In The Studio: Laura Slater

Laura Slater Textiles London


We spoke to our latest Limited Edition contemporary cushion designer, Laura Slater, about her new collection at Heal’s.

What is the inspiration behind the cushion designs?

The limited edition prints I have produced for Heal’s are a development of my signature collection ‘Assemble/Configure’ The print collection explores found shape, texture and pattern observed from the environments around me, whether architectural, industrial or natural.

This print collection has been developed through taking a range of patterned, drawn and printed components and developing their configuration and colour directly onto cloth. I loved the idea of creating a random, really abstract design that really reflects my drawing style and processes.

Tell us about your design process, how do you get started?

My process always starts with observation, drawing, and mark making. I am constantly collecting surfaces, prints, pattern or inspiration that may influence my design concept. I tend to find a visual theme or concept emerges instinctively. I use this then to shape any further pattern or process development.

My designs often develop through photocopying, re-scaling, over drawing, and layering. Once some key designs start to work, I will start to translate onto silk-screen, and work directly onto cloth with colour and composition. During this process I start to consider how my designs could be applied, starting to engineer them towards product.

Laura Slater Screen Printed Textiles

Everyone has a personal reaction to colour, are there any you instinctively avoid?

Researching and exploring colour is a big part of my process. I keep colour journals and explore colour ways directly onto cloth, considering colour proportion and balance.

I do tend to have a natural hand, which is fairly autumnal. It was something I identified once I started studying textiles. I aim to work hard to develop my approach to colour by trying not to levitate back to my natural hand, but to keep things considered, fresh and directional.

Paint in Laura Slaters Print Studio

How did you get involved with the Limited Edition series at Heal’s?

Interestingly I was contacted by Heal’s, from them seeing my work through social media, Instagram and Pinterest, which I found really interesting.

As soon as they told me about the project I was so keen to be involved, not only for Heal’s historical endorsement of great British design, but because as I printmaker I loved their approach to the limited and bespoke prints on textiles.

Laura Slater Limited Edition Cushions Heals

Tell us about the first textile you designed

The first textiles I designed were actually as a child, making hundreds and hundreds of pom poms. Coming from Yorkshire, knitting and visiting wool mills was a big part of my childhood and I remember the almost meditative process of winding the wool and picking colour and the unexpected and accidental patterns that came through from layering and striping. Not that different from my design process now actually!

Do you have a design hero that influences your work?

I tend to look at a range of sources for inspiration, the Bauhaus artists, Lazlo Moholy Nagy, architecture (I’m into concrete and Brutalism), the landscape, and the St Ives artists. I love Scandinavian Design and look at a lot of Illustrators, too.

Any designers keeping traditional printmaking part of their ethos inspire me. Artists that embraced textile design to develop their imagery also inspire me, Henry Moore textiles are incredible.

Do you have any studio superstitions / design quirks?

I’m not sure about superstitions or design quirks, but I suppose do have my studio ‘mascot’ who is my beautiful French Bulldog Sonny. He keeps me company and sane, when running around super busy. I’m sure people would laugh at how much I chat to him through the day!

What 3 words would you use to describe your Limited edition collection for Heal’s?

Directional, industrial, Graphic.


Want to get your hands on one of Laura’s luxury cushion designs? Head over to the Heal’s site now.

Laura Slater Print Designer

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