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‘I never thought I would invent a new material’: Hannah Elisabeth Jones talks designs, experience and ambitions

7 June 2017

Part of the Manchester School of Art Degree Show series

To celebrate our Degree Show, we're focusing on the stories, inspirations and learning experiences of some of the 1000 plus artists and designers who are exhibiting their work. 

Previously, BA Fashion student Leanne Roebuck shared her experiences crafting her portfolio and getting to know the fashion industry. In this instalment, BA Textiles in Practice student Hannah Elisabeth Jones talks about the invention she is exhibiting at this year's show and her hopes for the future. 

‘Bio-Marble’: from an idea to Degree Show piece

‘This year I have been developing my invention of a new, biodegradable and flexible fabric that I have named as "Bio-Marble".

My work is driven by my concern for the environment and I hope it will help promote sustainable thinking for those that view it.

Over the past three years, I have noticed how much paper is wasted in Manchester School of Art and hence my unique materials recipe includes unwanted paper collected within the building. Through recycling this paper, I have reduced waste and in turn helped to protect the environment.

I never thought I would invent a new material, but through a long and tough process of trial and error, I have developed a set of new skills, in material fabrication.

I have had fantastic and challenging support from the Textiles in Practice team, without which I would not be at this exciting stage in my work now. I combined these unusual skills with the traditional technique of patch work quilting – another process I had not experienced until final year.’

Outside the Degree Show: collaborations and exhibitions

'There have been many brilliant opportunities for cross-course collaboration, particularly in Unit X.

Last year for example, I worked with Three Dimensional Design and Interactive Arts students to create work for a rooftop exhibition in the Northern Quarter. It was very beneficial to experience working with creatives from different specialisms, as it encouraged me to approach materials from a different perspective.

I have also been commissioned to create work for the vertical gallery in the School’s Benzie Building. My vertical gallery application and pitch were successful, therefore my design will be installed on the ground floor in the Benzie cafe area made entirely from "Bio-Marble".'

Ambitions after graduation

'I am so grateful for the wealth of knowledge that I have been exposed to throughout this degree, particularly when designing site-specific installations and working for commissions.

This year, I have been selected to create work for Bruntwood offices in Manchester city centre after a pitching process within my course. It has been an excellent and educational experience, and I plan to transfer the valuable skills learnt from this project when submitting my work for exhibitions and commissions in the future. I am happy to announce that Bruntwood have awarded me with the ACID Copyright Prize and I have also won the GK Gallery Solo Show Exhibition Award.

I am also intending to apply for an MA at either Central St Martin’s ‘Material Futures’ or the Royal College of Art in the near future.

You can view Hannah Elisabeth Jones’ work in our Degree Show from 10-21 June. To find out more about her work, you can visit her Degree Show profile, or her website at You can also follow her on Instagram at @hannahelisabethdesign.