Graduates 2023: Sholto Murray: 3D Design and Craft

“Brighton has allowed me to explore varying opportunities that I otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.”

Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

“My craft predominantly focuses on the use of local waste timber. Wood that I sourced from across Sussex has allowed me to create a collection of furniture and vessels, all of which hold their imperfections and irregularities to mimic the organic nature of the source material.

“This body of work has allowed me to develop my woodworking skills, specifically turning green wood, going against traditional techniques, and instead embracing what some would consider imperfection. My work is based around the sustainable use of materials, designing to work with them in order to minimise waste.

“I am influenced by the artists and makers around me. It is hard to work within a bubble, having contrasting perspectives gives me the ability to develop my craft further, with some of my favourite pieces have come from ongoing conversations with other makers.”

How have you found your course and what made you choose it?

“The hands-on nature of my course was a massive reason why I chose it. Being so engaged with the materials gave me a greater understanding of how to better my craft, which is shown in the development of my work. I have found the technical staff to be crucial to the success of my craft and that of my peers, the experience they have running their own practices and ability to pass on knowledge has been at the core of all my work.

“I have also found the course to be very sociable with everyone getting to know each other across our time here, this has made it enjoyable to come in everyday and something that I will miss when I leave.”

Did you go on a placement, if so could you tell us about it – what were your takeaways?

“I did not go on a placement across my time here, however we were able to work with local businesses, charities and museums as part of certain modules. This allowed me to work with real-world clients, developing my presentation skills as making me take a step out of my comfort zone. Designing for yourself is very different to design with a client and these opportunities gave me the ability to shift my focus closer to real world applications of my work.”

Was the location of your course in Brighton more important than you thought it would be?

“Yes, Brighton has allowed me to explore varying opportunities that I otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. Working locally with places such as Stanmer Park and New England Woodland gave me access to green wood that has been felled consciously to help develop biodiversity and increase the health of the land.”

What are your plans after graduation?

“I wish to keep making as much as I can, I find this is when I am at my happiest, developing pieces furniture and interior objects based on the use of locally sourced timber with the environmental impact of my work being at the forefront of it all. I have aspirations to eventually set up my own design and craft studio, creating work for both retail and exhibition spaces. For now, I am focused on refining my body of work to exhibit at New Designers in July.”

If you could give you 16 year old self any advice about going to University what would it be?

“Just get on with what you enjoy and stop listening to what other people think is best for you.”

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