Thursday, 11 October 2012

Laura Spring at The Lighthouse

So it's exactly two weeks until my show opens at The Lighthouse and things are coming together....

It's been a busy few weeks printing new designs and making the pieces, but it's getting there thanks to the help of my two lovely interns (Lynn and Cecelia) and the wood genius that is known as Kevin Pollock.

Inspired by the meteorological kites that I have researched, I am creating an exciting, new installation that will be shown alongside my existing collection. I don't want to give too much away, but here's a sneak peek on the right of  what's to come.

The show is on from the 25th October - 3rd December and we will be hosting our own pop-up shop in the space on Saturday 1st December. There will also be a talk by leading journalist and style writer Charlotte Abrahams on the 13th November as part of the exhibition program.

Hopefully we will see some of you there....

Sunday, 9 September 2012

In the archives of the Science Museum...

One of the things I love about being a designer is the strange places and worlds your ideas can take you. Recently I was lucky enough to be able to access the Science Museum archives as I had been researching a particular idea for my upcoming exhibition at The Lighthouse.  It turns out that the Science Museum has a whole room dedicated to meteorological equipment dating back to at least the 1800s which was perfect for my line of enquiry....

I am quite a lover and collector of old things, as I know are many people. I love looking at objects from a previous decade or era and thinking about how they would have been used and the story behind each piece. So to be able to go into the archives at the Science Museum  and see beautiful objects from their collection was a bit of a dream come true. As soon as you step off the street in the west end of London and enter the beautiful old building that houses the majority of their smaller pieces, you feel like you've stepped back in time. The building itself used to be the Post Office Savings Bank and it has corridors and staircases that make you think you've walked onto a film set - in fact, the lovely staff member that assisted my visit said the place is often hired by film companies to shoot scenes (it turns out I missed a hollywood legend by a day!).

As we walked down beautiful corridors, turning on lights as we went, it felt like a real privilege to be somewhere so special. As we walked into the room I wanted to access, I was immediately hit by the smell of old stuff. Putting on latex gloves, I was then given free reign to touch and photograph the objects I had requested. The bonus of the trip was that I could also look amongst the shelves at all the other objects and pull out things I hadn't requested, but appealed to me, which was a welcome surprise.

Twelve months ago I had limited knowledge about weather related things, but now I feel like I am becoming a bit of a weather geek. This is one of the reasons I love what I do, the weird knowledge you accrue is sometimes bizarre but it's also funny to think about how excited you can get over a Vertical Gustiness Meter from 1882.

Vertical Gustiness Meter

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Pulse 2012 and on to Cove Park...

So I got back to Glasgow nearly four weeks ago after exhibiting at Pulse for the first time! It was a great experience and lovely to meet up with some familiar faces and meet new ones. Thanks to everyone who came along and visited my stand during the three days, it was definitely lovely to meet everyone....buyers, bloggers, press, other exhibitors etc.  If I had to pick one highlight it would be getting to see the beautiful scarves and gloves of Hilary Grant Knitwear & Textiles in the flesh....her work is amazing and made me excited about the Winter!

The last few weeks have flown by with leads from Pulse and here I am now back in the lovely surroundings of Cove Park for two weeks to catch my breath. I was lucky enough to be here for six weeks last Summer on the Scottish Craft Residency where I began to develop my luggage adventure. It is a real treat to return and have the opportunity to a spell of time and space to develop new things for later on in the year. One of the things that's coming up that I'm really excited about is being asked to do an exhibition at The Lighthouse in October as part of their Show Studio series. Katy West, their  creative programmer, has asked a variety of designers to take part including Black Arches - the talented Mhari McMullan. Her show opens on the 4th August, if you get the chance I would definitely go and see it...

The Cove Park Cubes

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Trade Show Countdown!

Please accept my apologies over the lack of postings...what was designed to be a blog about my lead up to Pulse has turned out to be quite sporadic with information, mainly because I was/am just too busy! However, today I have been non-stop on the computer for what seems like hours, so it seemed like a good opportunity to catch up with myself a bit? Sitting in one spot all day is never my favourite thing, but the time had come for me to get on with matters of finance, admin and social media updates...

It's almost exactly a week until I leave for London and I'm so relieved that things seem to be coming together. As someone who always goes on about 'tempting fate', I don't want to jinx anything but the last couple of weeks has seen me get a big bulk of stuff out the way - phew. The products are complete, photo shoots finished, press releases sent, website updated, pre-ordering sorted, display decided on...there's just a few more computer things to nail before I leave and then I just need to remember to pack it all and not leave anything behind!

One of the lovely things about the last couple of weeks is that whilst I've been mainly inside looking out at the beautiful weather so has one of my fellow studio friends Jennie Lööf. Jennie also has a deadline she's working on, in fact her deadline is tomorrow as she will be launching her new collection here in Glasgow. I've had the privilege of seeing her work come together and it is all looking really beautiful, or 'lovely' as she would say.

The other exciting news I had this week was when Elisabeth from Fine Little Day blogged about my work. I've been a huge fan of her blog for quite some time and was really flattered when she featured my new products. It's always nice to receive a compliment like this from someone whose work you admire, so Elisabeth, thank you.

And thanks to anyone who reads this and supports my work, I really do appreciate it....:)

Duffel Bags, available in Navy, Orange or Light Blue.

One final can pre-order my duffel bags here if you like? Thanks to Caroline for photographing them so well.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Printing Joy

I wanted to quickly share with you a peek at part of my new collection that I will be launching oh so soon at Pulse! We had to print a run of 5 metres a couple of weeks ago which is always fun! I love the satisfaction you get when you lift that last screen and you see a new design in repeat....well, here you go, I hope you like it?

