Student Spotlight: Katherine Lovett

Katherine Lovett is a current student on our Textiles Foundation course. Read her story here.

Katherine Lovett Textiles Foundation

“I found out about Morley College when I attended some of the end-of-year shows here. I thought the quality of the work was great and really exciting, so I enrolled on some evening Textiles courses here about ten years ago. I decided to enrol on Textiles Foundation because I was on maternity leave and I thought it would be a great opportunity to do something creative for myself.

“I was interested in Textiles because I like the idea of being able to make pieces of art that are wearable or useful in everyday life, but which are also really beautiful and skilful, and that’s what you learn on this course. I’ve really enjoyed learning how to machine knit to produce garments or more abstract pieces of art, and right now I’m working on making a series of devoré prints, which is a technique where fabric is selectively burned away to create contrast.

“On the course we were asked to visit different museums and produce pieces of work revolving around a collection that we found inspiring. My project is inspired by my great-great-grandfather, who was a Victorian collector and author. He has a collection of taxidermy birds, which is currently on display at the Horniman Museum, so I made some drawings based on some of the birds and turned them into devoré prints. I really like the contrast – between the softness of the knits and the devoré, and the sharpness of the beaks and the slightly demented look of the taxidermy.

Devoré print by Katherine Lovett

“My great-great-grandfather also wrote a book about the superstitions of modern London, and interviewed several working-class Victorians about their talismans and objects of comfort, so I’ve been inspired by that too. I produced a series of soft, tactile machine knits, then dipped them into plaster or oil-based paints and let them drip, so it produces contrast. Then I photographed the knits, transferred them to a screen, printed them and dyed them different colours. It’s a project that covers a lot of techniques that I’ve learnt on this course – knitting, dyeing, printing.

“I’ve really enjoyed studying at Morley, and I think this course has been brilliant because you learn an incredible number of techniques in a very short amount of time. We’re encouraged to be creative and experiment with techniques, but skilful at the same time. The final outcome isn’t the most important thing here, it’s more about being creative with the process, and if you want to develop your skills as an artist or craftsperson, that’s the best grounding you can have as that’s how you work in the real world.”

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