Interview: Laura Spring

By / Mar 10th, 2014 / / No comments

Textile Designer Laura Spring has the same name as a season, and the passion for the weather to match. 

Staffordshire-bred and Glasgow-based, Laura studied Visual Communication at The Glasgow School of Art and stayed north of the border after graduation. This inquisitive textile designer applies her designs to everything from weekend bags to pencil cases. Using bold colours and simple shapes, Laura‘s products manage to be both playful and chic. Her signature design is a pattern of interlocking brick-like parallelograms, and is available on products in a rainbow spectrum of colours. We sell a traffic light variety of Laura‘s gorgeously bright duffel bags in our shop HERE.

Finding the perfect balance between style and practicality, her products are a must-have for design fanatics. 

We spoke to Laura about nostalgia, knitting and more besides: 

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

I came up to Glasgow to study Visual Communication at The Glasgow School of Art and loved it here so much I never left. I worked in the costume department of theatre and films when I first graduated as I knew I didn’t want to be a graphic designer but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I just knew I loved making things with my hands and printing. Eventually I realised I should marry my two loves – fabric and printing and began ‘Laura Spring’ in 2011 after spending that summer away on a craft residency at Cove Park in Scotland where I was given the time and space to explore my ideas and thoughts in one of the most amazing environments I’ve ever had the pleasure of working in.

What kind of projects have you worked on in the past?

With my company I’ve been very lucky to be invited to do a variety of projects that I’ve really enjoyed. One in particular was when I was invited by Katy West to have an exhibition at The Lighthouse in Glasgow which meant I got to spend time in the Science Museum archives in London researching meteorological kites of the late 1800s…I then developed wind designs based on ways we record the weather and installed life size recreations of some of these meteorological kites in their gallery. I also made a collaborative duffel bag with the artist Laura Aldridge for House of Voltaire which was lots of fun.

How did you come up with the design for your signature duffel bag?

I came up with the print design for the duffel bag whilst I was away on my residency – it was actually a very happy accident! I was trying to print the reverse as it’s a form of wind pattern, so the lines in between rather than the solid blocks, but I was using paper stencils as there’s no print facilities at Cove Park (which was actually very liberating!) and it went a bit wrong and I didn’t like it. So I picked up the part of the stencil I’d discarded and used that and loved it! The shape of the bag was based on a nostalgia for old school duffel bags.

What do you think the biggest challenge of running your own business is?

Probably managing your time effectively. There’s always so much to do and never enough hours in the day!

What kind of design wares do you buy yourself?

All kinds of things really… things just grab my eye and I buy them – if I can afford them! I’ve got an unhealthy amount of crockery with amazing print designs on! None of it’s very expensive, but I just love collecting it. That and bits of fabric and blankets and general tat! I recently brought this lovely old sign from an antique market in Canada that says ‘Bless this House’ and I love it.

Are you a keen crafter?

I like to knit for pleasure, but my skills in that department are quite basic.

Have you always known that you wanted to be a designer/maker?

I think I took a bit of a winding route to eventually get here, but I always knew I preferred creating things with my hands. From a young age I always made things and sewed and I think after art school I always knew that I wanted to work for myself and make my own thing happen.

Describe a typical day in the studio.

It really depends on what’s going on as the days are very varied, but the day always starts with a cup of tea. If I’m printing I like to get cracking straightaway and will stay focused on that, but if it’s a non-printing day then I usually begin by answering emails. I work in a lovely studio in Glasgow and we all tend to have lunch together about 1pm and if my whippet is in with me then we’ll have to go for a walk along the canal. At the minute in the studio there’s lots of development going on of new prints and products so it’s quite an exciting time of year.

LEGO or Play-doh?

LEGO. Definitely.

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