Flying the nest…

Here are some of my recent paper designs created during my time through the Crafts Bursary in conjunction with Creative Scotland and DJCAD.

Louise Kirby 8

Louise Kirby 4

Louise Kirby 6

Reluctantly I’ve cleared and moved out of my space in ‘the room’ in the textile department.  I’ve finished my time there and have taken my wings to fly to pastures new. I’ve found the experience so valuable to take time to consider my crafts practice, looking at all the strands I have with workshops, making products, designing surface pattern.  I’m going to reposition myself to being a surface pattern designer who creates patterns and illustrations for all surfaces from stationery, fashion, furnishings, ceramics and architecture…

During my time I had a chance to try new things, learn new skills, reconsider my business model, have mentor support and meet lots of other creative people, such a great vibe at DJCAD.  I highly recommend the opportunity.

My digital revolution…

I’m doing some up-skilling on photoshop and illustrator from Andy Rice from Not Just Design.  I’ve always stayed away from the computer in the past; but now realise that it can enhance my work and I can retain all the hand qualities, painterly marks, randomness of my patterns and the happy accidents  – all the things I love doing!  I’ve a lot to learn but quite enjoying playing with the aspect ratio, testing out colour ideas in seconds rather than painting up and waiting till for hours for it to dry before I can work with.  Last session is on Wednesday, then I’m going to practice, practice, practice…………

Here’s an image taken from my hand drawings; then overlayed with my hand created watercolour backgrounds and married together in photoshop.

Louise Kirby 10

A world with colour!

Colour Palette

In Louise Kirby world it’s all about colour, markmaking and patterns.  This week I’m concentrating on colour; and trying to find the best combination for my new designs to create the right mood and capture a sense of Scotland.

I love mixing colours, I could do it all day; you can always finding new combinations.

Imagine the world with no colour, it would be pretty bleak!

Open day…

Running through the marks by Louise Kirby

What a successful open day!  DJCAD staff visited my studio and made really valuable comments; and fed back on my progress and work to date.  I was visited by Mike Press, Sandra Wilson, Frances Stephenson, Christine Kingsley, Louise Valentine, Janice Aitken, Sean Kingsley, Jeanette Paul, Jane Keith and PHD student Lesley McKee.

My main aim is to change my business model from being a hand printed scarf designer to a surface pattern designer who works to commission and collaborates on surface patterns for a wide range of products from architecture, packaging, ceramics, fashion, furnishings, stationery…….  I was looking at the key steps to re-brand myself and the changes I need to make with my visual signature to final resolved designs.  It’s a very exciting time and also very intense with all that I want to achieve!

Work in Progress

crafts bursary open day at DJCAD

crafts bursary work in progress

camouflage creatures







Craft Bursary work in Progress – funded by Creative Scotland

Open day at DJCAD for University of Dundee staff to make comment on my aesthetic of my visual signature and where I am aiming to go with my business.

The ‘craft bursary’ is about taking risks and pushing boundaries and I feel this opportunity to get feedback on my work from another perspective I hope will help achieve this.

My fellow ‘Craft Bursary’ awardee, Ceramicist Fiona Thompson is also showcasing her work in progress.




challengeAs part of the Crafts Bursary we are encouraged to take risks to push our practice.  On Thursday 17th Feb, myself Louise Kirby (surface pattern designer), Gilly Langton (jewellery) and Fiona Thompson (ceramicist) were briefed from Prof Georgina Follett and Dr Louise Valentine in the board room at DJCAD.  We had till 9pm to come up with a product in collaboration with each other using our specialist skills.  From this experience it taught us that we have strong creative skills as well as the other roles we work well in. Louise Kirby (designer, project manager and positive encourager), Gilly Langton (designer, summariser, marketing and pitcher), Fiona Thomson (artist and thinker).  I throughly enjoyed being part of a collaboration and work well with others in an enthusiastic, positive manner and see this as one of the ways forward for my business.

Not in a straight line

mood board

As a designer I never seem to go in a straight line, my thinking and ideas sparking off all over the place going off in tangents.  I’ve been doing some sampling with different materials and surfaces.  Today was pulling it all together to create a coherent story.  Always great to have my mentoring session, they are so valuable! After my session with Josie I created mood boards to bring everything together.