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Becky working in our knit workshops

From knitting workshops to East London studios and industry pitches: Becky Mars talks creative process and career progression

6 June 2018

Degree Show Spotlight Series

Textiles in Practice student Becky Mars transports us to the slopes with her ski-inspired samples. But what has gone into her Degree Show exhibits? She shares the experiences that have shaped her work. 

Becky is part of our Degree Show Spotlight series that explores the work and experiences of a selection of talented students that will be exhibiting in this year's show. Want to find about more about the students behind the show? Read our previous Spotlight piece

'Throughout my final year, I've been inspired by a concept titled "The Holiday"'. 

Having already focused on other types of holidays titled 'The Deep End' and 'The City Break'. My Degree Show project explores the ski season, inspired by the glamorous connotations of a skiing holiday in the 1980's. 

'My collection of samples that I'll exhibit in the Degree Show have been created using a variety of knit techniques including cabling, intarsia, ribs and holding.' 

I've mainly used the knit workshop working on both the domestic and dubied knitting machines and the linkers. To add details, I use embroidery techniques and apply embellishment by hand to my samples after taking them from the machine. 

'The support and guidance I have received from the Textiles in Practice team has encouraged me to develop my practice and become confident in my own abilities.' 

On the course, I have taken the opportunity to gain experience in the textiles industry. During the summer of my first year, I was a Design Intern for luxury fashion and textile designer, Jane Bowler, working in her East London studio to help design and make her next collection. 

I have also worked as part of the digital team at Graduate Fashion Week and Fashion Scout for two seasons. 

Within Manchester School of Art, I have taken part in live briefs and collaborative projects. During, Unit X last year, I chose to take part in a collaborative styling project with alumni and textiles surface designer Rianna Phillips. It was beneficial to experience pitching and presenting ideas, and to get feedback from somebody in industry like Rianna. 

Also, a live brief with John Lewis, completed during my final year, has been one of the most enjoyable projects I have taken part in. Working with three other Textiles in Practice students to form a design studio, we collaboratively developed a concept and then gave feedback to one another when making design decisions. We then made a publication to record our collection. At the end of the project, we were able to show our work and receive comments from the Head of Design at John Lewis. 

'The rich history and association of textiles in Manchester gives you the feeling, as a Textiles in Practice student in the city, that you are part of something so much bigger, something special.' 

The highlight of my time at Manchester School of Art has been the shared time in the Textiles studio space in the Benzie Building with the friends I have made on my course. In the near future, I hope to complete an MA in knitted textiles or fashion knitwear giving me the opportunity to develop my practice further - ultimately one day hoping to work in these fields. 

You can see Becky's work in our Degree Show from 9-20 June, and can find out more about her work on her Instagram account