Thinking of exhibiting next year? Wondering how this year’s winners began their creative process & took the Business Design Centre by storm?

This Blog post will give you the inside scoop to our winner’s design processes – from entirely the power of an artist’s hand, to seaslugs! Find out what inspires our designers, we asked this years Ones To Watch two very important questions…..


New Designer of the Year, Lauren Henry, Falmouth University, Textile Design

‘See No Evil’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? I wanted to blend historical aesthetic with a contemporary narrative and tie it up in a colourful, punchy package.

What’s your creative process? At the beginning it starts with thinking about what I want to say. Something contemporary or a narrative. I find ways to translate this into drawings first and create hand generated art work using gouache, water-colour and pencil. I then take these images into the computer and digitally render some parts or completely re-do them in Photoshop to get the cleanliness that I get from CAD. I put together my collection one piece at a time and try to work out how to have a sequential narrative going on through the whole collection.

New Designer of the Year Runner Up, William Romeril, UCAR, Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Jewellery

‘An over elaborate solution to a blunt pencil’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? I am inspired by Heath Robinson and his solutions to everyday problems.

What’s your creative process? I looked back at everyday actions and motions and I expanded that using cogs and gears to create a pencil sharpener that was completely and absurdly over-engineered, but still only able to sharpen a pencil. My work is a statement about the over complications of modern day life and the fact that so much in the world is over engineerd and over built – too fit for purpose and too perfect. The whole of point of it was to make a really long-winded satirical look at usefulness and the design is meant to make people laugh.

Hallmark Studio, William Sharp, Glasgow School of Art, Silversmithing and Jewellery BA Hons

‘The Montieren Collection’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? Inspired by the Bauhaus and German product designer Dieter Rams. I have applied Rams’ 10 principles to my work to see how it works in a jewellery context. I wanted my work to fit with the environment it was in, for example, different parts of the body. This is a body of work built on modular systems.

What’s your creative process? I design on CAD to begin with, creating sketchbooks built up from screen shots. I then sample using plastics, but without using the colour palette at this stage, just focusing on forms. I come up with form before deciding how it can be used and then adapt it accordingly.


John Lewis Award for Design and Innovation, Gabriel Dolan, Duncan of Jordanstone, Textiles Design

‘Framing Space’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? Small scale architecture for example, building sites and the materials they use, as well as people designing for interior architecture like Kvardat. I am also inspired by lots of abstract expressionist paintings, Rothko and Sean Scully.

What’s your creative process? I start with photography capturing negative and positive shapes that occur and shadows. My work is always based around colour, composition and texture. I then experiment with drawing and collage, before beginning the fabric painting itself.


Goldsmiths Company Jewellery Award, Eleanor Whitworth, Glasgow School of Art, Silversmithing and Jewellery design

‘Collection ‘Together Living’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? A lot of the forms started as cube shapes and evolved from there. It was a balance between control and chaos. Looking at scientific packaging in herbivorous is where lots of shapes and framework came from. I explored museums and scientific storage of specimens.

What’s your creative process? For this project, heavy research. I went to a few herbariums and botanical gardens, always collecting objects. I would then explore what I had picked up, sometimes textures, sometimes how they work together. Then I would create collections with metals and see how they work well together. Lots of drawing as well!


Goldsmiths Company Silversmithing Award, Harriet Jenkins, Glasgow School of Art, Jewellery Design and Silversmiting

‘Momento Vivere’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? I used to work as a baker. I am inspired by that experience and the connection that I see through the sharing of food and the connection between people when they share food. My work is a celebration of dining together and the moments we share when we share food. The collection comprises 21 pieces. All tableware but with an inconspicuous function. I don’t want their function to be totally obvious and I want people to pick them up and discuss what their story is.

What’s your creative process? I use the process of casting. Some are cast directly into silver, but for some of them I make a silicone mould and use a process called lost wax casting. Also a developed process of electroforming, which allows the same scale but less weight than a cast object – much lighter.

Sainsburys Argos, Rachel Thackeray, Colchester School of Art and Design, Fashion & Textiles

‘Just Nice’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? When I went on holiday to Nice I took a series of photographs and produced drawings. This then inspired a collection of souvenir scarves. Each piece in my collection has a reference to my holiday for example, my hotel balcony, Matisse museum and the flower market. The works are digitally printed onto 100% silk and there are four different scarves in the collection.

What’s your creative process? I use water colour painting, illustrations, photography and mixed media. Photoshop acts as a giant collage machine.



Kingsfisher Design Talent Award, Chloe Victoria Andrews, Loughborough, Textiles, Innovation and Design

‘Swedish Escape’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? Swedish landscape, Jim Thompson and his prints.

What’s your creative process? Screen printing with multiple layers and colours to get depth into the prints. Working in repeat pattern with digital prints to create a story to the design. This begins from my own photography – I find patterns within natural forms and use my own creative colour palette to bring life to my prints.


W’innovate and Wilko Surface Pattern and Print Award, Brooke Wakeman, Arts University, Bournemouth, Textiles

‘A Clouded View’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? A lot inspires me. I normally use natural forms as a starting point and develop them into geometric designs. I like to go out and about and explore! Visiting exhibitions is so fundamental to me, and research into other designers is important too. For this project, Annie Albers and Lucienne Day provided inspiration. I’m drawn to the bold simplicity and use of colour in their designs.

What’s your creative process? The making process is really important to me. I like experimenting in the dye lab with different processes and seeing what unexpected results have come from that.




Romo Award, Aimee Coulshed, DJCAD, Textile Design


What’s the inspiration behind your work? The ‘overview effect’ and astronauts, individuals who use pattern to inspire mindfulness.

What’s your creative process? It comes from photography of the Highlands. I use the colours from my photos for inspiration for painting and patchwork them back into the designs which are hand printed.



Harlequin, Amber Sorayapour, Bath University, Textiles for Fashion and Interiors


What’s the inspiration behind your work? I grew up surrounded by sea life on the Isle of White. My work mixes botanical with contemporary painting styles. When I started art at GCSE, I wanted to do a project about sea slugs but my teachers wouldn’t let me, they wanted me to do something observational. I wanted to end my art education with something I started with, so chose to focus on seaslugs for my final year work.

What’s your creative process? I begin by photographing the topic I’m looking at, or I look at old illustration books for inspiration. I then start painting from there. A lot of my colours are in my head.  After I’ve drawn everything, I bring it together, choose what I want, scan and then make it into a piece.


One Year In Development Award, Zara Schofield

What’s the inspiration behind your work? My work represents my journey, my experiences and what I have learnt up to now. They are the now! Every object I make holds a close memory for me because I am inspired by my travels.

What’s your creative process?
It’s all to do with the artist’s hand: objects have my touch. Everything is made by hand, not a machine. Even the boxes I use are handmade by book binders in Islington.



Epson Textiles Visionary Award, Molly-Mae Brissett-Haigh, Edinburgh College of Art, Textiles

‘Blessing in Disguise’

What’s the inspiration behind your work? Based on the idiom ‘blessing in the skies’, which I brought to life using manipulation and pleating techniques in my work. I started by researching the history of the phrase, which I found was first published in the 18th century in a poem by James Hervey. I used this as a starting point for the rest of my research, which included looking at the Dutch Masters and the French draughtsman, Jean-Jacques Lequeu.

What’s your creative process? All my techniques start with me making twirls from paper or fabric. I then do lots of visual research, plotting on paper, note-taking, plotting onto photoshop and then manipulating my work to make something 3D. Visual research, lots of note taking, photoshop plotting then into 3D.


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