Project description

Buzzing for life is a collection of textiles which informs people about bees and flora that are joined through pollination. Bearing this in mind, I hope to make people more aware of how important bees are, along with flora for our future environmental sustainability. The designs are informed by research I have conducted into the two subjects to increase awareness of their significance to our planet.

The inspiration behind this project came from a family connection to honey bees. My brother currently keeps bees so I have been able to visit them and draw from first-hand research. I have always had an interest in flora due to attending wildlife groups together with a collective family love of the environment. 

This collection is aimed towards interiors within the home, in particular kitchen based textiles. I want to create open discussions around bees and flora within a relaxed environment. In our current climate more people are staying at home making an increase within this market. When we return to socialising at home, a meal will become an event to celebrate, making exciting tableware a must have. 

There are 4 groups within the collection displaying a range of techniques such as collage, watercolour and line art. Each group has a different colour scheme to work as a stand alone collection. The groups each include a tablecloth, runner, placemats, coasters, and tea towels. In addition, every collection also has supporting products found within the kitchen such as oven gloves, blinds and aprons.


Hive is based around bees and images associated with them within the hive. The colours are inspired by the different coloured dots which are applied to a queen bee to show when it was born and make finding it within the hive easier. The collection is suitable for all ages and the bold palette makes it great for families to engage kids with the topic. Bees wax food wrappers have also been designed using striking patterns to stand out when over a bowl. They are produced using our own bees wax from the hives which is sustainable. The factual tea towels will sit well within a kitchen. They are designed to allow for information to be absorbed when hanging over a rail. Similarly the place mats are small fact files which include information which can be read before or after the meal. 

Hive Tableware
Hive Tableware
Hive Tableware
Hive Tableware

Colony is inspired by my initial photography from visits to bee hives and further research into bees beyond what we see in photos. The palette was chosen to express the typical colours associated with bees. The colour choice complements the drawings which are hand painted watercolours giving a traditional theme. The digital composition and printing of the designs allows the textures and marks from the drawings to be displayed. The designs have been thoughtfully composed to consider the use of the product. The table cloth has been designed with a trim to hang over the edge of the table and the napkins match the style. The oven gloves have been designed thinking about how they would be seen when hanging on an oven rail. It allows for a view of the inside design, when on an oven rail with a hidden surprise.

Colony oven gloves and tea towel
Colony Tableware
Colony Tableware
Colony Tableware

Pollination brings bees and flowers together as they both need each other to survive through pollination and are a commonly associated pair. With a limited neutral palette the collection focuses around a range of intricate line drawings. The collection is aimed towards people who would like bees and flowers in their home without large amounts of yellow and brown often associated with bees. The tea towels are all hand drawn to scale to make sure the proportions are correct for printing purposes. This reduces the need for resizing and loosing detail. The factual tea towels will sit well within a kitchen to work as art within the home while having a practical use. The tea towels are designed to allow for information to absorbed even when the tea towel is hanging over a rail. It is a more sophisticated collection.

Pollination tableware
Pollination Tea towels
Pollination Blind
Selection of Collection 3 (Pollination)

Bloom is based around flora which is associated with bees and pollination. All the flowers included were taken directly from my photography or research about which flowers are the most attractive to bees. This makes the material informative to show what people could plant to help bees. The main part of the collection is the tablecloth showing a range of wildflowers and a small fact file to educate people about each one. The place mats are designed to complement the tablecloth with wildflowers forming  boarders around the edges. The table runner tells the story of how an apple is grown from the pollination of the flower to the formation of the fruit.  Alongside the watercolours I have experimented with cyanotypes to use real flowers to directly create prints onto the fabric when exposed to light. This works well within the collection to bring out the blue within the tablecloth and mirror the loose feeling of watercolour.  Within the collection the colours are taken directly from the included flowers which gives a broad palette. They are joined together through the constant use of watercolours. 

Bloom apron and tablecloth
Bloom Table runner
Bloom Blind
Bloom Tableware
About Rachel

I’m a Graduate Textiles BA (Hons) student from the University of Edinburgh. My degree course has given me a unique opportunity to develop a diverse range of skills. Each  project I completed was significantly different from the last to broaden my horizons and grow my skills. 

I am hardworking with a passionate interest in design for both interiors and fashion. My practice is mainly focused around and inspired by our surrounding environment. My most recent collection is based around the natural world finding beauty in our surroundings. I find inspiration from my own photography and am constantly adding to my own personal photographic library. My practice is based around colour, collage, hand painting and drawing which are brought together through unique pattern compositions.


Rachel in a bee suit
Skills & Experience
  • Hand Painting and Drawing
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Dyeing Processes
  • Screen printing; Discharge, Devoré, Binders, Dyes
  • Colour and Trend Awareness