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DMU's finest talent chosen for influential industry show

It’s one of the most important design events for emerging talent and graduates from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have been chosen to showcase their unique work at New Designers.

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Alice's ceramics incorporate snippets of handwritten recipes

Design Crafts graduates and Artists in Residence at DMU Alice Funge and Angie Packer will be displaying their creations as part of the exclusive One Year On platform at in June.

They will receive pre-show mentorship comprising business advice and guidance, as well as exposure to approximately 15,000 visitors, including potential employers, buyers and press. 

Last year, DMU scooped the coveted Best Stand Award and designer maker Alice, who specialises in ceramic bakeware, won the New Designers National Trust Artisan & Craft Associate Prize Opportunity.

She was commissioned to create a four-piece product range (144 items in total) exclusively for the National Trust Artisan & Craft Collection. The range is based on her distinctive thrown ceramics, which incorporate snippets of her grandmother’s handwritten recipes.

The 22-year-old from Warwickshire praises DMU’s Artist in Residence scheme, which offers successful graduates free access to facilities for one year, allowing them to develop their craft. 

“Thankfully, my DMU residency has given me the space and facilities I need to fulfil the National Trust order. The fact that I haven’t had to worry about the financial side of things has been great,” she said. 

“It’s amazing to be going back to New Designers, I really enjoyed it last time. I’m working on some new shapes and colours, so I’m hoping for more success and more orders.”

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Metalwork is used to create the distinctive shape of Angie's glass decanters

As a result of winning the Sainsbury’s Emerging Designer award during DMU’s Degree Show last year, Alice also had the chance to showcase her work on the Sainsbury’s Home stand at New Designers 2017, leading to a feature in ClayCraft magazine. 

Angie will be exhibiting her conceptual glass pieces, inspired by visits to Venice and her first love, metalwork.

“I never expected to be a glass artist, I went into it to explore the material,” said the 52-year-old wife and mother from Leicestershire.

“My decanters came about because I made a piece of metalwork inspired by my trips to Venice and I wanted to enhance it with glass accents. The metalwork fell away from the hot glass, leaving behind the most interesting shape.” 

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To this day, Angie still uses a piece of her metalwork to create the distinctive shape seen at the bottom of her decanters.

Angie’s inspiring journey started six years ago with DMU’s Art and Design (Foundation Studies), during which she was diagnosed with dyslexia. Throughout the foundation course and her degree she received support to help her with her studies.

“I can’t praise the courses highly enough. It was a real turning point and helped me understand myself so much better,” she said.

“Being chosen for New Designers One Year On feels fantastic and I’m excited to exhibit pieces that I am incredibly proud of”.

Angie’s work has earned her a Highly Commended award in the Contemporary Glass Society 2017 Glass Prize, and at DMU’s Degree Show she won an Outstanding Achievement award and received third place for her final-year essay.

She has also been selected to exhibit at The Contemporary Craft Festival in Devon this June and will be attending the Glass Art Society Conference in Murano, Italy in May.

Posted on Friday 2nd March 2018

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