With SR:D Interiors Showcase applications drawing to a close, we meet Rachel Howarth, Surface Pattern and Textile Designer who produces eye-catching printed textiles for the interior market. What is your biggest takeaway from exhibiting at New Designers?
New Designers was a fantastic stepping stone between a graduate show and a large trade show. You get a huge amount of support in the run up to the show from the New Designers team, with all aspects from display, marketing to pricing. The one thing I took away was the importance of planning and preparation. It makes it so much easier when you get there as the set up can be quite hectic. Now I have been a part of One Year On, I feel much more prepared for an large scale industry trade show.
Since winning the ‘One Year On New Designers’ prize, what have you been working on?
Since One Year On, I have been focusing my time on future showcases, initial stockists and clients. As I am very early on in my business, part of the One Year On prize offered business support and showcasing. I am delighted to be able to work with the Design Trust and Design Nation to help get my business off the ground. As of this weekend, I have now launched my first ‘Online Shop’ at www.rachelhowarth.co.uk which is a very exciting step in the business.
Next weekend, I am looking forward to showcasing my work at a local design show in Aberdeen called the Scottish Home Show. (23rd-25th September, AECC) I am also delighted to have a showcase exhibition at the National Centre for Craft and Design in the New Year with thanks to Design Nation so hope to develop a larger range of aluminium artworks and installations over the coming months.
What inspires you the most?
Colour. My original graduate collection was inspired by modern and geometric architecture, but in particular the colour reflected within the structures. With colour being at the forefront of the collection, I explored the possibilities within dyeing and screen printing to achieve vibrant but smooth colour gradients in the fabrics. Getting the vibrancy of the blue to come out as I wanted took a great deal of testing, but I loved pushing the boundaries to achieve the outcome I was looking for.
What is your favourite thing about living in Scotland?
As I have lived here all my life, I think I now realise that we are so spoiled by our way of life and the landscape. I love exploring and seeing new places, even if it is very rainy! More recently, as I begin to market my work, I also found there is a great community spirit that supports new designers and their development. I love to meet other emerging local designers as there can be opportunities to collaborate and work together to get our work out there.
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