Spotlight on Maker: Iben Høj and Signe Fink

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The residency was held at Design School Kolding in the Textile Department, will you tell us about hosting the residency? What was the residency about?

14 European craft practitioners were selected to engage in the residency Color, Material and Surface Design. The idea of the residency was to openly discuss matters of color and material across craft discipline. The field of textile design is often seen in collaboration with other craft disciplines, such as textiles for clothing or interior. This means that textile designers have various methods and techniques to work with color and material.

Starting the residency, we introduced participants to a selection of techniques to open a discussion of the role of color and materials in relation to product experiences – further, this led to a playful engagement and a broader discussion on creativity through making.

The first two days of the two-week residency focused on color. More specifically favorite ones – and how we tend to have favorite ones. Everyone developed an individual color pallet and was challenged through guided exercises to unfold perspectives of selecting colorways – for one thing randomness principles and methods. The introduced principles and methods were throughout the residency explored applying various techniques. With a material-based approach, participants experimented with developing ideas within color, material and surface design. For example, by exploring colorwork through weaving sketches using various strips of paper – in colors shades and paper qualities, or by moving into materials such as treads and years as a medium for studying intersections and relations between colors – blending, patterns and stripes etc. These rather elementary sketching techniques were challenged and unfolded in yarn windings and small-scale weaving to also challenge and explore material surfaces.

What was the learning of facilitating the residency within your textile design practice?

The craft practitioners produced various samples and a color index to bring home to explore further within their own craft practice. In this way, there was a physical outcome of the residency, what was even more magnificent was the connections and the discussions that arose from sharing the learning space together. The practitioners were very enthusiastic and happy with the program and exercises of the residency. They loved that there was time to experiment and play, and that we created a ‘safe space’ where nothing was right or wrong, no mistakes.

We thoroughly enjoyed organising the residency and it was a great experience spending a week with other craft practitioners from all over Europe – there was a real surge of energy, and it is wonderful to share experiences and processes!