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I am a multi-media textiles student with a love for slow-textiles, materials and natural dyeing.

The Reward of Labour

Growing up in North Staffordshire, I have always been surrounded with derelict snippets of industrial past, from the pottery industry in Stoke-on-Trent, and the silk and dye industry in Leek. Both industries now a shadow of what they once were. These booming industries once employed vast amounts of the local population for generations, masters of their craft, creating delicate pottery and silks. The impact of industrialisation brought significant changes, swapping hands for fast-paced machines for significantly cheaper goods and manufactured at a quicker pace. As a result, the majority of factories closed, and workers jobs were lost along with their craftsmanship.

The Reward of Labour is a high-end fashion collection, taking inspiration from workwear from workers in North Staffordshire. Focusing on local craftsmanship, slow, place-based textiles has been a key focus of this project utilising hand-made processes.

Screen printed silk, jacquard card, screen printed workwear jacket, hand embroidery william morris

The collections spans from very light weight to very heavy, exploring ceramic, silks and workwear materials to tell the story of Staffordshire’s delicate craftsmanship and industrial history. Lines have been used throughout as a nod to striped workwear.

Named after William Morris’ political pamphlet ‘The Reward of Labour’, I have pushed to show the craftsmanship is important for a persons purpose and fulfillment, and how it is important to take time, enjoy and create rather than churn out products at a rapid speed. This collection aims to be thought provoking, sharing the history of craftsmanship in North Staffordshire and why it is important to engage in and sustain craftsmanship, in particular exposure to a younger generation who may not have experienced a slower production line before.

Journey to the Show

Hand gathered natural dyed silk habotai
Hand gathered natural dyed silk habotai
Screen printed organic denim
Screen printed organic denim
gathered natural dyed silk and cotton scrim
Hand-gathered madder dyed silk dipped in iron with cotton scrim
screen printing process on vintage workwear jacket
Screen printing process on vintage workwear jacket
patchwork with antique workwear fabrics
Patchwork with antique workwear fabrics
bundle dyed chiffon silk dress with ceramic oil drops
Bundle dyed chiffon silk with ceramic oil drops

Dyeing Process

Inspired by the silk and natural dye industry in Leek, Staffordshire, I have grown my own dye plants at home and used traditional dye stuffs used in the dye-works to emphasise the importance of locality and the skill involved in natural dyeing. This approach highlights the importance of locality and the skill involved in natural dyeing. By providing traceability and a storyline behind each garment, consumers can form a deeper attachment to the item, making it less likely to be seen as disposable.

natural dyeing process
home grown dye plants
dye plants in pan
natural dye process
My dyeing process (Switch quality of video to high quality)

Semester 1: The Final Firing

Conceptual fashion collection exploring the loss of the pottery industry in Stoke-on-Trent and the economic impact this had on the local area.

workwear apron distressed
Hand stitched checks on pleated vintage heavy calico
porcelain clay apron
Porcelain beads with steel wire on vintage hemp-linen
rust dyed fabric.smoke fired clay pockets
Rust dyed vintage calico with smoke fired ceramic pockets and ceramic buttons
digital print. obvara fired ceramic beads
Digital print with obvara fired ceramic beads and embroidery thread
laser etched reclaimed leather weave
Laser etched reclaimed leather weave
patchwork with natural dyed fabrics and vintage fabrics
Patchwork with reclaimed fabrics dyed with plants from along the river Trent and other vintage fabrics
final visualisations of workwear collection
Visualisations of collection

Work Experience

Wilde Studio Internship (6 months)

Natural dyeing and screen printing garments for commissions. Prepping and sewing fabrics for natural dyeing.

Freelance Workshop Facilitator/Textile Artist

Running different textiles related free workshops for the Stoke-on-Trent community. Workshops include; basic sewing skills and visible mending promoting people to mend their clothes instead of throwing away, rust dyeing and hapazome. I have also been commissioned by B Arts to produce a costume for a play made from work made in workshops.

B Arts New Producer Programme (6 months)

A programme designed to develop skills and experience in creating events in the arts. Included working in a team to plan, make props and facilitate free workshops and events for the Stoke-on-Trent community.