Skip to content | Accessibility Information

Examples of student work which feature in the exhibtion

Material Journeys exhibition now open

Product Design and Craft graduates showcase work at Manchester Craft and Design Centre

30 January 2024

"Material Journeys" runs until 30th March 2024

Three graduates have been selected to exhibit at Manchester's prestigious Craft and Design Centre

The centre, based in the Northern Quarter of the city, have been long term partners of the School of Art and this is the 17th edition of their graduate showcase. 

Marilou TurnerAshley Knight and Tom Radburn caught the attention of the team from the Craft and Design Centre through their creative use of traditional materials.  The exhibition is "an exploration of process and impact. Drawing inspiration from place and chemical reactions, these bold graduates allow the materials to reflect the power of experimentation to produce sustainable practices. Frozen in time, these heirloom pieces embody environmental results and encourage individuals to go on a material journey."

All three students graduated in 2023 from Product Design and Craft and first showed this work at our annual degree show. We caught up with Marilou, Ashley and Tom to hear about their work and their time studying at the School of Art.

Marilou Turner

"At the Craft and Design Center, I am exhibiting the pieces I developed throughout my last year at University. The inspiration for this project was through my research about place-oriented design and how artifacts recovered from the ground of certain places left unique marks and colours that identified objects to that place due to the elements present in the soil. Through my making, I wanted to explore surface texture and coloration on metal that gave these artifacts their unique composition. This led me to develop different types of patinas that create vibrant colours and textures on a metals surface, leading to the final collection of Weathered Vessels. 

"Manchester School of Art gave me the freedom to explore the field of crafts and design through their incredibly well-equipped workshops and studios. It allowed me to figure out what sort of maker I wanted to become and aided me in putting my first foot forward in my career."

"Currently, I am working in the metalware department of a kitchen design company where I am continuing to learn about patination and metal production. I am also slowly building up my home workshop so I can continue developing my own projects."

Follow Marilou on Instagram here:

Ashley Knight

"I’m exhibiting a collection of pieces from my final year project ‘Living Heirlooms’. I worked on this project for the duration of my final year at Manchester School of Art; over the course of the year I explored the theme of heirlooms, examining attitudes towards these objects in the twenty-first century and responded to my findings in a collection of ceramic pieces."

"My favourite part of studying at Manchester School of Art was the many hours I spent in the workshops. Supported by the fantastic technical services team, I was able to experiment with a huge range of different materials and techniques and I developed a real love for craft."

"Since graduating I have started a full-time job within a craft workshop and I am looking forward to keeping up with my making as well as continuing to work with galleries in the future."

Follow Ashley on Instagram here:

Tom Radburn

"The pieces I displayed at Manchester Craft and Design Centre are a material exploration into the origins of glass developing into contemporary synthetic gemstones for the use in jewellery. Using only sand, shells and ash from one location in Wales, I mix and measure the ingredients to create the raw glass. This project was developed while at MSOA and supported by the experienced Technicians who helped me progress and formulate my project. "

"Being selected for exhibition at Manchester Craft and Design Centre meant a lot to me. After graduating and while putting on your degree show it's hard not knowing what your practice will look like outside of university. Opportunities like these give you a chance to exhibit your work externally, to collaborate and to potentially link you to commissions or jobs."

"The most enjoyable part of Manchester School of Arty is the range of specialists that teach and work in the workshops. To realise a project like mine, that ended up being multi-disciplinary, I needed assistance from almost all of them. This along with a close community of creatives made MSOA a great place to study." 

"I am glad to say I have now got a job in my chosen field working at The Glass Foundry in Stroud working on glass for a range of clients to create casted glass objects and sculptures." 

Follow Tom on Instagram here:

Material Journeys opens on Saturday 13th January – Saturday 30th March 2024
Free entrance
Opening Hours:
Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5.30pm
2nd Sunday of the Month, 11am – 5pm (excluding January)

Find out more: