Friday, 15 June 2012

Article by Russell Hughes

So a young journalist wrote an article about me recently and I'd like to share it with you guys!

Every generation produces driven, creative and ambitious children. Every generation watches these people grow up, put down the scissors, get degrees and go off into the bad big world. Every generation has parents that wishes their children would spend three years doing a ‘proper’ degree like chemistry or economics.

Kayleigh Falcus in one of these creative people. The diminutive (in size, not attitude) red head has big plans: “I plan to specialise in modern and cutting edge textiles jewellery accessories, before expanding into women’s and men’s fashion.” From high school she has been building herself up to succeed, gaining a BTEC in art. From there she went to Newcastle college to study a National Diploma Textiles course, gaining a triple distinction, which is the highest grade on offer. After which came the FdA in Textiles and Surface design, completing only one year at Newcastle, Kayleigh showed the determination to succeed which will hold her in good stead, transferred to Cleveland College of Art and Design to complete her second year because: “I felt that Cleveland had a lot of cutting edge technology and printing and dying facilities. I wanted to reach my maximum potential in design and to push my boundaries. The market is majorly competitive so being ‘design aware’ and having support from tutors is important to me. The course has links to industry which for me is a big part of the industry. I cannot fault the course and is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my education.”

Not content just to have a row of certificates lining her wall saying what she, in theory, can do, Kayleigh has also worked on a number of impressive projects. She collaborated with photographer Julian Germain in 2008, as part of ‘The Running Line’ project , she was also part of the Baltic teen panel called ‘Blah Blah Blah’ in 2007, which was designed to engage the youth of Tyneside in art. Most impressive of all is the fact that she has had work selected for the ‘Home&Gift’ show in Harrogate this year. Home&Gift is a prestigious trade fare where buyers from companies like John Lewis and Debenhams and smaller independent boutiques and galleries attend: “I feel massively proud of myself that my work has been selected to exhibit as it is a huge opportunity for me, and is a great indicator to me that my products are made with top end quality and have potential to appeal to a wider market.” Says Kayleigh.

Her first attempt at jewellery comes in the form of the Circus Collection, a range of jewellery pieces inspired by the Victorian and Edwardian circus and freak shows: "I looked at the animals and freak shows including the tattooed ladies, Siamese twins and limbless people. These pieces were mainly inspired by the textures of the elephant skin." Kayleigh explains. These pieces were entered for the Hand and Lock Competition in 2011, which is something that Kayleigh is proud to be part of: "My piece didn't qualify but I feel very priviledged to to have entered the embroidery competition and everything it stands for. Traditional techniques like embroidery and knit are dying out and I find it important that they are kept alive and up to date." The Rainforest Collection came next, Kayleigh designed a range of necklaces inspired by the rainforest and being 'in tune' with the land around us. For inspiration, Kayleigh says she: "Looked at tribes, tribal art, body art, animals and textures. I gathered a wealth of images and began drawing from there. I developed a sketchbook and looked further into the textures. I mixed PVA with paint and compressed it in the heat press. which gave amazing texture and mould -able qualities; I also experimented with hand and machine embroidery and created my final pieces with bead work and crochet. I decided after this project that embroidery and embellishment would become a big element of my work."

Resting on her laurels is not something that she is comftorable with, and be content with the knowledge that this young designer will go far.

Anyone wishing to contact this talented, young designer can do so by emaling
or visiting her Facebook Page

Article by Russell Hughes.

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