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The Professional Development Award Past Winners


Joint Winners

Caren Garfen


Project: Exhibition ‘What’s Going On Upstairs’

Caren Garfen is an experienced artist, whose proposal to create an exhibition around her work on ‘eating disorders’ reflects a passion and sustained commitment to a compelling and unsettling subject. The pain and distress of anorexia is sensitively considered and beautifully expressed through her textiles. Caren’s approach in developing miniature maquettes, in preparation for larger scale pieces, is both professionally planned and critically developed. The work demonstrates originality and a highly personal artistic quality.

Leanne Tonkin

Conservation Research Fellow

Project: To give a paper at 11th American Textile Conservation Conference, title ‘Embellished Fabrics: Conserving surface manipulation & decoration’

Leanne Tonkin’s application underpins an extensive career in textile conservation. A clear application outlining her proposal to present her research at an international conference and to publish new scientific work in the field of dress and embellished fabrics. The work focuses on the conservation of a plastic belt from the 1920s haute couture designer Schiaparelli and plastic embellishment on a dress of the same period. All her work draws one into her new career development which follows a more creative approach. Leanne was also very clear about helping the Textile Society in the future.



JOINT WINNER - Carol Quarini

Artist and Researcher

Lace Battles

Lace Battles

Carol Quarini has been awarded £1000 towards her project Lace Battles: The Legacy of the Battle of Britain lace designs.

JOINT WINNER - Cynthia Jackson

Researcher and embroiderer

Cynthia Jackson

The Broderers’ Crowns

Cynthia Jackson has been awarded £1000 towards the project The Broderers’ Crowns.



WINNER - Bonnie Kirkwood


Photography by Yiannis Katsaris

Purchase of Toika Loom

Bonnie Kirkwood has been awarded £1000 towards the cost of a 150cm wide Toika loom and related software.

The loom will broaden the scope of Bonnie's design development and support the expansion of her professional practice.

The Selection Panel was impressed by Bonnie's strategy to broaden the scope of her professional practice after three successful years in woven textile design. The business has developed design, consultancy and commissions for a wide range of international fashion and furnishing companies. The panel recognised the potential to develop design collections simultaneously on two looms, spanning fashion and furnishings, and supported the purchase of a 150cm wide computer loom to enable the production of custom designed textiles for fashion designers. The vision towards a more diverse range of projects was supported by strong visuals of woven textile design with vibrant colour. The panel acknowledged that it may be necessary to generate income by occasionally sharing the loom with other professionals, but recognised that this practice had the potential to develop a positive support network of independent textile designers with similar working practices. In addition, a wider range of production seems likely to encourage further opportunities for internships for emerging graduates.

RUNNER UP - Sue Stone


Portrait of a Grimsby Girl’ detail. Photo: David Ramkalawon

Me and Mine

Sue Stone has been awarded £500 towards the project Me & Mine at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2016.

The Selection Panel acknowledged Sue's significant contribution to textile art practice and her extensive track record for international exhibition and publication. The panel was impressed by Sue's vision for her project Me & Mine to be exhibited at the Knitting and Stitching Show 2016. This is an ambitious proposal to engage visitors in the ‘re-telling of memories of self’. The project aims to ‘connect people, place and time’ through the lives of others, and the panel was particularly interested in the potential to open up the possibilities for audience development and extend the project beyond the gallery towards a wider public. In addition, the panel acknowledged that publicity and promotion is central in the development of the proposal, and they support the documenting of thoughts and processes behind the work as a legacy of the project.

RUNNER UP - Claire Barber and Penny Macbeth


Curatorial Master-classes

The Selection Panel was impressed by Claire and Penny's proposal for a series of curatorial master-classes as professional development. The panel was particularly interested in the scope for dialogue between two artists working in socially engaged projects and June Hill, a notable curator of textiles, as mentor. The ambitious project seeks to discover innovative ways of thinking collaboratively about curatorship and the culture of textiles in contemporary practice. The panel was particularly interested in the potential for ideas, and the interpretation of archives and collections through intervention and artists’ performance. The working process - from mentoring to international exhibition - and the documenting of the creative journey through research and debate was critical in the panel’s support for the project.



