Design-Nation: Where did you study and what course did you do?
Maria Sigma: My first degree was in Conservation of Artworks, specialising in Textile Conservation in Athens, Greece. Then I came to London to explore design courses. I did a Foundation Course in Fashion & Textiles at London College of Fashion and then carried on to do a BA (Hons) Textile Design, specialising in Hand Weaving at Chelsea College of Art & Design.
DN: Are you still working in the discipline or material that you studied?
MS: My second degree in Textile Design was a very conscious choice after a lot of research and having gained a degree. I wanted to become a weaver and now I am.
DN: How did your time at university shape you as a person?
MS: My studies in Greece made me much more interested in the works of art and especially in how things are made and how they last/age in time. My time at university in London gave me the opportunity to challenge, explore and shape my own creativity and interact with the city to get inspiration for my projects.
DN: What is your strongest memory from your time at art school / university?
MS: The final year, the excitement and stress to make the final year’s project, all that time spending on the loom.
DN: How do you think creative education has changed since you were a student? Are you optimistic about creative education in the UK or do you have concerns about the future for those wanting to study arts subjects?
MS: I am not very optimistic about creative education in the UK. The fees are getting more and more expensive which make the access more and more exclusive. In addition, to build a career as a creative is becoming more and more difficult, especially living in London due to the cost of living and renting, which pushes the majority of creative businesses away.
DN: Knowing what you know now, what three pieces of advice would you give your student self?
MS: 1. If you can’t find what you want to do after school, try different things before you decide.
- Take advantage of the facilities at university to the maximum.
- Explore and experiment as much as possible without the stress of the end result. Trying to make an income after university, you will not have the luxury to explore and experiment with your practice.
(Maria’s portrait in white shirt, by Rory Mulvey for The Observer.)