I'm so pleased to be able to share with you another great independant maker, the lovely Rosie Drake-Knight. I found out about Rosie's work through an Instagram competition & fell in love with her simple but oh so stylish purses and bags. I didn't win the competition (booo!) but Rosie did get in touch and ask if I would like a sample purse (WIN!) - how lovely is that?! It came all prettily packaged (along with some CUTE stickers) and is now pride of place in my satchel, keeping all my cards safe from the clutches of the evil high street giants. Instead of me just showing you her lovely gooods, I thought it would be good to hear a bit about Rosie. After all, we tend to just go through life buying stuff - not knowing where it comes from or who made it - so any opportunity we can take to really get to know the makers and creators amongst us is something valuable, right?!
Welcome Rosie! Tell us a bit about yourself!
Thanks for having me!
+ Rosie Drake-Knight, 24 y/o
+ Studied Textile Design at Falmouth University, graduating in 2013.
+ Hometown - The lovely Isle of Wight!
+ Currently based in Devon.
+ One half of ‘Native Makers’ (A platform for young designer makers based in the South West)
+ Textiles Tutor at Plymouth College of Art.
I've been working on my own brand since I left Uni. I had been dabbling, sampling, and generally mucking about with leather for around a year or so when my family had a massive shock. I lost my mum in September of this year and it has driven me towards creativity more than ever. She taught me most of my technical skills and I am determined to practice textile design daily, in her honour. We were strongly stitched together by our mutual love for making, so I feel closest to her when I am buried in my studio amongst scraps, paint and thread, happily listening to Fleetwood Mac on repeat.
We are so sorry to hear about your mum, and I'm so sure she would be mega proud of your work and your designs - they are so beautiful! How did you get into doing this and what is it you love about it?
Thank you! It’s the best feeling to receive positive comments for something that is such a personal process. My current work developed from my degree studies, but I got into making from an extremely young age. I remember my mum buying me my first sewing machine when I was 6. It was a Victorian hand turn singer, with the most beautiful intricate roses painted on the side. She bought it from an antiques shop in the village we lived in and it was £10. That machine taught me most of my technical dress making skills and my journey of textile discovery began!
What has been your favourite creation so far and why?
Some one else asked me this question recently and I didn’t know what to say! Every time I make something, and its finished to a standard I’m happy with, I get a feeling of calm. It’s like a form of therapy! Some pieces give a super powerful version of that feeling, like my bucket bags or when I’m dressmaking. I suppose those things would be my favourite!
My inspiration comes from anywhere! I love organic pattern and texture and I see it in anything. From hailstones to railings or simple whatever shapes comes out of the end of my paintbrush, I draw it, paint it or print it to begin my design process. I find colour palettes very inspirational.
My new collections tend to be ignited by the love for a certain colour palette, and then I build my patterns and products around them. I use a hand drawn process of screen print (rather than digitally transferring the image to the screen, I paint it on by hand). It takes slightly longer in the short term, but I’m adamant that I will keep that organic finish to my print. As I’m sat here I’m conscious that I need to find some more inspiration soon. It’s like running on a treadmill. You have to keep running, slow or fast, it doesn’t matter, but you can’t stop or you’ll fall off.
Argh! So much love for your collection - the colours & patterns are perfect!
Do you have a creative mantra or motto?
Try it. Don’t waste time thinking about things. Give it a whirl, get cracking, drag out everything you need, make a mess and try it!
I love that. Just blooming have a go! In terms of that idea - is textile/leather-working the only craft for you? Have you ever dabbled in others? What’s the one craft you wish you could master?
I have always enjoyed the sensory element of leather – the way it feels, smells and looks. Whilst doing my degree I dabbled in leatherwork, but during my final project I jumped in at the deep end and started to experiment with screen print, appliqué and construction.
Once I graduated I took around a year to really find my feet with the material. I’ve stripped back a lot of the technical elements to my work and focused more on the product and the surface pattern, than the complexities of embellishment. This was a really difficult road to go down as it felt like I was stepping backwards, but I knew it was for the right reasons and I’m really happy with my current collection.
It’s certainly not the only craft for me. I love dressmaking, especially for my various tiny relatives, I knit, I crochet, print, draw, paint, cross-stitch, I love embroidery…. Basically, you name it I’ve tried it. My brain is a creative mess and I love it.
I would love to learn Tatting. I have a teeny tiny box of precious samples that my mum had whipped up. I gave it a go once but it stressed me out too much so I put the box away (its hidden at the back of my haberdashery cupboard). To be fair even she said it was tricky and she was a textiles genius!
What’s next for Rosie Drake-Knight?
I’m hoping to develop some more product lines. I’m working on some pretty cool stuff at the moment actually but obviously its top secret! I’d like to move out of my home studio eventually. I miss the buzz of working amongst fellow creatives. I have a great group of creative friends and we hope to establish a studio space together. Well that’s the dream anyway!
Sounds incredible - really excited to see some of these top secret creations!
Thank you Rosie, for sharing your creativity and passion with us! Please do check out her shop here and follow along on Instagram for all the latest products and fun offers. *For May, Rosie is giving £5 off any of her make up pouches! Use the code HIGH5 at the checkout online to redeem!*