Julia Matthew

Master of Surface Pattern and Textiles

About me

Like the Three Princes of Serendip, my MA learning journey endpoint has not been what I expected. It has been serendipitous.

What started as a mission to embrace the use of digital technology in creative processes, has resulted in an unexpected reconnection and reinvigorated engagement with traditional methods such as drawing, painting, printing and collage.

Although I have developed a range of valuable digital technology skills, it is the blending of traditional and digital methods that has really transformed my designs. These have greater depth than either method alone could have afforded me.

I have loved learning how to apply pattern to surfaces for clothing and homewares and like to think of my pieces being used or worn everyday.

I have a successful career in early years education but hope to develop a creative outlet or career, building on what I have learned, well into retirement, when that time eventually comes!

This project has had a profound impact on the way that I work and think about designing. It evidences the benefits of traditional methods and digital technology, in its widest sense. This is because, not only has digital technology influenced creative processes, it also allows products to be created at/from home, wherever that may be. I have been inspired by a wide range of influences such as; the 1950's, a study trip to Lisbon, Toile de Jouy, block printing, nature, collage and folk art. Each of my surface patterns is a synthesis of and celebrates digital and hand made methods.

Lisbon inspired hand painted single sardine, Portuguese tiles and cork fishing floats in watercolour, pen and ink digitally manipulated to create an all over pattern and with roller print backgrounds to create placement prints.

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Lisbon inspired hand painted single sardine in watercolour, pen and ink digitally manipulated to focus on the contours of the painting and positioned to form a placement print.

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Lisbon inspired hand painted sardine in watercolour, pen and ink digitally manipulated to alter size, shape and add effects to create a set of placement prints.

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Hand painted motifs in gouache inspired by John Ruskin, Indian printing blocks and Portuguese tiles, digitally manipulated to create an inverse repeating pattern.

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Hand painted sprig motifs in watercolour digitally manipulated to alter opacity, orientation and size to create depth in a multi layered all over pattern.

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50's Atomic inspired hand drawn lines layered over a digitally created repeat of hand printing and stamping.

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50's Atomic inspired hand painted, drawn and printed motifs digitally layered, manipulated, coloured and resized to create alternative pattern ways.

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Hand painted flower, leaf and berry motifs in gouache, digitally altered in orientation and size to create a ditsy all over pattern.

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Hand painted motifs in gouache selected from the ditsy pattern, digitally manipulated to change the colour and size, and layered to create a busy, bold overall design.

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Hand painted motif print in gouache, digitally enhanced in colours selected from a 1970's cotton jumpsuit, and resized to create a large scale pattern to be viewed as bold shapes.

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Keywords: design, tea towel, tea towels, sardines, portugal, lisbon, wallpaper, floral, john ruskin, ditsy, 50's atomic, mid-century, block print, interiors, ceramics, dresses, upholstery, lampshades, cushions, stationary, fishing, placement print, coats, souvenirs, washing up, MA surface