Current BA (Hons) Textile Design student Fiona Burrell chats to us about the exciting opportunities the University offers, advice she would give to anyone interested in studying the course and where she sees herself in the future...

What do you specialise in and what are you working on at the moment?

I love being hands on in the print room, a lot of my work is screen printed - I would live in the print room if I could! I have just begun my final year and my focus for this module is going to be on colour, particularly investigating how we see and feel colour. I am inspired by nature and I tend to focus on the small details such as textures and marks found within it, which often makes my work very abstract.

Tell us about any live briefs or competitions you have worked on.

Last semester I had the opportunity to work on a live brief for Asda, this brief looked at developing an existing collection and taking it forward into Spring/Summer ‘21. It was a great experience to work on a live brief as it pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me focus on what the client wants rather than what I want to do which is great practice for working in industry. 

Image: Courtesy of Fiona Burrell for Society of Dyers and Colourists brief.

On the back of one of my modules last year I was nominated to enter a competition which was run by the Society of Dyers and Colourists . The regional heats have been postponed at the moment due to Covid-19 but hopefully the competition should be back up and running soon. 

How does the University support you?

The tutors on my course are all really approachable and will always make time for you. The staff work in industry too so they're able to not only offer teaching support but also information about how things work in the industry. The print room team are also fantastic, they're always happy to offer advice and talk through any of the processes if I'm stuck or need help with something. 

Image: Courtesy of Fiona Burrell for ASDA live brief.

What advice would you give to someone considering studying BA (Hons) Textile Design at University?

Go for it! It's a great course, it's hard work but you get what you put in. It's a really varied degree and there's opportunity to specialise in so many different areas - Print Room, Digital Print Workshop, 3D Workshops - you decide what you want your practice to be.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I'd love to be doing some form of hands on printmaking as it has been such an integral part of my practice so far. I would also like to work as a designer for a company as I've really enjoyed the live briefs we've worked on. In an ideal world I'd love to be able to do both of these things alongside each other. 

Header image: Courtesy of Fiona Burrell