A Day in the Life of: Textiles and Surface Design Student

For the next instalment of our series ‘A Day in the life of a CCAD student’ we have Textiles and Surface Design Student, Adele Catchpole taking you through her day at CCAD.


Hello, I am Adele Catchpole and I am currently in the midst of my final year of study on the BA (Hons) Textiles & Surface Design course here at CCAD. This course offers its students the chance to explore diverse areas of specialism within the textiles industry, covering different aspects of the subject. Here, the possibilities with textiles are not limited and students are encouraged to experiment and combine subject areas and techniques, resulting in innovative creative design processes and students who are well prepared for industry standard professionalism.

Within this course we also study Material Culture and Professional Practice as well as weekly technique workshops covering aspects such as, traditional screen printing, digital design, embroidery and dye sampling. Material Culture studies include historical and contemporary design movements, artists and significant issues / events within art and design, focusing into interior, fashion and textiles. Professional Practice covers the importance of building up an individual portfolio of studio work, writing and designing successful cv’s, creating a unique brand and online presence as aspiring designers, work experience and different sessions will cover various career options and how to achieve them.

The course has allowed me personally to develop my knowledge and skills of the subject and develop my individual style of design. My current work is based around the concept The Psychobiology of Plants, here I have researched into the properties of various plant and fungi forms and the effects they can produce in humans and animals. I have focused into hallucinogenic effects and translated this through the use of vibrant colour palettes, using a juxtaposition of observing natural formations illustrated in un-natural, synthetic colours. I specialise in hand rendered illustration and embroidery and am working towards creating bespoke surface design pieces for my final degree show.

Pineapple study with colour inspiration from the poisonous Brugmansia versicolor plant

Zebra cactus machine embroidered onto dyed velvet

I usually spend my days in the print, dye and embroidery rooms, sampling techniques using our collection of mixed medias, researching in the library or painting in my own personal work space within the studios. The creative atmosphere makes me feel inspired everyday and I love working alongside other designers and knowledgeable tutors. I have had the opportunity to exhibit my work at trade shows such as Surtex in New York, Indigo in Brussels, London Print Design Fair and Premier Vision in Paris, where I set up and worked on CCAD Textiles and Surface Design’s exhibition stand for my work experience. Live briefs will be set throughout the course of this degree and students have the chance to work with industry professionals, who will come into CCAD for guest lectures and workshops.

Outside of uni I create psychedelic pet portraits and gift products to sell in my online shop as well as working with other artists for commission artwork, these elements have influenced my university studies and allowed me to experience running a small business and working with client briefs. This course pushes students to network, enter competitions and exhibitions and I would recommend it to anyone who has the ambition to succeed in any area of surface design and those who love explorative drawing.

Psychedelic cat portrait

Dreamscape design notebooks


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