Esmee

Watts

United Kingdom
Before university I worked between textiles and graphics; Decorative Arts gives me the freedom to explore both. The course really allows you to explore your own personality in terms of your work.

More about Esmee

What made you choose to study at NTU?
“Two things; the first being the city of Nottingham. It felt bigger than my hometown of Norwich but not as scary as somewhere like London.

“Secondly the course, I had originally planned on applying for a graphics or textiles course, but couldn’t decide between the two. When a Decorative Arts student came to my college showed a selection of her work, I was completely captivated by the array of materials she practiced in and so I applied for the course.”

What do you enjoy most about your course?
“The diversity of it. Before university I worked between textiles and graphics; Decorative Arts gives me the freedom to explore both. The course really allows you to explore your own personality in terms of your work. The projects set during the final year has really allowed me to develop my personal style.”

Has the course included any live projects or industry briefs?  
“During the course, I have completed a group project set by Johnson Tiles. This was an amazing insight into designing for industry; it really opened my eyes at an early stage in my degree. I now know what attributes industry look for in designers, for example professionalism and attention to detail.

“I also took part in a brief with Denby Pottery.  In a group, we were challenged to design a new product idea which they could develop. I decided to work on this brief further in my own practice and developed a range of work inspired by Denby and their heritage.”

Can you tell us a little bit about the SDC (Society of Dyers and Colourists) competition?
“Taking part in the SDC’s international competition really pushed me to think about colour in a different way. We were asked to create four boards exploring the brief of colour communication.

“It was an amazing opportunity which I feel very pleased and grateful to have been a part of, it was my first competition, which gave me a clear understanding into how to present both myself and my work to others.

“Being named runner up in the Midlands Regional Heat was quite a surprise as the standard of work was just so high. It was a great experience which I would recommend to anyone.”

How do you find the course staff?
“The course staff are really important, and the technicians are invaluable; without them the course would be really difficult. They teach us so many different techniques which we can then explore further to develop our own practice.”

How do you find the course facilities?
“As a decorative arts student, we are extremely fortunate to have our own personal studio spaces. This allows us to work away from home or halls. The workshops offer us the chance to learn and explore new techniques.”

What do you like about studying and living in Nottingham?
“For me, moving to Nottingham was a chance to live life away from family comforts and expand my knowledge. Nottingham is a far more approachable city than somewhere as big as London, moving here from the countryside wasn’t quite so scary.”

Why would you recommend studying BA (Hons) Decorative Arts?
“The course is ideal for those who enjoy exploring and working in multiple materials. You’re able to discover your strengths and then hone in on a specific skill/material specialism.”

Where do you hope to be in five years’ time?
“I hope to continue with my own practice, continue to create things which excite me and to constantly make more as I am a practical person. I also hope to go into industry to push myself out of the student bubble and move into a career, perhaps within the interiors sector.”

If you had to sum up your Decorative Arts experience in three words, what would they be?
“Diversity, experimentation and practical.”

Read more about NTU's success at the 2017 SDC competition.

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