txtiles by connie howard-mccombe

Graduates 2021: Connie Howard-McCombe: Textiles Design with Business Studies

“The course equipped me with skills that broadened my understanding of the industry. The Historical and Cultural modules complemented my making as it was a source of inspiration and understanding for me. Additionally, the business modules were very useful, and I gained a lot of information about the possibilities and realities of running my own business.”

Hi Connie – please tell us a bit about your work and your influences 

“My final collection ‘Tat’ is based on my 92-year-old Nan’s Bungalow in the Isle of Wight. Brought up bargaining at the weekly Sunday car boot sale I have always had an affinity for junk. ‘Distasteful’ or kitsch items fascinate me as they can be extremely polarising. I wanted to push the concept of tacky as an aesthetic and whilst collecting primary research I found a kitsch character to my Nan’s bungalow that I connected with. Deeply personal to me, I was initially hesitant to use this as a source, as my Nan would probably be quite unhappy with me if she knew how many people have now seen the inside her bathroom, but eventually I decided it was the natural inspiration for ‘Tat’.

“As a dedication to my Nan (and to try and convey her character) I also incorporated a selection of her jumbled quotes such as “cheap as biscuits” and “tough as old bullets”, which were used as graphic text elements as well as inspiration for jacquard imagery.”

How have you found your course and time at Brighton? 
“I have very much enjoyed my time at the University of Brighton. Transitioning from the fashion course to textiles was a very daunting prospect but my tutors and technicians made it manageable! The technicians supported me so much to catch up but most importantly made me feel comfortable and welcome in a positive working studio.

“The course itself equipped me with a range of skills that broadened my understanding of the industry. The Historical and Cultural modules complemented my making as it was a source of inspiration and understanding for me. Additionally, the business modules were very useful, and I gained a lot of information about the possibilities and realities of running my own business.”

How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study Textiles? 

“I originally enrolled on the Fashion with Business course which I completed the first two years of. I knew I was interested in fashion and loved making but my time on the fashion course taught me that I was much more interested in crafting and creating textiles. Specialising to knit and changing my course was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made as I was able to explore both fashion and textiles in my work.”

What are your plans after graduation? 

“This summer I plan to apply for internships and seek opportunities working creatively. I am keeping an open mind as I’m not sure what I want to do long term but as long as I’m making, I’ll be happy!”

Find out about studying Textiles at Brighton.
See Connie’s work in the graduate show.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *