Katie Edwards is a printed textile designer and recent graduate from the Manchester School of Art.
In May 2015, Katie won the first ever Patternmash Pinata competition, with her subtly illustrated prints for the Ancient Mariner theme.
To view Katie’s Designer Profile and complete Patternmash submissions, click here.
Your graduate collection was inspired by English historical estates and heritage gardens. What is it that draws you to this starting point?
Historical patterns have always influenced my design work. I am attracted to the idea of stately luxury that shows through in their style. I am mostly drawn to 18th century and neo-classical textiles, specifically traditional florals or the worn and distressed look of the pattern on fabric you find in historical estates. I’ve always enjoyed re-interpreting the traditional feel within historical design, and feeding this into my own contemporary print designs.
Your designs are perhaps best known by their moody florals and inky textures. What are your favourite go-to textile approaches?
I love to experiment with mixed-media approaches at the start of my design process and I enjoy the unexpected occurrences that happen when working with wet, inky media. I tend to combine and test layers of line drawings and sketches and mix them with my own inky textures, which always creates more possibilities within my design work compared to using flat design elements.
I always enjoy experimenting on paper first and then translating these explorations into digital print designs by scanning and manipulating the original artwork. I then print out the digital designs and develop them further by hand, before creating a final repeat print design using digital methods.
You have just completed three years of study at the Manchester School of Art. What do you think will be the most important thing you will take from the experience?
I feel I am taking away a complete set of vital skills needed to succeed as a Printed Textile Designer. From drawing classes in my first year where I learned different techniques and approaches for gathering primary research, to digital and screen printing workshops more recently. They have all contributed to my progression in the final year of the course. I have had the opportunity to develop and refine specific skills needed for my own creative practice. Learning these skills has helped me to develop my creative practice within my own specialism and it’s been important to prepare me for life as a designer.
As a surface designer focusing on an interiors context, what specific interior brands or designers heavily influence you? What would be the dream label for you to sell your designs under?
One of my main interior design influences is the Glasgow based company Timorous Beasties. Their experimental approach and diverse range of product surfaces heavily influences my ambitions within interiors.
Another inspirational designer is Tracy Kendall whose designs are just so inventive! Her range includes 3D folded wallpaper.
Nikki Strange’s prints are so bright and energetic, I love how her hand drawn experiments can be traced through to the final digital designs.
The luxurious surfaces designed by Fromental are beautifully inspiring. I think I’m drawn to their style and the fact that we share starting points behind our design collections, specifically a traditional floral approach.
You have been involved with Patternmash for many months now, most recently winning the Patternmash Pinata competition with your designs for Ancient Mariner. What has been your favourite Patternmash Project and why?
There have been so many exciting Patternmash themes during my involvement with the project. My favourite has to be Flora Gigantes. I had so much fun challenging ideas surrounding this theme and was most pleased with my design outcomes for it. Flora Gigantes also had such a bright colour palette, and I am reminded of summer every time I see those designs.
The feedback I received on these prints was really helpful and I find that every project from Patternmash keeps challenging and developing my design skills. The broad inspiration from the Patternmash moodboards and the work of other designers involved is so motivating, I always look forward to the next month’s brief.
Having just returned from exhibiting your graduate collection at the prestigious New Designers show in London, what are your future goals for your career as a designer?
Showing my graduate collection at New Designers has been a very rewarding experience, there was so much inspiring talent. As a young professional I aim to gain experience from a working environment within Printed Textiles but try to carry on my own personal design work alongside this. Other future goals include developing more design collections to sell on a freelance basis and become more established as a designer.