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Future Forwards

Future Forwards / Saturday 25th March 2017 - Saturday 22nd April 2017

This exhibition examines the role which different making techniques such as digital technology, 3D printing, Computer Numerical Control (CNC), Computer Aided Design and laser cutting play in craft today.

Forms created using such techniques show the futuristic potential of media. This exhibition explores and celebrates the innovation and development of craft works and excellence in design.

Exhibiting artists include: BeatwovenJoanna Bury, Vanessa CutlerRebecca Gouldson, Jack & Joan HardieKathryn HintonJonathan Keep, Katy LuxtonRachel McKnight & Moira Walton.

(Private View: Friday 24th March 5.30pm – 7.30pm)

This exhibition is curated by Gallery Officer Frances Gill-Smith.

For more information and images please contact Frances Gill-Smith on 0151 709 4014 or email crafts@bluecoatdisplaycentre.com.


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Nadia’s exploration into the visualization of the unseen patterns created by sound and music began during her final textiles degree project at Central Saint Martins in 2008, when she saw a mathematical connection between the architecture of music and the architecture of weave. It was the result of a vibrant previous career as a professional dancer, which took her travelling the globe and living with a variety of exciting cultures, exposing her to an eclectic mix of music; ‘The Universal Language’, as Nadia likes to call it. Today Nadia has set up her own London based studio called BeatWoven, exploring the fusion of digital with the traditional craft techniques of weaving, through her development of the BeatWoven bespoke audio technology in collaboration with expert coder’s and musicians.

Currently, Nadia is working from her studio in West Central London developing the concept of BeatWoven, working on new collections and commissions.

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 “I am currently working on the concept that a piece of jewellery can be treated like a removable tattoo, worn to adorn and easily removed. Most of the design details are inspired by tattoo designs and so the pattern is effectively projected onto the skin, or patterns can be projected through the reflection of light or a shadow cast”.

Joanna derives her inspiration from modern urban culture, the use of patterns within Asian cultures and the designs found in contemporary and tribal jewellery. She is ultimately inspired by tattooing and body adornment.

Joanna studied for a BA in Fashion Design and went on to specialise as a Lingerie Designer; she worked in the industry for 7 years primarily based in the UK, China and New York. Whilst living in New York and in search of a new creative challenge, Joanna began to search for a new direction, a direction that involved more hands-on creativity. Jewellery design seemed a natural progression and it became apparent that this was an area that Joanna could focus her ‘attention to detail’ upon. After discovering the Silversmithing and Jewellery degree Joanna relocated from New York to Cornwall to take up full time studies and complete the degree.

 “As a designer I am very much intrigued by technology; I like the aesthetics of my completed pieces to be clean, crisp, intricate and accurate to a standard which I am unable to achieve by hand”. Joanna’s design style is distinct and clearly links back to her training as a lingerie designer. She uses lace like textures and uses the body as a blank canvas; sometimes the body is used to create the form of her jewellery designs, sometimes the body is used to contradict the form.

“Large statement abstract pieces that are almost designed not to be worn. Failing that, I do like a statement piece to suit the catwalk”.



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Vanessa creates stunning glass works using water-jet cutting technology. She has developed new works utilising this cutting edge technology in an imaginative and unique way.

Vanessa is an award winning glass maker and has presented various papers on her research. In 2012 she published a book titled  “New Technologies in Glass”, published by A.C & Black (Bloomsbury).

She currently exhibits her work nationally and internationally as well as undertaking commissions.

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I make metal wall pieces for private, corporate and public clients, on a variety of scales, from the domestic to the architectural.   Images are captured in metal using acid etching and chemical patination, creating contrasting eroded and polished surfaces.

I'm passionate about image making in metal, through combining and pushing the boundaries of techniques from a variety of creative traditions.

All the surfaces I make in metal start life as images.  These images are digital photographs, drawings and prints I’ve made on paper.   Using a combination of paper collage and digital collage, I cut, paste and layer these images before they are etched in to the surface of metal.

The computer has given me the freedom to manipulate images in a more controlled way, however when working in metal, I like to juxtapose these detailed images with expressive mark making which brings the surface alive.

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Joan and Jack Hardie use 3D printing to design and produce ceramics that cannot be made in any other way. Form is dominant in their designs, with inspiration drawn from nature. They work in both porcelain and glazed stoneware.

Their home-made 3D printer extrudes very thin coils of soft clay and presses them down in layers, like a coil pot. The clay is prepared by hand. They use a 3D Computer Aided Design program to capture and develop an idea, which is turned into code for the printer.

