DMU's artist-in-residency helps grads shine at contemporary craft show


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Four Design Crafts graduates from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have been selected to showcase their work at Lustre 2019, an annual high-quality contemporary craft market in Nottingham.

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Image: Georgina White

Work is chosen for excellence and innovation across many forms and materials, including metal, jewellery, ceramics, glass, wood and textiles.

Georgina White, who graduated in July, has been selected for the Young Meteors section, which features the best up-and-coming graduates from around the UK. The colour and form of her glass vessels are inspired by car lights.

She will be exhibiting alongside three fellow graduates – glass artist Angie Packer, ceramic artist Holly Burton, and Sarah Jane Charlton with her laser cut pieces.

All four graduates have benefited from the Artist in Residence programme at DMU, where students are provided with a year’s worth of access to DMU’s workshops and academic and technical support after finishing their studies.

Georgina described the residency as being the perfect opportunity to grow her ideas in a creative environment.

“Being accepted onto the scheme has given me the freedom to continue making and developing my work, allowing me to confidently approach new opportunities as they come,” she said.

“Lustre is a huge opportunity – it is a great platform for my early steps into my career. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to gain this invaluable experience.”

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Image: Holly Burton

Holly made the most of the workshop access to refine her work during her time as an Artist in Residence, and successfully launched her new products in London this year at New Designers One Year In.

“The workshop facilities were one of the main reasons why I chose to study at DMU,” she said. “They have been second to none. The plaster and ceramic department, with the lathes and kilns, was essential to my making process.”

Her collection Curious Chic, which she describes as ‘functional homewares with decorative marking’, grew out of her final project. It is inspired by the heritage of ceramic techniques, such as Wedgwood Jasperware.

“Iridescence is something my eye has always been drawn to, so I enjoy creating objects that have contrasting textures – such as the shiny golden handles on my unglazed polished teacups,” she said.

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Image: Sarah Jane Charlton 

For Sarah, access to the equipment at DMU has been integral to her work, enabling her to combine digital technologies and traditional handmade techniques to create her ‘decorative and functional’ laser cut products.

She said: “To have access to all the workshops meant I was able to experiment with a huge range of processes – everything from laser cutting to acid etching, stitch, electroforming and 3D printing.”

Learning how to commercialise her work during the Artist in Residence programme, Sarah created her first homeware collection which has ultimately led to her setting up her own creative business Spiro Studios.

She also took advantage of The Crucible, DMU’s scheme to help entrepreneurial graduates turn their ideas into a business.

“Knowing that a few of us required a laser machine to get our businesses going, DMU purchased a laser machine for our office space. I also won business funding through DMU to buy some of my own equipment,” Sarah said.

The support has enabled her to continue working with her passion, taking her pieces to craft fairs, design shows and galleries around the UK. “I'm very excited to be exhibiting at Lustre!” she said.

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Image: Angie Packer

Lustre is open to the public from Saturday 9 to Sunday 10 November at Lakeside Arts, Nottingham.

Posted on Friday 8th November 2019

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