Manchester School of Art Surface Pattern Graduate Stephanie Lawton

Stephanie Lawton is a freelance Surface Pattern designer, she gained her textiles education at the Manchester School of Art.

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‘As an aspiring surface pattern designer, I have always been drawn to elaborate detail and intricate patterns, being heavily influenced and inspired by William Morris from a young age. My time spent during GCSE and A Level art was focused on creating detailed hand drawn illustrations, with the idea in mind to pursue a fine art degree, however through experimenting within my Foundation studies, at the Manchester School of Art, I found that I could apply my techniques and develop my love for intricate pattern through textiles, incorporating illustration into a number of different applications to create something with a more direct outcome, and so decided to study Textiles in Practice at the Manchester School of Art.’

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‘To describe my practice I would say that I am an illustrator/designer, creating designs and patterns that can be applied to a number of surfaces; creating detailed surface pattern design for interiors. I am inspired by modern technology and the potential it has in being incorporated into textiles and interior design, and by using processes such as laser cutting and raster engraving, it has opened my eyes to a much more contemporary way of working, my aim being to contrast modern technology with tradition and culture. As well as specialising in laser technology I also work within other areas such as digital and silk screen printing, and applying designs to ceramics enabling me to apply my designs to a number of different interior contexts, from soft furnishings and wall coverings to detail within tiles and flooring. I am keen to create designs that are adaptable to different outputs to widen my audience and potential within a freelance career.’

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‘My most recent collection of work has been inspired by indian and southern asian culture. Being involved in an asian wedding last summer, I was honoured in being asked to design and apply the bride’s henna for the wedding and was completely in awe of the pattern work and detail not only within the henna designs, but also many other aspects of the culture, from the intricate embroidery detailing on garments to the stonework within the jewellery. From this I was able to create my own patterns inspired by these elements, however putting my own modern spin on them through my hand drawn illustrative style, and modernising the collection further by using laser technology to create surface pattern design within hard surfaces as well as creating a screen printed fabric collection.’

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‘Since graduating, I intend to pursue a freelance career, and I’m soon to be moving into my own studio in Stockport as part of the ‘Market Place Studios’ set up through the University. I am currently exhibiting in an illustration exhibition in Macclesfield called ’The real Draw’ amongst other illustrators, and in the coming weeks will be exhibiting at the ‘Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair’, where I will be selling some of my recent collection, as well as advertising my work, on a commission basis. I have already been approached since my degree show to produce a couple of commissions, which I will be focusing on in the coming months and displaying throughout my website.’

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Website | @StephLawtonUK