Sarah Podlesny’s whirlwind year after Texprint
5 June 2011 by TexSelect in Alumni Stories, Fashion
Sarah Podlesny, winner of Texprint’s Breaking New Ground prize last year, has had a momentous year. Her talent and skills were recognised during her participation at Texprint’s London showcase and she was offered a job by Laura Miles, a Texprint alumna who has created her own successful weave studio.
Sarah’s job with Laura Miles Studio is varied and exciting. Laura creates fabrics for many designer labels and produces a jacquard collection for Vanners, one of England’s last remaining silk weavers. As Laura’s assistant, Sarah says her day to day tasks can involve, “Anything from weaving samples for a New York trip, then maybe putting some designs in repeat for the Vanners collection. I could be testing out structures and colours on a woollen warp for the tweed collection. I thread up warps and create technical files for fabrics to send out with the designs. Some days are filled with appointments to show the collections in London, but sometimes we spend a whole day developing a fabric for a new project.”
Sarah explains, “I have been really lucky to land a full-time position doing something I absolutely love. My job is full of variety, I am learning constantly. The fabrics that Laura designs are varied too, so I never get bored. I travel a lot – I was in New York recently, and was able to see Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was really inspiring. I get to meet a lot of interesting people. I am really happy with where I am now, I wouldn't change anything. It has been a massive learning curve- no two days are the same.”
Sarah has just bought a loom in order to develop her own work further, and is looking to try out some new techniques, such as ikat weave structures. In the future she wants to further explore interactive and ‘smart’ materials. She has this advice for new graduates; “Take something from every opportunity and experience and don't always play safe. Don't be afraid to try something a little different. You don't have to be commercial to guarantee yourself a job. If you have the creativity and work really, really hard then go for it with your idea! If you think there is nothing out there just keep looking.Get your work out there in as many ways as you can, start a blog for example. And don't worry if you have a creative block, it will go away”.