Charlotte Greenwood and Zoha Javed of Birmingham City University given Epson Awards

Creative textile work has secured prizes for a first and final year student at BCU which has a strong and evolving industry-education link with Epson

Charlotte Greenwood and Zoha Javed of Birmingham City University given Epson Awards

Charlotte Greenwood and Zoha Javed of Birmingham City University given Epson Awards

Creative textile work has secured prizes for a first and final year student at BCU which has a strong and evolving industry-education link with Epson

Epson has given two awards to BA Textile Design students at Birmingham City University. Charlotte Greenwood has secured the Epson Award for a Final Year Student and first year student Zoha Javed has been named the Birmingham City University Winner in this year’s Epson Challenge.

Heather Kendle, market development manager at Epson Europe, says: “When assessing the final year degree show for Epson, we are looking at how students are incorporating print into their thinking, but also want to see a breadth of thinking and original interpretation. Charlotte’s work incorporates elements of origami and is very precise in its execution, which complements the quality of Epson print.  Her laser cutting, pleating and alignment of print with these techniques created some unusual pieces and demonstrated a good eye for detail.”

Charlotte Greenwood’s tutor Dr Dilusha Rajapakse concurs: “Charlotte’s explorative practice-based approach enabled her to effectively incorporate subtle motifs and print effects into different complexities of folded fabric structures. The printed textile design outcome of her final major project introduced new aesthetic qualities for the fashionable sportswear sector.”

Charlotte Greenwood says: “From this project I learned to create and cultivate my own trend. I pushed creative boundaries of surface pattern by incorporating techniques within my stylised drawings. I learned that scale, rhythm and depth of design are all extremely important when generating printed textiles.

“It feels amazing to be recognised for my individual surface pattern and creativity. It is great to know that a prestigious company like Epson have considered my designs worthy of an award.”

Any visitor to Fespa this year may have seen some of the design work produced by BCU student Zoha Javed on show in the “aspirational apartment” including kitchen units, splashbacks, plates and cutlery in the kitchen area (picture attached). The annual Epson project was initially introduced as an extra-curricular competition but was so successful that it has been incorporated into the university’s first year module.

The brief this year was to either design patterns for hard and soft furnishings, walls and flooring or accessories for a restaurant in a luxury hotel or for a show home where buyers look for an aspirational lifestyle. Students were given a restricted colour palette for each scenario and were encouraged to learn more about digital printing technology but to combine other techniques and processes – including knit, weave and embroidery – to create original work.

Kelly-Marie Sifleet, senior technical demonstrator, says: “We use Epson SureColor SC-F dye sublimation and DTG printers in the textiles department and students are encouraged to use digital print effectively. The Epson project enables them to learn a great deal about colour and register and to discover how easy the equipment is to use and how it opens up creative opportunities. The work produced was exceptional and Zoha was a very worthy winner.”

Zoha Javed says: “What I enjoyed most with this project was that it gave me a chance to play around with colours, introduce my own colours to complement the palette given by Epson and also to work with all different types of fabric and different printing processes. I’m glad I got a chance to have fun and work in the printing studios.  

“I am really grateful to Epson for giving me the opportunity to work with them. It was an amazing and memorable experience. To be selected as the winner was something I really did not expect at all; it was shocking in a good way and it has boosted my confidence in myself and in the work that I produce. “ 

Epson puts a great emphasis on linking with universities to empower designers of the future to gain a better understanding of digital printing technology as a creative tool and to learn from teaching establishments the current thinking and approaches of young people who will steer the industry of the future.