Karan Jones

“If things start happening, don't worry, don't stew, just go right along and you'll start happening too" or so says Dr Seuss. How do you get started on a new project?

At the start of a project I dream about the exciting designs I am going to create. My brain is usually abuzz with endless ideas and I find inspiration in my urban surroundings: small gardens, laneways and the close-up observation of detail in these spaces. My library card is my best friend; I borrow countless books, read magazines, spending many hours online, researching current trends and inspirational textile design. Only then am I ready to commit to paper; then it gets messy. Paint, dye, water, brushes and rollers, exploring and drawing, trialing and having fun. I try not to over think the process of making marks and be perceptive with my hand and eye.


Bricolage is about using and utilising what you find to hand. What tools or techniques do you find you can’t help coming back to?

I always begin a drawing session with my ruling pen dipped in ink; it never disappoints. Using the ruling pen helps me to make an intuitive line because of the way it glides roughly across a surface of papers; I can create a mood, not just a copy of what I see. Charcoal enables me to work loosely and quickly, capturing expressive lines. I have a light-box I like to use to modify paintings; I manipulate inky and watery lines using photography and computer aided design to create pattern and imply texture. I am usually rifling through the kitchen drawers for any object that will make a good mono-print; I have been known to use glad-wrap, rolling pins and sushi mats.


Why textile design? (Or maybe by the end of the course, why not...!)

I am immensely fascinated by textile design because of the materiality of fabric and of the stories fabric can reveal about a society. Contemporary textile design allows me to explore my narrative in relation to the social context I live in, while working with the elements that excite me: colour, pattern and texture. I made the career changing decision to undertake further study, after I visited the weave studios at RMIT Open Day in 2010. It was the hypnotic power of the looms and the infinite possibilities for pattern that bound me...

Bricolage: Karan Jones