Plymouth College of Art student Claire Nanelli

Plymouth Potential

Plymouth College of Art
Plymouth College of Art students Claire Nanelli, right, and Hannah Seward, left.

Seeing new design talent emerge is one of the joys of this job.  It is made even more special when it comes about via close collaboration between industry and academia.

So I am pleased to flag up the positive outcome of the continuing partnership between British Ceramic Tile, the UK’s largest manufacturer of ceramic and glass tiles, and Plymouth College of Art.

British Ceramic Tile has been working with the designers of the future on a 2016 class project.  As part of the initiative, BA (hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern students were invited to test their creativity and work on a class project alongside British Ceramic Tile’s internal design team and the company’s Head of Design, Claire O’Brien.

A valuable opportunity to develop practical skills and approach a real life work situation, the students were provided with a creative brief looking at how popular lifestyle and colour trends can be adapted for surface design.  Ideas and mood boards were created over a period of two months, with the final artwork submitted to British Ceramic Tile for feedback.  Two students were given a cash prize as a reward for their ideas and hard work, and a selection of art will be translated into tile designs for the retail market.

Plymouth College of Art student Claire Nanelli
Plymouth College of Art student Claire Nanelli with her winning work

Claire Nanelli was awarded first prize for Industrial Seaside.  The inspiration came from a coastal walk and the exploration of historic buildings in her local area.

Plymouth College of Art student Hannah Seward
Plymouth College of Art student Hannah Seward with her winning work

Second place was awarded to Hannah Seward for A Breath of Fresh Air, which touched on nature, bringing the outside in through soft textures and calming effects.

Claire O’Brien was so impressed with some of the artwork on display, in particular from Claire Nanelli and Ella Foster, that the company acquired the work, with plans to adapt the designs and create new commercially-viable product ranges.

“It’s always very rewarding and inspiring when working alongside students on projects such as these. Their energy, passion and ideas for surface design are to be admired. We saw a wide variety of concepts from the students, all of which were approached in a professional manner. The winners were well deserved and we were struck by one of the designs to such an extent that we will develop it for our product portfolio,” stated O’Brien.

British Ceramic Tile will be carrying on its partnership with Plymouth College of Art and is currently arranging for a selection of students to visit the design studio in Devon this Summer.

A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, March 2017.

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