Tales of an intern

For the last two weeks I have had the pleasure of interning with Carole Waller.

It has been very hectic at times, and I have experienced things that no multi-million company could have offered me.

I am Faye Patterson – and I am currently studying my final year for a foundation degree in Fashion and Textiles at Bath Spa University, and I will be applying to a Textiles BA for my 3rd year of design. As my course is a mixed degree we’re constantly moving on to a new area of study, so I have not had as much opportunity to work with textiles. I would still like to pursue a career in it as I find it more exciting than the fashion elements of my course, which is why an internship with a textile designer has been incredibly helpful. Like Carole, I am an artist at heart and so her work on fabrics fascinated me.

 

devore printing

 

Baking the devore to burn out

During the first week I was taught new, invaluable skills. These included work with steam-set dyes, and learning how an abundance of materials can have dye transferred onto them (including Carole’s own beautifully coloured buttons). Being such a newcomer to textiles still, I didn’t realise how much work was needed to produce just a few metres of fabric. As an example, I was taught how to use a technique called Devoré, where mixed fibre fabric is treated so that a design is eaten away to reveal semi-transparent areas. There are several stages to completing this, making it both expensive and labour intensive. I also tried a few new finishing processes such as fringing, a simple skill but one that is useful to learn.

Carole had just received a new set of coats (part of her Winter Collection that was due to be finished that week) as she was working with a women’s association in Gujarat who use the traditional technique of Kantha stitch to quilt fabrics. She wanted to try their work out with a completely different coat shape  – so I was tasked with copying a master pattern in order to send them the new design for manufacture. I also altered one of her shirt patterns to make it more suitable for winter. Internships rarely involve pattern cutting as it can be a difficult task so this was an amazing opportunity.

kantha stitch clothing constructed with offcuts of painted silk

A photoshoot for her Winter collection at  the new hotel, No.15  Great Pulteney, involved working with professionals from various backgrounds, and liaising with hotel staff to ensure we got as much photographed as possible in the little time we had. This also gave us the chance to discuss which photographs would be selected for her press release.

photoshoot with Chris Daw

The most mundane of tasks are vital to the success of Carole’s collection:  I leafletted, washed tables, ironed metres of silk, I ran errands, I worked on pricing new products, designing wrapping paper, and I mopped the floor. Working with someone who runs their own business allowed me to see the completion of the big picture.

Working at her shop, One Two Five Gallery, gave me the chance to discuss garments individually with customers and understand why certain shapes or colours worked well on certain people. It is hard to envision how a garment will look without first considering who the customer is, something that I struggled with as a designer. Carole’s clothes come to life on people because she has developed an affinity to do this, so watching her work on commissioned and stock pieces has been incredibly useful.

in the gallery

Working as any sort of designer incredibly hectic, especially since Carole had so many deadlines whilst I was interning. Just two weeks of working with her has given me skills that will be useful for a lifetime, and I now have a newfound appreciation for textiles

 

Faye Patterson August 26th 2017

Work Experience with one two five gallery

On my first visit to Bath I happened to stumble upon One Two Five gallery and loved the unique style as soon as I walked in. As I am currently studying Decorative Arts at Nottingham Trent University, I have a real passion for Craft and surface pattern design which is why I was so drawn to Carole’s painted garments. After contacting her, she invited me to do some work experience and this is what I’ve been up to…

Day one-
Carole invited me along to one of her workshops where I got to see her studio and some of her amazing work. I got to have a go on the heat press with transfer dyes and Carole showed us a range of samples she had collated which explore the possibilities with the heat press (and there are a lot!). There was a great energy in the studio and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the lovely ladies who were also at the workshop.
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Day Two-
I had the opportunity of visiting a hotel where Carole is currently working on a commission piece, it was truly fascinating seeing the versatility of Carole’s paintings, one day she would be painting a commissioned coat and the next painting panels for an installation piece. Being able to visit the hotel of the commission meant I could visualize the context of the paintings.
However, as I was Carole’s assistant for the week I had the daunting task of helping cut up her beautiful painted fabric into perfectly measured panels… after measuring, measuring and re-measuring with our hearts in our mouths we finally got through the dreaded task.
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Day Three-
We began looking at product development and wrapping organic scented soap and candles in a creative and unique way, we did so by using a strip of Carole’s painted fabric to cover the soap boxes which serve as a dual purpose, once the soap is un-wrapped the fabric can be used as a bookmark; making it a perfect item for gifting. Being part of this process has been enlightening as we’ve explored packaging in an innovative way, as well as showing how Carole’s work can be used in a number of decorative ways.
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Day Four –
During my time with Carole I was working alongside Simone, a student from Italy on an English language course whilst doing work experience with Carole. Together we worked on screen-printing Cotton bags and the bookmarks with Carole’s prints for the soap. We also printed buttons on the heat-press ready to sell in the shop.
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Day Five-
I helped with uploading garments onto the Carole Waller website, this involved navigating around a new website set-up and providing product information such as measurements. At this time Carole was holding a sale in the gallery so we had to synchronise the gallery sale items with the garments online.
Carole arranged a photoshoot outside of the gallery on the abbey green on a beautiful sunny day, she was promoting her new printed t-shirts for her social media. Simone and I tagged along with some of his Italian friends to model the t-shirts on the green.
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The experience with Carole has been really exciting and I’ve gained an insight into what it takes to run a creative business; besides a lot of hard-work and the ability to juggle numerous jobs at once there is also a lot of satisfaction and pleasure that comes with discovering new ideas and work.

Izzy & Simone
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