Wednesday, 30 June 2010

MEET: Rose Sharp Jones

Today we meet textile designer Rose Sharp Jones of Rose Sharp Jones Textile Design.

Please tell us who you are and what you do.
My name is Rose Sharp Jones and I am a textile designer. I specialised in knitted textiles during my BA course, continuing this during my recent MA where I also incorporated printed textiles into my work. I also use crochet for many of my products. Much of my inspiration comes from traditional textile techniques such as smocked embroidery and aran knitting stitches. I use these techniques to create a range of contemporary textiles that are applied to a variety of products including furniture and cushions as well as wearable accessories.

Pieces are hand or machine knitted, crocheted or made from fabric screen printed with my hand drawn designs. I use organic and sustainable materials throughout my work. I make all pieces myself and am based in south London.

How long have you been creating for?
I’ve been creating since childhood in one form or another but have been running my business for just over a year, since completing an MA in Textile Design.

When did you first realise you could turn your craft into a business?
I first planned to set up my own business during my MA course.

Describe your work setting.
I have a workroom at home that’s filled with lots of things! There are a lot of shelves and drawers for my yarns and fabrics, as well as my desk with drawing and painting equipment for designing my printed fabrics. I also have my knitting machine set up in another part of the room.

What inspires you and keeps you motivated?
Much of my work focuses on finding new uses for traditional techniques in contemporary products, so I’m constantly motivated by different product ideas as well as the original inspiration that I find in traditional textiles and dress. Other inspiration can come from anywhere!

How do you keep a balance between work and home life?
This can be hard but I try and keep the balance by working to normal daytime working hours, although this obviously varies at busy periods!

What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
It’s great when you receive positive feedback from customers, when they like the colours you’ve used or a new print design for example. I also teach knitting and crochet classes and have found this enjoyable and rewarding.

And the most frustrating?
Lack of time is frustrating, the administrative and website upkeep side of my business take a lot of time which detracts from the time I have for designing and making. It’s difficult sometimes when designs don’t develop smoothly but that’s part of the creative process and working through problems can be very rewarding.

What are your long term goals?
I hope to run a successful business promoting the use of traditional crafts and hand made, environmentally friendly products.

What advice would you give someone trying to start their own creative business?
Try and get a good understanding of running a business and seek business advice if you can. Carrying out the administrative side of your business will probably involve a lot of your time. Try and research the best markets for your work. Keep your products original and make sure that you enjoy making them!

Is 'handmade' a lifestyle choice for you and if so why?
I try to buy as many handmade products as possible and have a real appreciation for products handmade by other designers, as I understand the work and time that goes into them! I make a lot of clothing and accessories for myself as well as gifts for family and friends.

To find out more about Rose and her work visit her website:   

Contact Rose for information on how to order her products:
Phone: 07958 925 866

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