Katharine Smith

Recently I blogged about the work of Ailish Henderson who studied water-colour as her elective subject on her textiles degree programme. In this post I’m looking at the work of Katharine Smith who is studying printmaking following A Creative Approach to Textiles.

I asked her about her experience of combining both disciplines into her practice;

My journey to studying with the OCA has been circuitous, via an ancient fashion and textiles diploma in the distant past, through office and shop work, child-rearing and some challenging personal development.

I navigated Textiles 1 ACA with much relish and not a little frustration. My latent skills in textile construction and enthusiasm for the subject pulled me through the course by the skin of my teeth and I was extremely content with my assessment result.


Printmaking 1 is another ball-game! I found my lack of experience with basic art techniques is now more of a problem, particularly with sketchbook development and it is a very good thing that the College is now providing a course to assist students new to art study. 

All is not doom and gloom though. My tutor helped me realise that I needed to relax into sketchbook work a bit more and allow my personal artistic style to come through, as well as using my textile experience to add an extra dimension to my work.  I am drawn to multi-media work at the moment with paper cutting and stitching, as well as experimenting with gelatin plate printing to make interesting backgrounds for further development.

PicMonkey Collage

When I started out with my OCA studies I saw myself dedicated to the textiles pathway and imagined myself focusing on a particular technique like weaving or knitting but the printmaking course has helped me to cast my ambition wider and realise that I needn’t restrict myself that way.  I still feeling like I am only at the beginning of my journey and there is a long way to go but for me studying is not just about gaining a paper qualification.  It is much more about growing my creative personality in order to become more me!

Check out Katharine’s blog for textiles here and printmaking here

It’s worth considering the degree pathway you are going to follow carefully, challenging yourself and learning a new skill can potentially lead you in very new and exciting directions – the road less followed may well be the right road.


  1. adrian510434 25 November 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Congratulations on this inspiring feature.

  2. Julia 29 November 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Nice to see your final textiles piece here – I witnessed its gestation on FB what seems to be aeons ago and think the result is very beautiful and atmospheric! Intrigued by your comments about print making. Must dive into your printing blog sometime. Best of luck with everything!


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