Shauna McGowan

I make wearable art such as unique print leather capes and bags. My favourite techniques are screen printing and working with dyes.

Q&A

What craft do you work with? 

My degree is in Fashion & Textile Design, and I specialised in screen printed fabrics. I then studied Surface Design for Leather at the London College of Fashion. My background enables me to illuminate diverse surfaces with strong graphic prints. My signature pieces are unique screen prints on leather. Following a product development award from the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, I undertook mentoring with esteemed Irish Designer Roisin Gartland. This has extended my screen-printed designs into innovative pieces of wearable art such as unique print leather capes and bags. I was awarded 1st at the RDS National Craft Awards (Emerging Leatherwork 2015 & 2016). I have over 10 years’ experience working with printed textiles. My favourite techniques are screen printing and working with dyes.

What inspires you to work with this craft? 

I am passionate about surface design, print, textiles, and colour. My handcrafted works merge the lines between art/design and craft. Leather is an important part of my practice due to its primitive and tactile nature. It is a historically important material, which offers both resilience and luxury. I also enjoy working with dyes and print making on natural materials such as Linen. Printed textiles are exciting as they allow me to change, alter and enhance a fabrics surface design. I can create pieces of wearable art, wall hangings or prints for interiors. 

How do you start your creative process?

Depending on the technique that I will be using, I will often undertake a period of research for inspiration, creating reference material, drawing, foraging for natural foliage alongside sourcing the fabric I would like to print. The next stage will be preparation, whether that is making screens for screen printing, mixing colours and binders or experimenting with dyes and cutting fabric before moving into my print phase. The most enjoyable part of the process is printing itself and seeing your surface design appear on fabric. This part can be fun and relaxing. I also enjoy creating and blending colours. The most difficult and time-consuming part can be the preparation phase such as coating and exposing the silkscreens. 

How would you best describe your workspace and what tools could you not do without?

I am a co-founder of a Printed Textile Studio, Over & Over. My studio space has great natural light and high ceilings, so it feels bright and airy. It is a space that reflects our love of surface design, print, textiles, and colour. I would be lost without my screen printing frames and heat press.  

Are there new techniques you would like to try?

I am very keen to learn about eco dyeing and to experiment with how natural dyes respond to different fabrics. I would like to continue learning leather skills be it construction or different surface design techniques. I am also interested in learning about the lifespan of materials, how they can be preserved and restored, allowing us to renew and revitalise materials. 

What have you learnt that you would like to share with fellow crafters?

Pursue opportunities to learn and seek out a mentor whose work you admire. Being mentored can be such an enriching experience to learn, inspire and aid your development. Contact your local art centre, council, business, or enterprise centre to connect to what learning opportunities and awards are available within your area. This will help you connect to a supportive creative network, which can lead to a variety of opportunities for your development. 

What other types of craft do you dream of collaborating with?

I would love to collaborate with Fashion and accessory designers to create unique wearable pieces of Art from my printed textiles.

What professional dream do you have?

A professional dream is to offer a range of stimulating learning programs from my Printed Textile Studio, Over & Over.

Media & Contact

Representation

Freelancer with Shauna McGowan

 

References

Website: shaunamcgowan.com

Instagram: shaunamcgowanart

 

Contact 

info@shaunamcgowan.com 

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