Michelle Stephens graduated from the
University of Ulster, Belfast with First Class Honours from her B.A. (Hons) in
Fine and Applied Arts, specialising in Textile Art in 2010. Following this,
Stephens was offered a place on the "+1
Hons " Programme at the University - an artist in residence programme.
Upon completion of this Stephens was accepted
onto the 'making it' programme with
Craft NI 2011-2013 and as a result of the work completed on this programme she
is now a member of internationally recognised "Sixty Two Group of Textile
Artists". Most recently, Stephens has just finished her Masters in MA Textile
Practice, with Distinction, at Manchester Metropolitan University, 2014.
A defining characteristic of her work has been the sustained commitment to the conceptual synthesis of contemporary technology and historical textile sources. Currently her work involves the examination of technology as a design tool by using the coding language of processing as a method of reanimating the traditional textile patterns of Paradise Mill, Macclesfield.
Following this investigation it was key that the coded textile images became a physical fabric again, rather than staying a print based medium. Referencing the historical methods of jacquard cloth production has been a key component of Stephens' on going research. Therefore, these new coded patterns have been used as a repeat pattern to construct the woven structure for a triple cloth on a digital jacquard loom.
Outsourcing a local mill in the production process was also vital, as the width and length required for the textile installation meant that a larger loom with higher picks per inch was essential. The thirty metre long piece of fabric was produced on the digitally powered jacquard loom at The English Weaving Company, Huddersfield.
Michelle Stephens is supported by