Georgina von Etzdorf RDI and RSA Academy, Tipton

Weather patterns go down a storm at the RSA Academy

One of the UK’s leading textile designers, Georgina von Etzdorf RDI is best known for her unique fabric designs. Her work is characterised by an exquisite use of materials, a painterly approach and a dynamic sense of colour. Her fashion and textile products have been worn and sought after over many years by rock stars and royalty, and have also dressed many an interior too, through her furnishing fabrics and homewares.

Georgina has recently been working on a very special printmaking project with an enthusiastic group of Creative Arts students at the RSA Academy, Tipton. She set her brief to Year 8 students in a film clip, asking them to explore the weather as a theme as it had a huge impact on our daily lives and could be interpreted in a number of ways. The outcome of the six-week project was to create a wallpaper design that could be used in a variety of contexts, in a domestic or commercial setting.

The journey to the final solutions was a rich and multifaceted one as Stacey Williams, Curriculum Lead in Art discovered. “As well as experimenting with different printmaking techniques, use of colour, texture, shape and pattern, the students also discussed a broad range of subjects that were connected with the weather. This ranged from food, clothing and interior design, to science, climate change and the cosmos!”

On completion of their work the students’ submitted their designs in a class competition which was judged by Georgina during a visit last month. Dressed in a bright sunshine yellow puffa jacket, Georgina cheerfully critiqued each student’s wallpaper print. All 26 students spoke passionately and eloquently about their work; the ideas behind the design, colour choices based on emotional response or types of weather, and the chosen interior for the wallpaper. Ms Williams remarked “I noticed that the students were more inclined to give extended answers to Georgina’s questions as I think they felt it was such a valuable experience, a real change from our usual lessons at the Academy!”

The range of design responses and stories behind them were so engaging and impressive that Georgina eventually selected nine designs for a unique school display. Commenting after the visit, “This has been such great fun and very rewarding for me to see how much the students enjoyed working on the project”.

Following Georgina’s visit Ms Williams said “There is a real buzz around the Academy at the moment as I have recently put up some of the wallpaper samples in display frames in the restaurant. Staff as well as students are saying how vibrant they are, especially with some of the lovely summer weather we are having!”

Related project: Royal Designers for Industry (RDI)