It has taken the couple’s 45-year experience of how clay behaves to build the printer, develop workable clay mixes and make viable designs.

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As a silversmith, Kathryn Hinton has spent time learning the traditional skills involved in working with silver and other materials. Her work focuses on merging these traditional ideas with digital technology.

The silverware is based on her research into digital tooling and the creation of a digital hammer that works with computer aided design software mimicking the physical actions of silversmithing, in particular the hammering process used in forming sheet metal. The ability to use technology as an input tool to design and also as a method of manufacture has shaped the style of her work. The strike series captures this process as the faceted surface is manipulated showing the progression of the hammer strikes through each piece.

The faceted silverware and jewellery is realised using processes such as Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling and press forming, rapid prototyping and lost wax casting process.

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Jonathan Keep is an independent practising artist potter and a leading exponent of studio based ceramic 3D printing. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, London he works mainly in clay and has exhibited widely and lectured, undertaken artist residencies, workshops and demonstrations in the UK and abroad.

Jonathan has developed a working process whereby the shapes of his pots are written in computer code. This digital information is passed to a studio based self built 3D printer that he has designed to print in clay.

In the last eighteen months Jonathan has been invited to lecture and hold workshops in 13 different countries. Recent exhibitions have included ‘Taiwan Ceramic Biennial’, Taipei; ‘Objects in Flux’, museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA; ‘Elements of Art and Science’, Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria and the British Ceramic Biannual, Stoke-on-Trent. Born in South Africa he obtaining a BA (Hons) Fine Art degree from the University of Natal in 1979. In 1986 he moved to England and settled in Suffolk where he continues to live and has a studio at his home in Knodishall, Suffolk. In 2002 he received a MA from the Royal College of Art, and his postgraduate show was awarded overall prize-winner of the Lattice Group Awards and he was awarded a Woo Foundation Graduate Arts Bursary. He has undertaken artist residencies, visiting lectureships and exhibited widely in the UK and abroad.

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Trained as a traditional jeweller, Katy Luxton creates vibrant silver and nylon jewellery. She takes her inspiration from mathematical models, geometric shapes and the interwoven curves, circles and figures produced by a Spirograph toy – the moment when a line becomes a form.

Using simple but expressive lines, Katy employs hand techniques and new technology – such as 3D printing – to create tactile, playful, wearable jewellery. Experimenting with 3D printing and the possibilities of new shapes, she found a new exciting material to work with: Nylon. Each piece is dyed by hand in her studio. The choice of colours is fascinating, as is the intensity that can be achieved, and the moment when the piece is lifted from the dye bath and rinsed is always thrilling for her.

Excited by the potential of new technology, Katy nevertheless continues to be amazed by the skills that early jewellers demonstrated, despite such limited tools, and enjoys being immersed in the act of creating with her hands. These two opposing elements flow from the same inspiration, and her collections see them brought together. From the simple line of a silver ring to more complex repeating forms, a common thread can be found.

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Rachel studied at The University of Ulster in Belfast. Having graduated in 2003 she started her first workshop in her parent's garage. The excitement of sourcing new materials and the experimentation with them inspires her to produce original and innovative jewellery. The idea of transparency and opaque colour influences her designs, and plastics allow her to explore this. Simple and uncomplicated shapes and the idea of duplicating these shapes also form the basis for Rachel’s jewellery.

Not only does Rachel have a large range of small batch production jewellery, but she has recently developed a range of home ware products comprising of placemats and coasters. This product range is in its infancy so keep your eyes glued to the website to see the new developments!

Rachel also likes to produce larger scale work for exhibitions and collections. Her ideas are to challenge the concept of wearable jewellery and to create beautiful sculptural forms. These pieces are usually one-offs so catch them while you can.

Rachel originally hand cut all of her work, but in the last couple of years she has embraced technology and with the help of laser cutting is now developing work with more intricate designs such as the lace pattern used in some of her pieces. The idea of combining a man-made, industrial product with a delicate and traditional pattern inspires her new work.

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I take hundreds of photographs and use the imagery to create textile designs which are then imposed digitally onto silk georgette. The design, manufacturing and processing is done in the North West. The images are enhanced, changed,  collaged and coloured using computer software.

My work is informed by streets, urban landscapes and the invisible beings which populate our world but are rarely noticed. Distressed marks and found objects provide inspiration and often become integral to the work in hand, literally: footprints, dusty and dirty ephemera, oddments beneath our feet, all provide exciting imagery.

The broad horizon of extensive travel continues to feed my ideas and allows me to maintain a finger firmly on the pulse of the emerging zeitgeist.


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