ABOUT LAURA

 

There is a continuous thread that runs through Laura's work and experience that weaves together to create a rich fabric of knowledge, expertise and artistic expression. Throughout Laura's diverse textile career, what has remained consistent and prominent in her exploration has been a deep respect and concern for nature, an affinity for Asian philosophy and aesthetic, and a boundless passion for spirituality as it relates to creativity.

Laura first studied weaving at the age of sixteen at Sevenoaks School under the mentorship of Lesley Millar. It was the start of a lifelong passion for textile art and design as well as Asian studies. She pursued her interests with vigor while completing her BFA at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Her desire for authentic practice and understanding lead her to seek other work experience that would further enrich and inspire her career. In her first year she traveled with Lesley to Kyoto, Japan, working as curator assistant for the exhibition Through the Surface. The following year she served as a work practice student at Tassajara, Soto Zen Buddhist Monastery in California and volunteered with VIA (Volunteers in Asia) in Bali, Indonesia, working for Mitra, a local Fair Trade Organization based in Ubud. In addition, while she completed her studies, she worked for part-time for Selvedge a high-end textile magazine based in London. She was also employed as an assistant to the Asian Art curator at the RISD museum and helped in managing some of the most exquisite Japanese prints and Asian artifacts. Every experience enriched and deepened her understanding and appreciation for textile art and Asian aesthetic. 

Upon graduating, Laura worked as a full time technician at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) textile department, where she gained invaluable hands on experience and technical expertise, working not only assisting the students and faculty but also visiting artists and professionals in the industry. After exploring part-time interests and founding a non-profit arts organization, she took a great step in her career, accepting a full time position as a textile designer in Shanghai, China. For six and a half years Laura worked as the head textile designer for ICICLE, a high-end, forward thinking, local fashion brand with a philosophy, MADE IN NATURE. ICICLE is one of China's leading environmentally conscious fashion companies, promoting a comfortable, sustainable and professional lifestyle. Her experience not only included intense design work but also sourcing, visiting and liaising with factories, suppliers and attending trade shows in China as well as Europe and Japan. 

Laura, now based in California in the San Francisco Bay Area, works independently as a freelance designer, contractor and consultant. She offers her expertise and designs for commercial as well as boutique projects both in China and the US. 

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© 2018 LAURA SHIRREFF