Amy Gair

Featured Designer Biography

Design Background:

I recently graduated from Heriot Watt University’s School of Textiles and Design where I specialised in woven textiles. I have always had an interest in being creative but it wasn’t until I left school and undertook a general Art course that I discovered my interest in textile design. From there, I studied a BA in Contemporary Textiles at the University of Highlands and Islands in Shetland, where I first discovered my love for woven fabrics.

After I completed my course in Shetland, I decided to go on to Heriot Watt as I knew they were more focussed on designing for industry. Over the last few years, my a keen interest in weaving and the development of myself as a designer through my education has helped me to realise my own design signature in my work which is usually related to my home town.

Design Interests and Inspiration:

As I am from the Shetland Islands, the most Northern part of Scotland, I get a lot of my inspiration from my home, Lerwick. Shetland is located half way between mainland Scotland and Norway and there are still a few Scandinavian influences around there today.

I really like the clean and simple qualities of Scandinavian design and this is a big influence in my work too.
In terms of cloth qualities, I find inspiration in traditional woven cloth structures, like twills, herringbones and checks. I like to play about with the idea of these traditional structures.

As I said already, my inspiration comes from my surroundings and photographs which I take, but at the same time as this artists like, Agnes Martin, Calum Innes and Sean Scully influence my design work too, as well as new places I live and visit.

Design Process:

I usually start with a sketchbook and taking photographs. I create my own mixed media artworks, using parts of my photographs, which is a crucial part to my process as they are usually the starting point of my ideas for fabric construction.

From there, I start sampling and picking a few ideas from my sketchbook to start with. If they work, they work, and if they don’t then I still keep the sample anyway. It’s all part of the process to get a collection of fabrics. At the same time as doing this, I usually have an end product in mind which helps when thinking about pattern scale and weight of cloth.

I think as well, once you find a way of working which works for you, it’s really great as you start to develop your own signature style and that’s when it’s really exciting.

Future plans:

At the moment I am studying at the Glasgow School of Art while I complete a Masters in Fashion and Textiles. So far, this has been really interesting in lots of ways but also in terms of realising long term and short term goals.

As a long term plan I aim to set up my own textile label, designing ranges of woven fabrics and some shorter term goals of mine are to work and gain experience in the UK textiles industry as I feel that gaining experience would help with the possibility of setting up of my own business in the future.

Featured Designer
Amy Gair
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I really like the clean and simple qualities of Scandinavian design and this is a big influence in my work too.
In terms of cloth qualities, I find inspiration in traditional woven cloth structures, like twills, herringbones and checks. I like to play about with the idea of these traditional structures.