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A University of Bolton textile design student has won a prestigious national award for her designs based on beautiful Victorian gardens in her home city.
Sarah, who graduated in the summer from the University’s Surface Pattern and Textile Design programme, won the Eco Stories Gold Award.
New graduates from art schools across the country were invited by GREEN GRADS to submit a portfolio with patterns reflecting their environmental concerns and love of the natural world.
Sarah, who is originally from Biddulph in Stoke-On-Trent, based her winning design on a Victorian National Trust treasure called Biddulph Grange Gardens laid out by James Bateman which was a childhood favourite of hers.
She used recycled papers for her artwork printed on linen and re-upholstered charity shop chairs.
Sarah told the judges: “My designs celebrate conservation and highlight the beauty of nature.”
Her winning design was a white-on-blue fine-line illustration of the magnificent house and gardens and stylistic influences were the traditional Willow patterns that originated in China and became a popular creation in the pottery capital of Stoke-On-Trent.
The idea for the Eco Stories competition came from Barbara Chandler, award-winning design editor and founder/curator of GREEN GRADS. The concept was delivered by GREEN GRADS’ textile consultant, and FESPA textile ambassador, Debbie McKeegan, founder/CEO of Texintel.
Debbie said: “Sarah is a talented graduate with a wonderful career ahead of her.
“Her attention to detail marks her out for commercial success. She unmistakably loves nature and has carefully researched the sustainable manufacturing techniques that are vital for our planet’s future.”
Sarah was also successful in another major competition, winning the overall grand prize for IDOTT (Inspiring Designers Of Tomorrow Today) - the ‘2022 Masterpiece Prize’ of 750 Euros.
Recent University of Bolton graduate Abbey Burford won second prize for the section ‘Timeless and Current’.
Donna Claypool, Associate Teaching Professor and Programme Leader of the University of Bolton’s Textile/Surface Design programme, said: “This success demonstrates that our graduates are industry-ready, showcasing beautiful, illustrated designs for wallcoverings, furnishing fabrics, and interior accessories.
“Abbey’s work for the seaweed grotto was printed onto fabrics for showcasing in London using the HP wide format printer on sustainable fabrics.
“Students on the programme also gain skills in applying their concepts towards fashion fabrics, ceramics, gift-wrap and stationery across both commercial design and contemporary craft.”
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