Making Connections Blog // Schools Project Part 1


Students from Langholm Academy tell us about their first weeks working with textile designer Morag Macpherson

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Week 1
In week 1 we met our artist in residence, designer Morag MacPherson. She showed us some of her designs – she is a textile artist and she concentrates on creating funky, retro and colourful patterns. She explained some of the things we would be doing during the next few weeks while she is working with us. She told us how she creates her designs, finding inspiration from photos, and nature, and using technology to create the pattern. Morag wants us to use techniques similar to hers, to bring the history of Langholm’s textile industry back to life, also using offcuts of tweed produced in Langholm to work with our own motifs. We are looking forward to the next few weeks and what we’ll create with Morag.

Week 2
In week 2 we went down to Elliott’s Shed, which is a mill that repurposes old weaving equipment for the modern day industry. We took pictures of the machinery that we will use in our designs, and learned a lot about the amount of care and attention that goes into preserving and bringing this old fashioned machinery back into use. The weather was very cold and the ground was slushy from snow, which made it a challenge to make it down and back to school in one period, but everybody persevered, and had a good time none the less. We all have lots of cool photos to develop in our design work.

Week 3
This week we used the photos we took in week 2 to develop our motifs. Morag explained the difference between a motif and a pattern – a pattern is a repeated motif. We really enjoyed using the iPads to draw over the photo and develop it into something more graphic using a lot of colour! We used the shapes we found in the old machinery to make new shapes which look better when repeated. Although we enjoy working on paper and using more traditional design techniques, we really relished the opportunity to indulge in technology from the 21st century and its potential.