So few textile design tutors seem to practise nowadays. This is a huge shame as it weakens their link to integrity and a maturing, evolutionary relationship with the commercial role of the craftsman. Most designers are caught in their ’emergent’ stage for teaching and then stay there. Thus, the unerring vision and dogged belief in what they’re doing no longer needs to be honed into longterm shape. An imperative ‘master craftsman’ link then becomes absent in their knowledge and, dare I say, value.
Karen Nicol is the rare exception. Fortunately, she was one of my tutors at the Royal College of Art. She is one of the few tutors who seemed human in interview – that’s to say, when you attend interview and examination at the Royal College of Art, there are times when humanity is not abundantly evident – that seemed to be the case in the 1990s, at least!
How refreshing this video on Nicol now that she’s back in the driving seat of full-time craftsman!