Behind the Fabric – A Chat with Jen of SPILTHdesign

Behind the Fabric – A Chat with Jen of SPILTHdesign

Aug 1, '19

Molke wouldn’t be where it is today without the help and support of amazing local organisations. As we grow as a company we strive to do the same for other small businesses - so when we were looking for someone to create a new print for us we decided to reach out to the local creative community. Before long we were in contact with Dundee designer/maker Jennifer Clarke of SPILTHdesign to create a print that was out of this world!

It didn’t take long for us to snaffle her for ourselves and bring her on board as a Social Media and Marketing Assistant, helping Kirsty with hard task of adding rainbows to EVERYTHING in the office (and lots of other important businessy things too!)

We cornered her for a wee chat to find out more about her, her designs and what it’s like to work for Molke!

Molke model is looking intensely into the camera while wearing a Space bra with orange trim. She is wearing earrings made of felt in the shape of shooting stars made by Jennifer. The model has half purple half orange hair and glittery makeup on.

Hi Jen, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am an illustrator and designer working under the name SPILTHdesign and I have a love for all things colourful and weird! I enjoy using digital techniques to alter and play with traditional materials like watercolour and inks. I've done a couple of public art pieces in Dundee including an Oor Wullie. But my big love is knitting and felt and I work with these materials to create bold statement jewellery and larger artworks. I am a very tactile person, so I love making things that people want to touch – including knitted boobs which I have been making for a few years as a bit of fun. It seems that working for a bra company was in the stars!

It took me a wee while to work out that I wanted to be in the creative industries but eventually I found my way from Glasgow to Dundee to study Illustration at DJCAD. When I graduated in 2017, I had no second thoughts about staying in the sunshiny east coast. The design scene in Dundee was just getting off the ground and I felt very at home in the city. For Dundee to become a hub of creativity, people need to remain here once they graduate!

A hand holding a knitted boob.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I am a bit of a day-dreamer so a lot of my work can appear to be a bit silly or frivolous, but I am deeply inspired by the ideas of individuality, femininity and vulnerability. I am very inspired by strong women and rebels and I often make stuff as a response to things that get under my skin.

On the flip side I am OBSESSED with the idea of going to space. I love nature and the human body - I am quite into stuff that others might be a bit squeamish about so that often sneaks its way in there too. At the end of the day I always just want to make people happy and get a wee smile out of someone, even if it is about a serious subject. If I can do that, I have done my job.

Illustration of a futuristic city. Large strange building tower over the viewer in a forced perspective. The buildings are inky in appearance, coloured in green, orange and purple.



Tell us more about your Space design and how you came to work for Molke?

Dundee is a pretty small place and even smaller for the creative community. I am pals with an amazing woman who models for them – Tracy from Aspie Doodles (she is also a colourful illustrator and designer) and she passed on my details. My love of space had obviously travelled to Scone because they wanted to create a super fun galactic print, right up my street!

Designing a pattern for fabric was a bit of a learning curve compared to my usual editorial style as I am not used to creating a pattern repeat. The design needed to work in both directions too in order for the patter pieces to be cut in a way that minimizes waste - so this was a bit of a learning curve!

It was torture waiting for the design to be released. I created it before Christmas and it didn’t get it’s outing until March! I kept in touch with the gang at Molke and one day Kirsty gave me a call to ask me about joining the team. I was dancing in my pants in the kitchen when I hung up the phone and I haven’t looked back.

The Molke space print.

What’s it like being part of the team at Molke?

It’s a wonderful place to work. There is a real family atmosphere and we are all welcome to pitch in with ideas. Everyone helps each other out where they can, plus I get to sit opposite a giant rainbow in the office at the moment - so that’s pretty wicked! We have a real positive relationship with the customers through the different social media channels and I love how enthusiastic they are about everything we do here.

I have always hoped to find somewhere to work that matches my personal values so now being part of a company that has sustainability, body positivity and inclusivity at it’s heart, I feel very lucky. Molke is all about positivity and the more it grows the more smiles we can bring to people – this is something that has always be of great importance to me and I am so excited to see that positivity grow as the company does.

What’s next for you and Molke?

I’ve just started working full time and somehow that still doesn’t seem to be enough time to do all the things we want to do! I have designed a new print for Autumn which has had a sneak peak on the Facebook group and will hopefully get its outing fairly soon. Apart from that all I know is that we will keep making people feel fabulous and colourful all over the world and I will keep painting rainbows on things!

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