Frankly, The Folksy Magazine

New Designers 2012 – Top Ten – Numbers 7 and 8

by Emily. Average Reading Time: about 5 minutes.

Laura Jones 3shoes

Overwhelmed by the talent at last weeks New Designers show we have selected our favourite Top Ten to share with you throughout this week.

Today, at number 8 is jewellery maker Georgia Cockerill, who impressed us with the way she uses her work to convey pressing global issues.  And at number 7, we fell in love with textile designer Laura Jones and her delicate range of textile art pieces.

8 – Georgia Cockerill, Jewellery and Metalwork, Dundee University

The work: My work looks at how jewelley and other objects can be used to communicate information and trigger conversations in order to raise awareness of important issues, such as the situation in the Congo.

The history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is characterised by exploitation, turbulence and most recently a conflict fuelled by the mining of natural resources. These recourses include metals commonly used in the production of smart phones, laptops and everyday technologies.

It is reckoned that not a single commercial phone can be guaranteed to be free from conflict minerals. In a world so reliant on mass-produced technology consumers cannot be expected to stop buying these items but to pressure the manufacturers to invest in conflict free suppliers.

With QR codes, linking to online information, subtlety fitted into mass-produced brooches, it is my aim that the items produced will not only raise awareness surrounding the issue in the Congo but ironically allow the viewer instant access to information on conflict metals using the very item that they are mined for.

The process: My pieces have all started out as drawings which I have then laser cut into wood. I then added enamel and various scrap metals to add different colours to my final pieces.

What’s next: In two weeks I will be setting off to spend a year in Malawi where I am aiming to gain some experience in development work. After this I am hoping to return to the UK and look into the potential that craft can have in helping to aid developing communities.

Georgie Cockerill 

7 – Laura Jones, MA Textile Design, Bath Spa University

The work: I produce delicate, emotive textile art pieces for the purpose of gallery installation. I enjoy manipulating fabrics and papers through the use of distressing, ageing, waxing, burning, printing, layering and embellishing. The pieces that I am currently working on are inspired by childhood, in particular the orphaned children of the Foundling Hospital and the Foundling tokens that are on display in the Museum. Their recent exhibition ‘Threads of Feeling’ curated by John Styles, was overwhelmingly touching and the story of the children and their mothers inspired this project.

The textile tokens that were left behind by the mothers are particularly poignant and I felt compelled to create conceptual pieces evoking this deep sense of loss. I have created my own collection of ‘tokens’ including children’s bonnets, collars and shoes made using my own handmade paper, a selection of recycled natural fabrics and wax.

The piece that I exhibited at New Designers 2012 as part of the ‘Work in Progress’ collection at Bath Spa MA Textile Design last weekend was a small collection of waxed, digitally printed handmade paper shoes. There are 100 in total, with the view of creating over a thousand, each one individually representing a foundling.

The practice: I have been inspired and encouraged by an artistic family since early childhood to develop my creativity. I have always desired to create work by hand, developing a vast range of tactile craft pieces. During my time at UWIC studying my art foundation was when my passion for textiles flourished by creating mixed media fabric and paper installation pieces. It was during this time that I fell in love with the notion of assemblage and collections, inspired by the likes of Peter Blake and Joseph Cornell.Throughout my creative practice I have worked with textiles in various ways, continuing to explore exciting textures and creating sculptural textile art. This love for installation translated into my degree work, whilst studying at Aberystwyth Univerity, where I received a 1st Class Hons in BA Fine Art.

The process: My desire to preserve and embed imagery much like in museum archives and the display of specimens compelled me to explore media such as eco resin and wax. I taught myself the process of paper making and especially enjoy the process and being able to manipulate the paper and the ability to create my own pulp. (see Hope Image, Aunt Eva Resin and Mum Resin) I can work mostly from home, where I have about me most of the tools i need, including my paper making equipment, sewing machine and waxing pot.

I enjoy being experimental and playful when it comes to choosing materials with which to work. I have previously experimented with unconventional materials such as icing sugar and confectionary. Exciting results are produced the more I experiment and push various processes. Influential artists whom I admire are Catherine Bertola, Susan Cutts and Linda Florence. Whilst I am still at University I am keen to further explore the use of the laser cutter and the needle punch machine to distress and deconstruct fabrics. I also intend to pursue exploration with the heat press and the various ways in which i can incorporate wax- i.e pouring, painting, dipping and sculpting.  

What’s next: The next few months will be incredibly busy for me, I will be producing a large body of work for the MA Show in September and the completion of my masters. It’s a very exciting time for me, though I also feel sad that my journey at Bath and The University is coming to an end. I hope to run paper making workshops after I graduate and will continue to submit my work for gallery submission. I have several exhibitions lined up for 2012, dates to be confirmed. I currently volunteer at the Holburne Museum in Bath and would very much like to work with curators in setting up collaborative exhibitions. My main goal at present is on completion of the Foundling project I would love the collection to be displayed at the Foundling Museum.

So I’m going to be a busy bee, wish me luck! Can I take this opportunity to thank my main inspiration and support (because I know they’re reading this brimming with pride) -My family. Mum, Dad, Will, Lulu, Rich and Benji. Family Jones and Family Hall.

Laura Jones