion Design & Sportswear Design at the Fashion and Textiles Institute

Fascinated by Japanese art, design, thinking, and culture for many years, a recent research visit led me to Yokohama – just south of Tokyo in Tokyo Bay –  and also to Tokyo itself.

Here are some of the visuals I came across on my daily meetings and work with many Japanese professionals – from Japanese professors to designers at NUNO Corporation and the fantastically eccentric team at Liberty Japan.

I walked in between my meetings and got to know the different districts and took some photographs along the way. What is apparent from these few images is the two sides that co-exist in Japan’s main cities:

  • the traditional and the technological
  • the spiritual and the materialistic
  • the ancient and the futuristic

Here are some of my observations:

picture1A glimpse of Chinatown, Yokohama – apparently the largest chinatown in Japan Continue reading

Learning to weave a kilim in Turkey

Wendy Kotenko is Senior Technician for Weave

I have worked as the weave technician at Falmouth University for ten years where I enjoy practising and sharing traditional skills of weaving and dyeing.

I love to travel and experience different cultures and their textile techniques and recently went to Turkey with an interesting company who make this possible. www.caravanturkey.com

The following pictures of my trip show how I learnt kilim weaving with local crafts people. I asked to make a kilim rather than a carpet piece so you could do that as well. You can learn cooking too, and other things – even belly dancing!

You can choose what you want to learn or combine a couple of things or just go for a day’s workshop if you don’t want to stay at the place. The village is called Gokpinar. The place you stay is in a lovely area in a mountainous part of the country, but not far from the coast  (Bodrum is the closest tourist town) away from the tourist places. I think the villages used by this company are preserved specially to show the traditional culture, so they can show tourists traditional life. Nomadic people have settled there and are mainly farmers.

picture1Preparing the wool warp for weaving Continue reading

Life, Death and Bananas

Peter Doubleday is a Senior Technician for Fashion and Sportswear Design

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Isle of The Dead

 Arnold Bocklin 1880

Outside of my role here as a Senior Technician I also have my own creative practice. I originally trained as a painter and printmaker doing a Fine Art degree and later a Photography MA. My recent work has applied traditional printmaking techniques to photographic imagery. This blog post is a look at some of this work. Continue reading

Food For Thought

Textile Design at Falmouth loves to welcome our graduates back to speak to us. Designers, buyers, product developers, arts administrators, quality controllers, stylists, teachers, entrepreneurs – our talented graduates have a knack of finding just the right place for themselves in the creative industries. We love to hear their stories and be inspired by their talents, their experiences, their ingenuity and determination.

This month Sabrina Shirazi held us spellbound with her energy and forcefulness of character as she described her career trajectory since graduating. We always tell textile design students that nothing is irrelevant when it comes to researching ideas for designs and projects. Check out Sabrina’s latest project on this YouTube clip, and you’ll see that there isn’t much you can do creatively that makes a degree in textile design irrelevant either.

 

The Orchid Project

Tracy Pritchard is Director of The Fashion & Textiles Institute at Falmouth University.

Having Dawn French as our Chancellor ensures her staff are always on the ball when it comes to culture and laughter meeting hard-nosed reality. It was no surprise when a few of us were invited to her gorgeous home in Fowey one blustery winter’s Saturday a couple of weeks ago to listen to a topic that sits close to her heart: The Orchid Project, which is working to eliminate female genital cutting.

orchid-project-image Continue reading

Porthmeor Silk Scarf Competition

Last weekend saw the Simon Clarke Silk Scarf competition : Porthmeor edition judged by a panel consisting of Victoria Sargent, designer at Beckford Silks; Barry Sinton, who ran the shop at Tate St Ives; and Sophie Chadwick, co-founder and print designer at Seasalt at the Porthmeor studios.

Students from the second and third years travelled down to the gallery to exhibit their entries, all worthy contestants, but in the end congratulations go to Megan Jones and Poppy Thaxter, whose scarves will be put into production by Beckford silks.

The exhibition runs until mid May in the Borlase Smart Room, Porthmeor Studios. Do pop  in and check it out.

You can read Sophie Chadwick’s blog about the event here : https://www.seasaltcornwall.co.uk/blog/02/2017/on-the-judging-panel-for-falmouth-university-scarf-competition/

 

 

Three Lands – Three Laces

Irene Griffin is the Senior Technical Instructor for Mixed Media and Natural Dyes. 

In today’s world of mass-produced ‘fast’ fabrics it seems really important to keep connected to historic and traditional textile processes.  To me they are as indicative of a nation’s creative identity as their language, food and architecture. In the last couple of years my knowledge of textiles from other countries has increased, as I’ve been lucky enough to do a bit of travelling.  During my visits I’ve actively sought the cloth, embroidery and anything textile related that represents each place and been pleasantly surprised most times. From iconic Icelandic jumpers in Reykjavik to the florid bejewelled evening gowns I saw in Palermo – one thing became clear – each nation has its own version of ‘ornament’ – a pattern language that speaks through fibre and craft.

One common ‘thread’ I found on my travels was lace. Decorative, time-consuming and costly when hand-made, over time machinery has found a way to replicate the dainty intricacies of this famously feminine fabric trim.

Continue reading

Behind the scenes of a trade fair, Falmouth in Paris.

Hannah Maughan is a Senior Lecturer on BA(Hons) Textile Design.

This September my colleague Simon Clarke and I took a group of 3rd year Textile Design students over to Paris on a 4-day Study Trip. The main purpose of the trip is to visit Premiere Vision, (PV), the international fashion and textiles trade fair which showcases the very latest in fabric, design and colour, and which brings together a vast network of professionals working throughout the industry.

Students get to experience this part of the industry first-hand, gaining a better understanding of how fashion fabrics are designed, manufactured, sourced and supplied within a professional context. The show is vast and inspiring, with thousands of exhibitors and clients visiting daily, but in amongst the crowds we bumped into some familiar Falmouth faces and took the opportunity to catch up with our graduates and their careers. Continue reading

How Vintage Patterns Reflect On the Culture of Fashion Today

Julie Ripley is a Senior Lecturer on BA (Hons) Textile Design.

I love working with vintage patterns, so when I was given this one from Vogue (figure 1) I was fascinated.  And nervous.  Because this kind of pattern presents many creative challenges that indicate big changes in the culture of fashion since they were made.

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Fig. 1 – Vogue Pattern from 1954

If you are eagle-eyed you may have spotted that the design is by Elsa Schiaparelli, the great surrealist couturier. Born in Rome in 1890, Schiaparelli, or ‘Schiap’ as she was known to friends including Salvador Dali, became one of Paris’ leading designers between the wars.  Her quirky tromp l’oeil knitwear, dresses and jewellery (figure 2) delighted celebrity clients including royalty and film stars, allowing her to open her ‘Schiap Shop’ at 21 Place Vendome in Paris in 1931. Unlike her rival Coco Chanel, Schiaparelli left Paris during the Nazi occupation and found the city and its fashion scene transformed when she returned in 1945.  By 1954 she was out of business. Continue reading