Donna Wilson is a globally-feted designer. She initially made a name for herself in 2003 with a series of knitted toy creatures made of lambswools, which managed to be odd and endearing all at the same time. Since then, she has worked with the likes of SCP, John Lewis, V&A Dundee, as well as having a solo show at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Meanwhile, her range of products has expanded, encompassing furniture and accessories, sculpture, fashion, and magazines. There’s also a book. In 2010, she was named Designer of the Year at Elle Decoration’s British Design Awards.
Most recently, she has launched The Knit Shop, a micro-knit factory in Dundee. She describes the new production facility as ‘my small bit to keep the tradition of knitwear and textile production in Scotland alive, so that these precious skills are not lost forever’.
In this episode, we talk about: taking control of her production and the difficulty of manufacturing in the UK; how the pandemic re-shaped her business; becoming a brand; creating her creatures; preserving her craft essence; the importance of repair; having a poem written about her (yes, really); knitting; growing up on a Scottish farm and being inspired by her grandmother; and how getting spotted by New York design retailer Murray Moss changed her career.
We are delighted that the headline sponsor for this series of the podcast – and the Material Matters fair – is the brilliant lighting specialist, Bert Frank.
Find out more about Donna Wilson