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As a final year textile design student specialising in multimedia textiles, I am passionate about reviving the art of fan making. I blend traditional craftsmanship with modern techniques to create and celebrate beauty, unveiling unique and timeless artistic expressions.


The inspiration behind this project is the beguiling effect of hidden beauty. The contrast between an outward appearance with an unexpected interior is a concept that has been widely explored by creatives to engage the viewer. This contrast creates an unexpected moment of revelation and adds to the impact of what is unveiled.

My project aims to explore the allure of minerals formed and concealed in the earth and use this to inform the creation of a series of hand-fans. By utilising the veiled structure of hand-fans and playing on the literal act of unfolding them to display their designs, I seek to capture the essence of these natural treasures.

The hand-held fan, once esteemed as both a practical tool and symbol of elegance, is now often regarded as a mundane and redundant accessory. However, I have chosen to explore the art of making hand fans as I have an interest in preserving this heritage craft which is now identified as critically endangered.

I aim to interrogate the perception of the hand-fan – acknowledging its history and exploring the argument as to whether they can be viewed as ‘relevant’ today. Hand-fans reflect a fascinating relationship between art, fashion, symbolism, and societal change. They can be used simply to create a breeze, or to reflect an artisan’s skill, the status of the owner, and as a form of communication (both explicitly as advertising material and covertly through the ‘language of fans’).

My report exploring their popularity from the 17th century to present day found that they have an ability to transcend time. Perhaps in this digital age their capacity to convey meaning without words may be revived. Evidence already comes from drag culture’s references to ‘throwing shade’. The hand-fan, with its delicate folds, ‘leaf’ designs and structure remain a testament to the relationship between tradition and modernity. Materials may change yet it is a practical eco efficient cooling device which conveys hidden beauty and resilience. By producing a collection of hand fans for my Degree Show I aspire not only to adorn but also enlighten and re-energise, offering a tangible and reflective interpretation of the veiled beauty found in the terrestrial realm.

Development Work

Laser cut mother of pearl sequins with french knot embroidery on hand painted silk.
Testing mother of pearl sequin shapes, layered with oxidised copper leaf on hand painted silk.
Oxidised copper leaf embroidered onto hand painted silk.
Coloured pencil drawing of mineral.
Mixed media drawing of a mineral.
Close up abstract drawing of a mineral.

Work Experience and Achievements