Wednesday, 25 May 2011

An Interview with Laura Slater

Tell us about the work you do and the types of materials you use.
I produce hand-screen printed bespoke textile products, all inspired by the interaction of colour and pattern and the translation of drawing concepts onto cloth. All my prints come from hand made marks and development of hand made marks through CAD, I then take the process back out into a hand produced process, printing onto 100% linen with water based inks. All my products are hand made and finished.

Where do you produce your work? Does your working environment form part of the inspiration for your art?
I produce my work from my studio and print workshop at the Art House in Wakefield. I am very slowly outgrowing my studio as it has really become, part print workshop, creative space and stockroom. It’s very cosy, but an all round really inspiring environment, that is filled with lots of colour, drawing, mark-making, in amongst all the equipment that is!

Being part of a group studio like the Art House is also a very inspiring place to be in, as it is filled with such a wide variety of creative people all with different disciplines.

Is your art your main job? How did you get started?
I am a full time printed textile designer through my business Laura Slater Textiles. Alongside that I also work as a print technician, lecturer in Surface Design and as a creative educational practitioner at the new Hepworth Wakefield. I have vocationally trained in textiles since the age of 16, so I knew pretty early on that this was what I wanted to do. I then went on to do my degree and MA in Mixed Media Textiles at the Royal College of Art before setting up my business 3 years ago. Its really hard work, but thoroughly rewarding, I think you just have to be very dedicated and motivated!

What will you be exhibiting at the Saltaire Arts Trail?
I will be exhibiting a range of printed textile products including lighting, furnishings and upholstery pieces. I will also be selling lots of smaller, personal products to pick up and take away. I also work on a commission basis and sell fabric per metre too. I will be around at the Arts Trail if you have any questions about my print collections - you can find me at 2 Constance Street which is number 10 on the arts trail map.

Do you work in any other mediums besides the work you will be exhibiting at the Arts Trail?
I have recently worked in collaboration in translating my designs into bespoke hand tufted rugs with local rug designer and makers Area rugs. Collaboration is an important part of developing my print ideas, especially into products. I am also working with a product designer in producing some unique shaped lampshades and lighting and I would love to work with some ceramicists, so fell free to get in touch if you’re interested in working with a print designer!!

Where else can we see and buy your work?
There are a number of different ways you can buy my work, I stock with lots of shops and galleries, the most recent being the new Hepworth Wakefield gallery. I also have an online shop and stock with a number of online craft retailers too. You can find a list of all my stockists and a link to my online shop at my website:

Tell us about your most exciting or memorable commission?
I work to commission regularly so it’s hard to pick, but I love working on large fabric commissions for people to use my fabrics on their vintage furniture pieces. The most interesting and exciting request I have had recently is to use my prints to upholster the inside of a vintage Citroen car that some one is renovating. I can’t wait to see how that commission develops!

What was it about the Saltaire Arts Trail that made you want to apply to exhibit?
I have exhibited at Saltaire Arts Trail now for the last 4 years and loved every trail. The Arts Trail is truly a fantastic, inspiring and creative event in an amazing location, supported and including the work of a wide variety of talented artists. Not only that, but the Arts Trail has really supported my development in selling my work and building relationships with lots of lovely people, from fellow artists to buyers.

Have you participated or visited the Saltaire Arts Trail before? What is unique about it and how does it differ from other events?
The Open Houses is a really unique idea, as you get to see artists work in the beautiful houses around Saltaire. The advantage of this is obviously you can be nosey and look at other people lovely homes as well as the art work it’s self.

As an artist I personally think exhibiting in this situation is also a really brilliant idea as people can get to see how art work might be able to fit into their home an living environments too.

Could you leave us with one more interesting fact about yourself or your work?
Yes I am soon to start running photographic screen printing workshops for textiles, throughout the summer.  I have just purchased an exposure unit as a new addition to my studio and am looking forward to launching my workshop program shortly. For more information please contact me on:

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