Sarah Mills

Hidden in the Wetlands: New Designers Award Winner - Prestigious Textiles Award

Sarah Mills is a final year Textile Design student with a passion for the Great British countryside. Her love of this has influenced her final project, where she has created designs based on the lost beauty of the great outdoors.

Textile Design - BA (Hons)

Give us a brief overview of your project

I've been on a mission to capture the breathtaking beauty of the British countryside and highlight the diverse wildlife that lives in it. I aim to design a commercial luxury interior collection of woven, etched, and printed fabrics in order to celebrate the beauty that is quickly becoming lost in our countryside. The outcome of the project aims to produce long-lasting luxury fabrics that could be applied to several products in the home, these consisting of curtains, wallpapers, lampshades, and cushions.

With my camera and sketchbook in hand, I have managed to capture moments in time, portraying the movement and behaviour of these wader birds. I was able to capture some really magical moments and have shown these through my collection of work with the aim to inspire action by highlighting the thriving animals in an untouched habitat. 

Why did you choose this concept?

I have always felt inspired by nature and the endless possibilities it has for designs. During my exploration around Shropshire and Mid Wales, I uncovered the unfortunate truth that the farming industry, along with human interference, is having a negative impact on local wildlife, particularly the endangered Curlew. These large wader birds nest in areas with long grass and rough vegetation during spring, but silaging has destroyed many nests and eggs, making it challenging for them to reproduce successfully. Being an animal lover myself, I hope I have created a collection that reminds people of the vital importance of preserving and looking after our natural world.

What processes have you been using?

I have been using several processes including ink painting, mark making, digital printing, laser etching, dobby and jacquard loom weaving and traditional registration bar printing.

What do you hope to achieve with your project?

I want to create beautiful designs that are well crafted and have a luxury appeal whilst also highlighting the importance of the diminishing life in our countryside.

How has your course helped you to prepare for working on your project?

The course has really placed me in good stead to work on my final university project; the information provided has allowed me to develop my designs to create the best work I possibly can for my final project of my degree.