Artist Spotlight: Miriam Griffiths
Based in Sheffield at Yorkshire Artspace’s Exchange Place Studios, Miriam Griffiths Knitwear is a small-scale label that creates luxury clothing collections from high-quality, locally sourced materials. Last month, Sally Strong spoke to Miriam about her ethos and creative process.
How do you express your creativity through fashion and craft?
I like my creative outlet to also be useful; that’s why I like making clothes. Not only do they look good and express my creativity, they also keep people warm and comfortable. I like making people question how something was done and it’s a big achievement for me when I create something that makes people think.
What is your design process like?
I tend to start off by collecting images that inspire me, so they could be photos I have taken myself or found online. I then develop a colour palette from these images and a theme that will run through the collection. I start developing knit techniques from this research, which I then experiment with to try to push their limit. After this base has been set up I translate the colour and techniques into garment designs, to see how they will work with the body.
Using high-quality, local materials is integral to your work. Can you tell us more about it?
I like to use materials that have travelled as short a distance as possible, to try and keep my manufacturing footprint small. I also think it’s important to support local industry and keep the UK textile industry going. So many of the textile factories have closed or moved abroad, so it’s nice to work with companies which are still UK-based and have been established for a long time. It’s also beneficial for me as ordering times are shorter and the quality of the yarn is very high.
As an independent fashion house, how do you find making in Sheffield’s creative scene?
It’s a really supportive community. Having a studio space in a large complex is great as you meet lots of people and can share advice with each other. Lots of the people in my studio building do the same shows as me and we share transport, so it means you know people when you’re at the show.
Any projects coming up?
Not at the moment. I am starting to plan my Autumn/Winter collection and plan for this season. Spring is quite quiet for me in terms of my own work.