Photos taken in the streets, shrines and temples of Kyoto became the inspiration for Ellen’s graduate collection. These were translated into detailed drawings and collages, with a focus on repeat pattern. This led to experimentation with folded and pleated papers, informed by lanterns and origami, to consider how patterns change when manipulated and folded. Colour palettes were also developed from the research photos at this stage, to ensure consistency throughout the project.

Ellen has an interest in the variety of textile techniques and traditions of different cultures. While studying in Kyoto, her attention was drawn to the alternative methods and materials that can be used to create patterned textiles. She was particularly interested in Katazome, a resist-dyeing technique with many stages, including cutting intricate stencils by hand. She produced a series of Katazome samples with simplified patterns taken from her research drawings and collages.

To compliment the more time consuming, hand-printed and dyed textiles in the collection, a range of digitally printed silk and bamboo was produced. The pleated and folded elements found Ellen’s research were brought into the designs, which were sampled and adjusted several times before being fully printed to ensure the colours matched and the pleat and fold illusions were effective.