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Meet our Future Makers 2018: Rachael Allcoat

Written by Alicia Eccleston.


In support of new, emerging talent, each year our resident makers hand pick promising ‘Future Makers’ to showcase their work here at Manchester Craft & Design Centre. These new designers are either currently studying, recent graduates or newly emerging and this opportunity will bring their beautiful work into the spotlight. This year we have a total of seven Future Makers, all with their own unique craft, working with different processes and materials.

Rachael Allcoat, a graduate of BA Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design at Leeds Arts University, is one of the seven Future Makers selected this year for our 2018 exhibition. Rachael is a mixed media surface designer who specialises in innovation and colour, she likes to refer to science within her work and often creates bold shapes and unusual textures as a result. For Rachael, the tactility of her work is extremely important, and she combines surfaces and processes within her samples to create a unique sensory experience for the viewer. Her surfaces are laser cut, hand embellished, disperse dyed and vacuum formed- Rachael’s work will not be for sale but we are very pleased we can celebrate her work as part of the Future Makers exhibition.

The management team here at the Centre are particularly excited to see Rachael’s work as it will be showcased in the window of MCDC’s office. Out of all of the graduate work we researched, Rachael’s stood out because of its vivid but soft colour palette and her interesting use of materials, patterns and prints. We also loved how she had curated her work at her graduate exhibition, her work was hung so beautifully! and we hope to recreate this when we display it here at Manchester Craft & Design Centre.


Image Credit: Rachael Allcoat


Image Credit: Rachael Allcoat


Image Credit: Rachael Allcoat


We asked Rachael a few questions to discover more about her and her practice:


1.) So Rachael, out of hundreds of 2017 graduates and emerging talent you have been selected by us. How do you feel about being chosen for Future Makers 2018?

It feels great being selected! New designers is a big and scary process that goes way beyond just the show itself and I believe that the show can give individuals mixed results. You can get a lot of attention and potentially meet your future employer! But on the other hand, you can also struggle to talk about your work or even receive little to no attention. So, in light of my mixed experience with New Designers it feels great to be selected! It also has given me the little push that I needed to get back into my own little creative bubble.

2.) What are the things that have inspired, and continue to inspire, your work?

I’m quite versatile so if I’m working on a project that requires more trend driven inspiration I will follow that and gain my primary research (drawing and photography etc.) to help incorporate that. But in general, I find science (broad – I know!) very, very interesting to focus on within my responsive work. Whether it’s analysing geological specimens for compositions or gaining colour palettes from microscopic detail, I can get a broad range of inspiration for an entire project from science alone.

3.) Is there any advice you would give to artists and makers who are starting out?

Keep on applying yourself. You may have to work in industry or have a part time job alongside but don’t give up in your drive to be you. Your creativity and passion will shine through in the products or art that you create. And although its cliché DON’T GIVE UP! Whenever I was feeling bored, overworked or uninspired at university I would often start a really random creative little hobby/project in the studio. This is literally as broad as making plant pots to rulers (check my insta! ra_fold) but it would give me a breather whilst allowing myself to continue being creative and having fun. But in reality, this was actually expanding my skill set and letting me sell a few bits and bobs on the side.

4.) What is your dream project?

My dream project would be to collaborate with a fashion house such as Mary Katrantzou, Alexander McQueen or Iris Van Herpen on an interactive surface for fashion week.


You can see Rachael’s beautiful work on display here at MCDC in studio 24 (Office) as part of our Future Makers 2018 Exhibition. Click here to find out more about this fantastic exhibition.

Instagram: @ra_fold