Nevay is an artist/designer based in Dundee who graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Textile Design from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in 2010. A printer, her work is concerned mostly with observation of organic mark making and natural destrcutive processes which inspire her own induced and emulative textiles/pieces.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Main Designs and Developments: Visual CV To Date

Amazon Wish List

My design work has led me most recently back to my concerns as to the notion of preciousness and attitudes towards care and value of possessions. Research into textile preservation has pointed me in the direction of a rather fantastic book which is top of my Amazon Wish List:

One day. One day...

Current Preoccupations

Cutting away Seams:

Ordinarily these would be thrown away, but I have rescued them. I am unsure as to what they will emerge as as I develop my ideas but for the moment I am enjoying photographing them and getting lost as to what they could be or could mean, having been severed from their original state.


Compact by Nicola Reed

A recent success in my own work has come via a collaboration between myself and my good friend, and talented jeweller (also a graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone 2010), Nicola Reed. Nicola and I, having cited one another as inspiration/competition (!) throughout our final year, (as we both employed techniques from one anothers disciplines in creating our final collections), applied to Craft Makers Award: Dundee with our 'Re-Worked' brief:
‘Re-worked’, is a collaboration between Sara Nevay and Nicola Reed, First Class Honours graduates of Duncan of Jordanstone, Textile Design and Jewellery and Metal Design respectively. We plan to examine the process of reworked and reused vintage materials and how the destructive process of rusting, used in our case as an organic ‘print’ and deconstructive element, can highlight the idea of preciousness in modern materials. We aim to combine disciplines which will, as we adapt to working independently of University, arm us with further knowledge and skills as each of us plan to enlist techniques and materials traditionally associated with the other’s specialism; we each touched upon this in our final year projects which were shown at the Duncan of Jordanstone Degree Show this May. We plan, too, to explore the process of working between two cities, Sara based in Dundee and Nicola, Inverness, strengthening the craft links Dundee has with its graduates. The project aims to work constructively with the nature of our chosen materials and processes, (rusting being a lengthy process and our working in separate studios for the most part), allowing us to explore in depth, the growth of our project and chart our own progress as new designers chronologically. The project will take place by posting designs, as well as swapping reworked materials, at different stages to see how they can be incorporated effectively into designs and used for their mark-making potential. Posting will act as markers in time of the decaying process, allow for regular revision of our work and growth of our designs and ideas as they are realised, and test the strength of our reworked samples as they are exposed to our design processes. We hope to learn much through adapting to circumstance and working further with our materials as they change in each other’s hands. We plan, too, to collaborate and document the project stage by stage, in an online blog where we can share ideas in a more immediate platform and in a sense ‘work together’ whilst living in separate cities.

We were both elated to recieve support from the Craft Makers Award: Dundee, as both a boost in confidence and an opportunity to push the project further than we could have ourselves in terms of finance and backing.

Post University - The Day Job

I am currently employed by Halley Stevensons Dyers and Finishers Ltd in Dundee who are a leading manufacturor of waxed/oiled cottons.

Being based in Dundee and having international contracts means I have the best of both worlds; I can stay in Dundee, (a city I am convinced is on the cusp of some wonderful creative BOOM), and have experience in preparing for design shows and conventions across the globe.

My primary role within the factory is based within the Sample Dept. where i collect, cut and mount new colours and qualities of waxed cottons. It is a time-consuming job but with Spotify as my most immediate colleage, a pair of pinking shears and a long to do list, my day is full. I learn lots. The repetitive nature of producing large quantities of any given sample requests is, I find, rather therapeutic and I enjoy the design processes I employ to get the job done to a high standard. My role fulfills my love of research, collecting and collating, organising, recording and observing.

I make these using various cutting methods/machines:

And I make them by the bucket load...

These are the most basic form of sampling that I fullfill - a broad spectrum of colours and finishes to cater to all. When working with the designers here I can help in the preparations for big design shows like Premier Vision and Milano Unica and work on more specific forms of presentation to contextualise the fabrics for designer brands like Barbour, Preen, Prada, Gloverall, Topshop Unique. It is very interesting to be at one of the fore stages in a fabrics life - all the various different routes it may take, and to see how a large business prepares for an event such as Premier Vision, having been a visitor to the show in the past myself. I find it odd that I must have encountered my new colleagues as a student in awe all that time ago!


During the degree show, I was approached by my friends Erin Ward and Lisa McLean who were at the time working on their MDes collaborative project , JUDE magazine. I knew a little of what they had in mind already so was very pleased to have been asked to be a part of their venture.

An exciting opportunity for new creatives in Dundee - a chance to network, collaborate and be publicised.

Showcasing my Work

My Degree Show
May 2010

My work in the Dundee Degree Show Catwalk Event

New Designers June 2010


Early Experiments in C&A:C&D

The beginnings of 'abusive' and 'induced' studies.

Laser Cutting Tests:

In further exploring abusive techniques for my textiles, I played around with the laser cutter, looking to singe and burn precious/high quality cloth. I loved the oranges and browns the laser printed onto the wool - reminded me of the rusty colour palette within my organic prints.


In looking at the intimate role garments and cloth play within our lives, I explored the relationship between body and garment. Notable inspirations were Caroline Broadhead and Issey Miyake.

Vulnerability Photo Series

In contrast to the rough textures and abusive techniques used to create my final collection pieces, inspired by Alison Watt's 'Folds', I produced a series of 'super soft' digital prints on natural fabrics. They were based on these photgraphs taken of an early prototype for my rusted garments:

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


'Collection and Affection: Construction and Deterioration' - the tagline for my final year project at Duncan of Jordanstone.

1920s Altered Bra

Inspired by atists such as Hussein Chalayan, Caroline Broadhead, Alison Watt and Tim Harding and scenes of redundant, neglected belongings that I had avidly photographed, I set out to create a collection of textiles that posed question to our attitude towards fabric and cloth in this current 'disposable' society.

“Fabrics are taken for granted: there are some exceptions, European tapestries during the Renaissance, for example, but mostly, fabrics have a mundane function, and are an intimate part of people’s lives.  That led me to the precious aspects of clothing. Good clothes shouldn’t be stained, scorched or soiled; they need to be taken care of. The juxtaposition of preciousness and vulnerability.” (Tim Harding)

And so, my final year collection was a response to 'the juxtaposition between preciousness and vulnerability' of clothing and the treatment or mistreatment of garments within their intimate role. Beginning my research by photographing clusters of discarded objects in junkyards, recycling centres and charity shops, I found interest in the organic affection of metals – the damaging process of rusting and elemental wear and tear, and accidental collective compositions. C&A:C&D explores this vein of thought, concentrating in particular on the rusting process of fastenings, fixtures, tools and implements of construction embedded within a collection of vulnerable found garments and fabrics. Using industrial metals in the dyeing process and an assortment of found metal-based objects and fastenings, I hoped to illustrate the abuse and neglect of precious fabrics by showing the permanent (and for the most part, uncontrollable), blemishes made as a result of mistreatment. Exploration of other ‘abusive’ techniques led to more experimental techniques; burial, scorching and cutting by way of laser cutting fabrics in order to emulate the irreversible affection of rust and metal and expose weaker elements of the cloth.

Embellished Pieces:

Organic Prints/Dyes:

Singed/Burnt/Cut Natural Wool: