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Visual Research

Colourful and decorative cups and mugs found at ‘One Nine Three’. These pieces formed the foundation for my visual research, inspiring the colours and patterns developed throughout the project.

Personal Research

Visual and contextual research into my family history including family photography, shopping bags, collectable cigarette cards and various china and ceramic pieces. These items were all collected and owned by my grandparents, I grew up surrounded by them throughout my childhood.

Blue Willow

Broken fragments of Blue Willow china embedded into clay. The surface of the clay was carefully etched to create relief for the royal blue glaze. These monochromatic decorative pieces combine the illustrative style of the Blue Willow design and the repetitive motif patterns seen on china in the later years of the 20th Century.

Floral Appliqué

Inspired by floral motifs and prints from the ’60s and ’70s, this piece combines freehand machine embroidery with flat and stuffed appliqué to create a colourful plush quilt.

Interlocking Ceramics & Embroidery

This painting shows the direction of scattered interlocking ceramic tiles woven together using chord and decorated using loose hand embroidery. Inspired by the idea of bringing decorative plate patterns to life.

Jess Leese

A truly personal and sentimental project, inspired by decorative china designs, family history and childhood memories. Driven by the use of reclaimed materials, featuring abstract motifs, structural designs and bold colours. The collection is brought to life through the use of hand processes such as quilting, appliqué, crochet and hand embroidery, whilst also exploiting the use of ceramics and glazes.

My great grandfather established a china and glass business in the Bull Ring throughout the 1960s and '70s. Whilst the business faded later in the 20th Century, much of the china remains at my family home, 'One Nine Three'. This is where all of my primary photography and visual research has been gathered and has formed the foundations for the colours, patterns and materials seen in the collection.

My material choices support the idea that sentimental items passed down through generations hold value and create a greater connection between the item and the owner. Using the original materials from that era such as the broken china and metal crates used by my great grandfather within his business, not only increases the sustainability of my collection but also the sentimental value the pieces hold.

The collection combines hard and soft materials with a range of surface qualities to create designs suitable for a bright and modern home interior with eclectic, personal touches.

Final year project

One Nine Three


21' Diploma in Professional Studies

Work Experience

Suzie Turner
Embroidery and Embellishment Intern (July 2019 - October 2019)

My time with Suzie Turner was an amazing insight into the couture industry. I learnt and improved a vast amount on
my hand embroidery, spending weeks designing and focusing on just one piece. This practice requires a lot of patience and extreme attention to detail, especially when creating bespoke one-off garments to a high professional standard. My time here established my use of hand processes and embroidery in my design approach.

Bottle Blonde Studio
Studio Assistant (October 2019 - January 2020)

During my 4 months with Bottle Blonde, my responsibilities included pattern cutting, constructing tinsel jackets on industrial and domestic machines, using overlockers, making tinsel earrings and creating slogan t-shirts using a heat press. I progressively gained confidence using the machines which increased my speed and efficiency when completing the made-to-order jackets. This confidence led to me making a custom jacket for Gemma Collins which she wore on The Big Narstie show on Channel 4.

Oxfam Online
Upcycling Intern (February 2020- March 2020)

My time with Oxfam was cut short due to COVID-19, however, in this time I researched the upcoming trends of summer 2020, which informed my designs when using rejected clothes to create garments and patterns for contemporary women’s wear and festivals. The donated items I listed on to Oxfam Online raised over £1,000 and the dresses I designed and made were listed onto ASOS Marketplace. My experiences with Oxfam have driven my use of reclaimed and recycled materials within my collection. I have since returned to Oxfam to source fabrics and have used a number of donated cashmere jumpers in my collection.