The Glyndebourne Shop's exquisite collection of handmade scarves by Kathryn Green.

We spoke to Kathryn to find out a little bit more about her intricate design process.

Kathryn Green Textiles for Glyndebourne

Kathryn Green graduated in 2007 with a First Class Honours degree in Fashion and Textiles. Since then she has been working as a Sussex-based textile designer and lecturer in further education and now runs workshops from her studio.

According to Kathryn, her life experience has been full of contrasts and contradictions, which is reflected in her work – splashes of colour against a monochrome background, circles alongside squares, minute detail in an immense space.

 A collaboration with Glyndebourne seemed like a perfect fit - as Kathryn says, “Glyndebourne sits with great serenity within its immediate landscape of beautiful gardens and grounds. There are the dynamic forms of the sculptures and structural planting complemented by the softer, more organic and flowing nature of the flower gardens, with their varied textures and glorious bursts of colour.”

Inspired by all these elements Kathryn produced a bespoke collection for Festival 2021 to reflect the varied richness of Glyndebourne as she experienced it. Each piece in the collection is hand-dyed onto a high quality silk and bamboo mix fabric using a series of shibori and other print processes to create layers of colour and texture, meaning every piece is unique. “My scarves are pieces to be worn as visual statements – or wearable art – and each design tells a deeper story. I am my experiences, but I leave it to the wearer to tell the tale: to weave their own narrative into the yarn.”

We spoke to Kathryn to find out a little bit more about her design process:

Q: How did you go about creating a bespoke collection for Glyndebourne?

Having discussed the possibility of a bespoke collection with Sarah Luke, Head of Retail, I visited Glyndebourne last summer and spent some time walking in the gardens and grounds, making sketches and colour notes and taking photographs. Recording details of textures and the structural elements in the gardens also informed my ideas. But above and beyond that, it was an opportunity to absorb some of the atmosphere of the place and to understand a bit more about the people who visit. My textiles are not only visual pieces, but it is important to me that I capture the spirit and emotional context of a subject as well. 

Armed with this primary source information, I set to work in my studio. Firstly I created a mood board which contained my reference photos and sketches. To this I added colour swatches as I worked out the colour palette of the collection. Colour is very important to me and involves mixing dye colours from scratch to create the range I am looking for. This involves vat dyeing numerous samples, then over-dyeing in a secondary selection of colours and reviewing the results. I record each dye recipe as I develop it to ensure that I can replicate it again and attach a sample of cloth next to each one for visual reference.  

I then sampled different shibori techniques to capture the visual and emotional qualities that I had experienced. My textiles are not literal interpretations, but are abstracted from the information I have collected and what I have felt. These samples are my ’sketches’. They inform how I will proceed with a piece of work and again I take notes and attach samples.

Once I had a range of samples I was happy with, Sarah and I had a meeting and selected the samples to develop further. From there it was a question of scaling everything up and trialling on full size scarves. This can produce its own challenges as, despite keeping accurate records, there is a certain amount of serendipity involved in the shibori dyeing process, making each scarf unique. 

Kathryn Green Textiles for Glyndebourne

Q. What role does your environment play in your work?

My studio is purpose built within an urban environment, which is not my natural habitat. However, once inside, it is an oasis, where I surround myself with collected sources of inspiration, samples, large scale drawings, books, ideas and the functional tools of my trade. This space is the creative hub of my practice, as it has given me a place to step into and focus on my creative practice, without external distractions and taken away my excuse to procrastinate!

In the wider context, my environment is fundamental to my well-being and ability to be creative, and for this I need the countryside. I am lucky to live in Sussex, in the shelter of the South Downs. I do a lot of my creative thinking whilst walking in the countryside. It provides endless inspiration and I am constantly making mental notes on the things I observe. 

I need this connection to nature to both ground me and allow my mind to wander, problem solving and allowing ideas to float to the surface. I am a reflective person and the natural world gives me the space to be with myself and tap into something deeper.

Kathryn Green Textiles for Glyndebourne
Kathryn Green Textiles for Glyndebourne

Q. Do you feel there is a connection between design and music?

I absolutely feel there is a connection between design and music. 

They are both creative expressions of things that have been observed and felt. They both resonate with people and create emotional connections.

There is the same passion, level of commitment and energy amongst the people involved in these creative sectors and a desire to communicate, through their work, with others. We are all striving for excellence and continue to develop and hone our skills, with the aim of bringing pleasure to others and fulfilment for ourselves.

Silk Reflections Scarf

Blue & Pink Handmade Silk & Bamboo Reflections Scarf

 

Silk Opera Scarf

Turquoise & Lime Handmade Silk & Bamboo Reflections Scarf

 

This collection is now available to buy here at glyndebourneshop.com

Author: Diane Halling, Glyndebourne Shop Product and Visual Merchandise Coordinator