WINNER - Shielagh Tacey

Textile Designer



Hattersley loom

Hattersley Loom Training

Shielagh Tacey has been awarded £1,000 towards a weaving residency based on the Isle of Scalpay, Outer Hebrides incorporating a course of Hattersley Loom Training.

Shielagh has spent the past year researching weaving in Scotland with the aim of expanding her own weaving business. During this research period she visited the Outer Hebrides where she discovered the potential of increasing her woven cloth production by using a Hattersley Loom.

Shielagh will return to the Outer Hebrides next year to be trained by the Harris Tweed weaver Sheila Roderick. Shielagh is eager to transfer her current skills in weave theory, design and practical weaving to the heavy cast iron mechanics of a Hattersley Loom. Shielagh also plans to use her time on the Isle of Scalpay to develop a new range of cloth designs inspired by her surroundings.

RUNNER UP - Brendan Jamison





Travel to China

£500 is awarded to Brendan Jamison for travel to China for his exhibition ‘ Wool Forklift Trucks –Sculpture Installation’

The concept of the 'Wool Forklift Truck' project is to create a large-scale sculpture installation which explores gender politics with a vehicle normally operated by men, and to do so with the material of wool which is traditionally associated with knitting and femininity.

The award will fund the transportation of works to China in March 2015 to promote and educate on UK textiles in the heart of the Beijing creative district. The pieces will be exhibited at the Creative Crossover China Gallery in the 798 Art District of Beijing.



WINNER - Sheila Clark

Yarn Store Keeper RCA


Fabric woven at Guilford

Investigating Sustainable Material Solutions for Vehicles’

Sheila Clark has been awarded £1,000 towards the completion of her doctoral research, ‘Investigating Sustainable Material Solutions for Vehicles’. The award will support the practical outcome of her research as a critical element of her PhD.

This project uses sustainable materials - synthetic and recycled synthetic fibres, together with natural and local materials including British wool and wool felt, nettle fibre and hemp - for car seat covers and as a replacement for seat foam. These solutions offer additional ecological benefits, contributing to a reduction in fuel consumption by lowering the weight of the car. The textiles will be woven at Guilford Textiles and Camira Fabrics, and will be assembled in a pre-production Fiesta model at Ford. A particular challenge has been the re-creation of hard panels in alternative materials, combining bio-resin with non-woven flax as a structural support, and using the original door panels to make the moulds.

Sheila’s research is underpinned by her extensive experience with fibre and yarn, and is informed by her management of the yarn store at the Royal College of Art for 24 years and her industrial design research for over a decade. Her images describe the process of her technical research, while communicating the tactility and richness of the textile qualities in her work. These reflect an interesting mix of functional design with aesthetic resonance.

RUNNER UP - Joanne Horton

Phd research student at De Montfort

Joanne Horton: Diorama


Joanne Horton has been awarded £500 to support a practical investigation into mixed media processes and their application in fashion. Joanne presented a vision for electro-plated textiles through a series of recent prototypes. Her work will explore “new directions in embellishment” and the potential for metallic patination and iridescence in fashion detailing. Her proposal aims to re-visit ‘Diorama’ and digital projection as a communication device in exhibitions, considering how it might be explored as a means of display, performance and audience development in museums. Joanne is seeking to revive and re-invent ‘Diorama’ in the context of contemporary textiles, with particular reference to the Museum of Textiles and Fashion. Following an extensive career in higher education for more than 20 years, this new body of work will form the basis for doctoral research at De Montfort University.

RUNNER UP - Jilly Edwards

Self employed tapestry weaver



Jilly Edwards: Field Hedges

Publication for solo exhibition at Harley Gallery

Jilly Edwards has been awarded £500 to support a 4-fold brochure to coincide with a forthcoming solo exhibition at the Harley Gallery, Welbeck in Nottinghamshire, from January to March 2014. Jilly has developed an extensive career as a tapestry weaver, having previously exhibited at Ruthin Crafts Centre in 2011, and at Blackwell House, Windermere, in 2012. Her inspiration is rail travel and the changing landscape. This publication will document the process of her creative thinking; recording her creative “journeys” and how they have developed her recent works. The text and images will reflect how “the senses, feelings and sounds, even smells…evoke a memory”, describing how “glimpses of these elements” are captured through sketchbooks, colour notation and photography. This proposal, from a maker who has sustained her practice for more than 40 years, discussed the value of woven tapestry as a slow art form, and the importance of the “hand” in making. The award acknowledges the potential of this publication to contribute to the understanding of reflective practice in textiles.