Hot & Cold

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Wonderful World of Webbing

A couple of weeks have now passed and my samples are well under way, maybe not all quite as under way as they should be, but all the scary decisions have been made and I have been staring at almost finished products today! I can be indecisive when it comes to certain things and spend a long time thinking....take webbing for instance! Who knew how many types of webbing there was out there! I usually have a good idea of what I want, but I like to see all the various options, maybe just so I know that the one I want is the right one? Then sometimes it's like a game of treasure hunt trying to track down the webbing that I saw somewhere ages ago that I know would be perfect! And then trying to describe it...

the wonderful webbing samples

This is why it has been invaluable working with a manufacturer who has years of experience in this field. What this guy doesn't know about webbing tapes or where to source them, well let's just say I am eternally grateful to him and his team.

So now there's only about six weeks until Pulse and I need to think about other stuff besides the products. I have to get my press images sorted this week and that other important stand. Travelling from Glasgow to London for the show puts a little extra pressure on coming up with a simple, yet effective stand design that wont require three vans and a trailer.....I only have 2m x 1m to fill, so I am probably exaggerating a little, but it does require some thought. That is why when I've been exhibiting at Top Drawer I have tried to grab some time to see what other people are doing as there's some great inspiration out there. For me, I think less will be more but like I said, I can be indecisive at times and I'm sure my stand design will change radically over the next six weeks...

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


So I'm making some new work for Pulse Launchpad....I can't say what it is yet, but I'm quite excited about it as it's something I've been thinking about since last year. I was very lucky to receive a Glasgow City Council Craft Makers Award last December to fund this project and as money is always an issue for a new business, I was/am extremely grateful for their support.

Having a bit of extra cash in the bank is allowing me to work with others instead of always doing everything myself. This is great in many ways, but one way in which it is hugely beneficial is you realise that you are in a chain and if I hold it up by dawdling over making decisions about colour then it puts everyone behind. So I've been very pro-active in choosing colours this last week! Something I love is looking at colour doesn't matter what they are for - paint, fabric, card, I'm not fussy! I just love the little squares or rectangles of colour all jammed onto a page. And I love choosing colours! I think as much as I love designing a new pattern. For me, I always design with the colours in mind. I can't draw things in black and add the colour later, it just doesn't work like that, so whenever I'm drawing or sketching ideas it's always with coloured pencils to hand.

acrylic canvas fabric colour swatches

 My new print designs are done and I have just got the acetate films back from the printers, so have been exposing the first screen this week. In fact today, we sampled the first piece of fabric in the first colour way and I was pretty happy when I lifted the screen we shouldn't be holding the chain up too much!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Here I Am

It's been a good but busy week so it's taken until this Friday evening for me to realise it's been a whole seven days since I decided to start a blog and all I've managed is one post....oh dear. I have been thinking about it at various points over the week and, rather than me providing random thoughts when they occur to me, I decided that it would be good to have a bit of focus with it.

So I think a good direction would be to share with you the lead up to my third trade fair for my business - Pulse Launchpad. This one feels quite different though as I won't be under the supportive umbrella of "Spotted" or "Spotted Plus" by Charlotte Abrahams at Top Drawer where there was just twelve of us embracing the world of trade fairs for the first time! However I've heard everyone in the Launchpad area has a similar camaraderie, so I'm sure it will be fun too!

Anyway, I thought I would begin the life of my blog by telling you a bit more about Laura Spring and how I am where I am...

Originally from Stoke-on-Trent, I travelled to Glasgow to study Visual Communication at The Glasgow School of Art back in 1999 and upon graduating in 2002, I decided to stay and Glasgow became my home. I've often left for various periods of time from three days to three months to do other things, but it's a great city and despite the rain (which obviously inspires my work, so it's not all bad!) I do love it here.

After graduating, I went down the route of working in the theatre mainly doing costume jobs and was lucky enough to work with some amazing people and do some wonderful things. A wonderful lady taught me most of what I know about sewing and I'll never forget the fun days and laughs I had at the world of Scottish Opera.

However, I missed making my own work and I'd always loved screen printing so a friend and I from art school set up our textile printing studio here in Glasgow that we worked collaboratively out of for three years. Now we work on separate things from the same studio and it was at the start of last year that I began dabbling with making luggage. A good friend knew I loved vintage patterns and gave me a great pattern for an old 1970s style suitcase made from fabric. I had already begun thinking about the patterns we see and if there was ever a relationship between them and their function, so with this in mind, I began creating patterns for luggage that would relate to the destinations of where we might travel to. During this time, I was very lucky to be awarded the Scottish Craft Residency 2011 at Cove Park where I got to develop these ideas further in the most amazing setting. I can't speak highly enough of this experience....six weeks to just make work in a beautiful studio with lots of incredible people around me was one of my highlights to date.

Anyway, from there I was invited by Charlotte Abrahams to exhibit my luggage at Top Drawer as part of her "Spotted" stand (although at the time of being invited all I had was one suitcase so it was a busy summer!) and things went from there....

So here I am. Eleven weeks from Pulse Launchpad. I'm branching out from luggage, so wish me luck....

Friday, 16 March 2012


So I've started a blog...!
People often asked me if I had one and I had to reply with a no. Mainly because of time issues, but I thought I would make the time and try to share with you the thoughts and goings on at my textile company that is - just me. But I also have two lovely interns at the minute called Lynne and Mandy who are invaluable to the smooth operations at Laura Spring HQ! So here's my attempt at blogging......hopefully it gives you a peek into my world?! Here's me and my latest addition to the studio...Chips, our 12 week old whippet.