I’m [Charlotte Liddle] so excited to be leading a new creative area on this year’s TICE Programme, Textiles and Surface Design! We kicked off with our first insight session with the school who is piloting our new creative area, Churchill Community College. Here’s what we got up to…

A class of 25 students joined me to learn about the joys of colour, pattern and texture and the exciting world that is all things textiles. The session started with an introduction into the interior textile industry and the students learnt about the diversity of job roles from woven textile designers, embroiders to digital print technicians, merchandisers, stylists and everything in between.

We talked about different areas of the creative process such as research and trends, designs and testing, manufacture, retail and promotion. The students then got stuck right in and started working their own creative process with a goal of producing a handmade cushion for a specific target customer by the end of the day (just a small challenge, I know!) They certainly rose to the challenge and in teams selected a trend board to use as inspiration then created a body of artwork based around that theme using a wide range of media. The students were really keen to get hands-on and enjoyed trying new techniques and materials to create individual design ideas with a view to them being re-created onto the front of the cushion.

A huge focus for the day was on teamwork and selecting the best design for the job. In small teams, they chatted and deliberated and chose their final design (or a combination of designs- which was even better!) Then they got down to the nitty gritty and started to work their design onto fabric. An hour later the results were amazing! All that was left was the small task of sewing it into a cushion so I got the sewing machine out and some of the students were brave enough to have a go and I think they were pretty impressed by the results.

When all the cushions were made the students had time to create some initial design ideas for a range of bedding to link into their cushion. They also started to brainstorm and draw up some innovative ways that the bedding range could be displayed and promoted within a shop or as a window display.

All in all, it was a busy, exciting and experimental day that saw the students work through the creative process, learn lots of new skills and techniques and come out with some amazing finished products! I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did!