WINNER - Patricia Belford

Textile Designer and Researcher


Velvet concrete

Printed Alchemy - Familiar pattern speaking a different language’

Patricia Belford’s proposal to develop a new body of work inspired by the discovery of a series of 1960s paper designs from the Turnbull design archives adds to her outstanding record of practice-based research and textile innovation over many years. Patricia’s steadfast commitment to the value and quality of hand-silkscreen printing, in the context of increasing digital print production, was strongly reflected in her application. She proposes to interpret the designs through screen manipulation and diverse print techniques towards the development of two hybrid groups of fabrics – one as a printed furnishing collection, the other as design inspiration for concrete velvet, extending the results of a recent architectural collaboration. The judges responded to Patricia’s association with the textile industry and the potential commercial collaboration with Turnbull, a company steeped in the heritage of British printed textiles and one of the few that is continuing to produce high quality fabrics for an international market. The project brings together the strength of contemporary textile practice with the best of historical textile archives - a relationship that is central to the Textile Society.

Patricia will use the money to buy four silk screens for her new project which translates paper designs from the old Turnbull Archives onto specifically woven velvet suitable for her range of concrete velvet range.

RUNNER UP - Jane Price

Practising Artist


View Jane's report on her residency.(PDF)

A History of Art Part 1

Textile Artist in Residence at High Cross House, Dartington

Jane Price’s application presented a classic case of a professional textile artist who has independently sustained and developed her practice over a long career. Jane’s application, supported by high quality images, demonstrated a strong visual identity. The judges were impressed by her desire to explore new directions in embroidery following a long track record of exhibition. Her proposal to develop a new body of work at High Cross House, Dartington, using its history and modernist architecture as a source, suggested a significant turning point in Jane’s professional development. Public engagement with her work during the residency, together with the documenting of her creative process in response to Dartington, will be a valuable record for exhibition and publication.

The grant will be used for support for materials and record keeping during her time at High Cross where she retraces her own footsteps of 45 years ago and develops new research based on Dartington using its history and modern architecture.



WINNER - Daniel Christopher Harris

Working Professional Textile Weaver



Daniel Christopher Harris: London Cloth Mill

London Cloth Mill

Daniel is setting up a cloth mill on the outskirts of London in Dalston. It will operate on a small but industrial level, with the designing, sampling, warping and weaving done on the premises.

Daniel began as a technician in the fashion business. In October 2010, driven by the inspiration to make garments from his own cloth, he researched old industrial looms and was inspired by their largely Victorian level of technology, which was intricate yet understandable.

Alongside his own cloth he aims to offer a bespoke sampling service, allowing designers to have input into the design of their own exclusive cloth.

Once the weaving has become established he hopes to open his studio to the public, showing skills and techniques.

RUNNER UP - Tabitha Moses

Freelance Artist


Tabitha Moses: Threshold


Tabitha is an experienced freelance artist. Her practice is an exploration of objects, cloth and clothing as containers and transmitters of human experience. ‘Threshold’ is an exploration into the evolving condition of hysteria.

The exhibition, at Liverpool University in 2012, will be accompanied by an educational programme, which includes talks by artists, social historian and a clinical psychologist, a family drop in session and workshops.

The aim is to reach new audiences for contemporary textiles and visual art among scientists and mental health practitioners.

RUNNER UP - Leanne C. Tonkin

Textile Conservator

Leanne C. Tonkin: Adhesives & Consolidants for Conservation

Presenting a research poster at Symposium 2011 - Adhesives & Consolidants for Conservation

Leanne Tonkin is an experienced textile conservator. She is giving a research poster entitled ‘Preserving an English Coal Scuttle: Defining the Suitability of Lascaux in treating an early 19th century Silk Bonnet c.1845’.

The poster will concentrate on the application of an acrylic based adhesive to treat a crushed silk bonnet known as the ‘coal scuttle’ belonging to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. The treatment highlighted the decision to use an interventive adhesive treatment to stabilise areas of weakness in the silk.

Leanne’s work with adhesives is crucial in the world of textile conservation as new adhesives are being developed as old ones are removed from use.