Local Heroes commissioned textile designer and maker Laura Spring to design a travel themed product that would highlight her trademark love for colour, print, pattern and process. The result is the Arrow Travel Pouch, a screen printed cotton cosmetics bag with a hand-stamped leather zip puller and waterproof lining.
Laura’s design is a stylish way to carry your favourite travel essentials from place to place with ease and is available in two complementary colourways. “This commission allowed me revisit a pouch I designed a couple of years ago that has since morphed into a wristlet pouch in my existing collection. Whilst recently traveling through security at an airport with a wristlet pouch in my bag I realised it was the perfect size to carry the clear plastic bag of liquid and gels that so many of us use at the airport. So for this exhibition I have taken the wristlet back to it’s original form but added a waterproof lining and the hand-stamped leather pullers I add to most of my accessories.”
Accessories are at the heart of Laura’s successful business which has seen her collaborate with artists, designers and companies across various fields. With Laura Aldridge and Ciara Phillips she produced limited edition ranges of bags for House of Voltaire in 2012 and 2014 respectively, and she has also produced editions for Heal’s, Lush Cosmetics, Belle & Sebastian, The National Trust for Scotland, and Not Another Bill.
“The arrow print, initially designed as a print in my weather series, seemed like a playful fit for an airport consumer with everyone rushing in many directions. In order to add to the exclusivity of the product for Local Heroes, it is offered in a fresh coral colourway as well as the popular blue colour seen in my current collection.”
Always looking for the perfect pouch, bag or purse to accommodate particular items, Laura describes how her ‘obsession’ is the reason for founding her design company in 2011. “I thought it would be interesting to design a series of prints that related to the function of the object they were intended for – in that particular case back then it was a suitcase. I wanted a suitcase that was intended for a wet weather trip, a warm weather trip or a windy weather trip so a trio of prints were created and applied to a 1970’s style canvas suitcase I made and my first collection began…”
While ideas and products have developed, changed and broadened since then, bold prints combined with vibrant colours are at the heart of her business combined with the aim of creating functional and beautiful consumer goods in an ethical and sustainable fashion. Working with local manufacturers is important to Laura and the business she is building with all products made within the UK and the majority made within a 20 mile radius of her Glasgow studio.
Originally from Staffordshire, Laura lives and works in Glasgow where she creates bold graphic print designs that are transformed through screen and digital print into fashion accessories, homeware and stationery. A graduate of Glasgow School of Art, she was awarded a BA in graphic design in 2002.
With “an enormous love for colour, print, pattern and process”, Laura aims to create products and designs based around these ideals. Bold patterns mixed with bright colours transformed into beautifully crafted products underpin Laura’s work. Inspiration changes from collection to collection but past work has centred around the relationship between motif and function and most recently, Nature’s Camouflage.
“I am committed to supporting local manufacturing and ethical methods of production in the creation of my work. All trims, finishes and supplies are sourced within the UK where possible and when materials are required to be sourced from abroad, I ensure these are fair-trade. The majority of my collection is, however, made a few miles down the road from my studio by a small family-owned company who have over 35 years experience in the manufacturing industry.”
Laura has just completed the third phase of an exciting project called India Street, curated by Katy West. This took Laura and three other Scottish-based designers on a two-week research trip to India in February 2015 to develop designs and prototypes for the next phase of the project inspired by the Turkey Red Archive in Edinburgh’s National Museum. This launched at Tramway in Glasgow in June 2016.
Laura exhibits at trade shows regularly both here in the UK and internationally and has her work stocked in a selection of shops and galleries throughout the world.