Work Experience – Richard Weston

During the summer and my first term back in university I searched endlessly for somewhere interesting to do my work placement. After looking into so many different designers/artists, emailing so many different people and repeating the process many times, I finally found someone who fitted some of the ideas that I have been working through during this first term of Textiles.mineral 2

Richard Weston is an architect and landscape architecture who has been working with minerals. He recently worked with Liberty in creating mineral scarf’s, which is how I first found out about him. His work focuses on highly concentrated images of minerals, and photographing these for use on paper and fabrics. Currently he is working on about four different projects, three of which my input would be welcome. The first is looking at Mica images of minerals and working with those to create patterns, and also looking at adding these minerals into textile patterns of the old master like William Morris; the second is an app for children, in which they can use line drawings of flowers or animals, etc. and fill them with the colours and patterns from minerals; the third, which links into the second, is creating patterns from the mineralised drawings of children, a sort of ‘by children, for children’ project.

 My first day started with a journey to the wilderness (aka. Dinas Powys) via bus, train and foot. Travelling to a world wholly unknown, I started my adventure into the field of minerals. With these projects lying in front of me it seems I have quite a bit of work ahead of me, I don’t yet know how I’m going to do any of this but that’s part of the challenge isn’t it? When I arrived at Richards, and after our morning meeting where he told me of the projects he’s working on, we started looking through some of the Mica images and I started to forma bit of knowledge about minerals, though a lot of it did go over my head (but not much, my reflects are amazing). I started to see the beauty in these naturally forming marvels. I was taken through the mineralised children’s drawings, then the ‘Appman’ appeared!

Today Richard had a meeting with the man who was creating his app. I was given an introduction to how the app will work, and then I was able to add my input of what could be changed or modified, which was really quite interesting. I could see why my input was wanted, I’m completely detached from this app, having never seen it before I can see what would perhaps not work so well, whereas someone as close to the app as Richard and the ‘Appman’ are, it could go unseen. Once the ‘Appman’ started to update the changes, which had been agreed upon during the meeting, Richard and I went back to exploring the different images of minerals he had taken through his uber-micro-scope.

I think that day one was a success. After a round introduction to the ideas that we will be tackling together over the next few weeks, I feel as if I’m in a position where I can think and develop on own ideas, all the while working to Richard’s specifications. I feel that this work experience will give me first hand knowledge of what it would be like to work for a client, or to a clients specific ideas. All in all I feel that this will help me to develop as a designer, working from ideas that are not my own, but handling them as if they were.  I hope that the rest of the days to come will follow in the footsteps of this first day, and that I will be able to gather invaluable knowledge and information from my time with Richard.

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