Posted on Tue, April 5th, 2022
PhD By Design Research Statement: My research is inspired by the creative possibilities of metallising textile substrates in novel ways rather than through conventional methods such as gold-work embroidery. Design by both nature and nurture; in effect ‘growing’ bespoke embellishment enhanced to standards of technical virtuosity expected by ateliers and couture houses. Earlier materials research led to a number of questions on how to combine metal with textiles.
A journey of collaboration then began with industry and creative investigation into the historic ‘dark arts’ of electro-chemistry. It is in the overlap between disciplines, technology and tradition that my work is therefore located. My PhD and research projects within the Fashion and Textiles Research Group (De Montfort University) investigate fabrication and decoration technologies.
My research is primarily from a textiles and artisan’s perspective but underpinned by working in a laboratory environment with adaptation and design of tools and equipment to test out creative and technical hypotheses. The manufacture of unique metallic surface treatments, colour, shading, iridescence and patina has incorporated traditional and new technology. This has meant that experimental research has also taken place in more customary textile workshop settings.
I have devised techniques to control and metallise to create surface effects, which change the physical properties and aesthetics of textiles whilst still being flexible. The main intention to achieve permanent, decorative deposition with selective replication of textures, shapes, pattern and image enriched by bi-metallic layering of base and precious metals. There is considerable interest in electro-forming of textiles and the range of surface modifications it presents (in addition to its conductive and anti-microbial properties) with further projects in materials innovation planned.