Laura's designs are bags of smiles

THE simple lines and bold colours of Laura Spring's designs do many things - most of all they make you smile.

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Laura is intent on having her bags made close to home, while her designs, with their bold colours and meteorological design, capture the vibrancy of the season
Laura is intent on having her bags made close to home, while her designs, with their bold colours and meteorological design, capture the vibrancy of the season

Zingy shades of citrus yellow and burnt orange, a warm sky blue and verdant green make up the textiles artist's collection of fashion accessories.

There are tote bags, iPad covers, wash bags and make-up bags as well as pouches and pencil cases, all made in her Convergence design.

What she is probably best known for are her duffle bags, strong and sturdy, perfect for a weekend away or a day out in the sun.

If you do think of sunny days when you see Laura's designs that's no surprise: the Convergence design that appears across her collection was inspired by the bars of weather charts.

The former Glasgow School of Art student worked in theatre and in the costume department of Scottish Opera before setting up on her own.

Now her collection is sold online, as well as in the shop at the Glasgow School of Art Reid building and at the CCA.

The South Side-based designer says it was a residency at Cove Park in Argyll and Bute that her set on the path to creating her own label.

"I was there for six weeks just to make work.

"It was brilliant, it really changed my life," says Laura.

"I was out in the middle of nowhere and I just got to do my own work."

That work was chosen to appear at a trade fair in London, showcasing emerging designer makers, and within a few months Laura was working on her own collection with orders coming in from as far afield as Japan.

"Suddenly I had to start thinking, this is a business," she laughs.

Initially Laura was designing, printing and making everything herself.

Now her collection is split between digital and screen printing, allowing her to produce more, with a local manufacturer making up the bulk of the range.

"I quickly realised I needed to start outsourcing things but in a way that I was comfortable with," explains Laura.

"I'm a printer, I didn't want to make everything digital or have them made by someone far away.

"I wanted to keep it all within the UK just so it fitted in with my whole way of thinking."

The latest prints launch on her website (www.lauraspring.co.uk) next month and, to coincide with the Commonwealth Games, she will be making a range that will be available at the end of July.

In the meantime, pick up one of the limited edition tote bags she created for the launch of the new Lush store in Buchanan Street.

"The new collection still has a weather connection but it's a bit looser.

"It's based on research I did at the Science Museum for a show at the Lighthouse," says Laura.

"I was looking at recreating old meteorological kits from the 1800s and it's all looking at the ways we have recorded and captured winds.

SO there are things that are really obvious, like arrows, which is just a really simple print.

"Other ones are more abstract, taking equipment we've used and breaking it down.

"I like to work with really simple shapes and colour.

"You suddenly realise you have a brand and that's what people know you for.

"That's the thing I like about doing short-term collaborations, like the one with Lush.

"It's nice to try out other things."

Visit www.lauraspring.co.uk

angela.mcmanus@eveningtimes.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment

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