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Caitlin Stones

My creative process derives from my vivid dreams; my degree show piece was inspired by a dream that features a glasshouse, giant caterpillar cushions, the Great British Sewing Bee and velociraptors, amongst other things. In turn, the outcomes are often subversions of reality; the piece becomes abstract and shape and colour become very important.

I would define myself as a soft sculptor, creating textile sculpture that is human-sized to allow it to be worn and to give it a scale that is impactful. Each piece is hand-dyed to match the colours of its respective dream, using materials that complement the events that take place. Analogue design thinking makes every piece entirely unique, as each one begins from an abstract painting and is translated through an idiosyncratic design process. I love building my paintings with different textures, and I find great joy in the translation of this into stitch and material texture. The dichotomy of hand rendering and machine processes is imbued throughout my practice, with hand embroidery, spinning and dyeing residing alongside machine stitch; the hands-on quality of dyeing and stitching is something I will take forward with me beyond university into my creative future. 

I am moving on to use my stitching and dyeing skills in upcycling and selling vintage for my start-up business Worthless Vintage, as well as developing my work to start exhibiting at other galleries. To new students, I would say: do everything! See everything, be everywhere, do your research, turn up to workshops and you’ll be the most rounded and informed creative.

Eleanor Brigginshaw