If only every day was judgement day… not in the heaven and hell kind of way you might be thinking, but a day when YOU are the judge. Last Friday was stage 3 of the Society of Dyers and Colourists annual showdown, and I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the judges. I LOVE a trip to somewhere new and the SDC had chosen Stroud, near Gloucester to host the South Wales and West England regional heat for the 2017 competition. After a lovely drive on motorway and countryside with a stop at one of the most delightful farm shops (complete with yurt) I have ever been to (see my pictures), I arrived at Stroud and Gloucester College,
A Circular Economy was the brief for 2017. Students had to think about their designs from beginning to end of use and to rethink products we use on a daily basis to prevent waste and promote re use, a very relevant topic as we try to change our habits from throw away to re use and re cycle. Fortunately the judging was a team effort, Dr Savithri Bartlett, Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer, University of Winchester and Jo Neades from Fox Brothers and Co were fantastic co judges and we quickly honed in on our favourite entries. The weighting of the marking was split four ways with Colour being the most important. Having worked with textiles for a number of years I know that there are plenty of colours that look nice together but when you do see unusual combinations or a different weighting of colour, it is truly exciting and it takes a real talent to understand what little tweak it takes to take a design from good to truly fabulous. We had a few entries that really made all of us tingle. But we had to think of the other elements of the competition, the design process from idea to product, presentation and execution… there was a very high standard and, after much deliberation, we chose the design by Becky Knott from Falmouth University to go through to the UK final.Thinking of our throw away society, she had created a gender neutral woven fabric as the start of a children’s clothing revolution, buying quality and handing clothes down through the family whether boys or girls. runners up were Zoe Wenban with her clever flower wrapping and Zoe Woodford with the wonderful reversible rain coat.
Congratulations Becky, your presentation was supberb, we wish you luck as you continue to the UK round of judging.
It was a shame to have to leave Stroud, we had all had such a lovely day and could easily have sidled off to the pub to continue our discussions of colour, sustainability, gender assignment, Brexit and all manner of other subjects – such was the diversity of the entries. Thank you Angela at SDC for a well run and exciting competition.