Prestigious win for up-and-coming designer

News News & events

18 Mar 2014

A CPIT graduate has won a prestigious design award and will have her designs sold in a local store.

The Bolt of Cloth Textile Design Award was established in 2013 with the goal of supporting talented designers to get their designs into the market place and to help them launch their career.

Bolt of Cloth stocks designer fabrics and has shops in Auckland and Christchurch.

This year, up-and-coming designer Josie Dawson has taken out the award and five of her cushion designs will now be sold through Bolt of Cloth.

Dawson studied a Bachelor of Design in Visual Arts at CPIT, graduating in 2009, and says the tutors at CPIT helped her discover her passion.

“I immediately came to favour the textile printing process and I was lucky enough to have really amazing tutors to guide me through,” she says.

“Since then I have been focusing on designing mostly cushions, although I printed a collection of wall hangings and fold-out stools for a group exhibition I had last year which was a fun experiment.”

Dawson says her works are “classic with a contemporary twist”.

Portrait of Josie

“I like to take timeless subject matter and then make it interesting through the use of colour and placement. I try to create designs that people won’t get tired of looking at.”

All of her works are printed by hand and Dawson only uses environmentally friendly inks.

“Everything is made with love,” she says.

Dawson’s works are inspired by nature; she loves drawing flowers, birds and seeds and pods. She is now based in Australia and is “surrounded by amazing flora and fauna” which will inspire drawing for her next cushion collection.

“There are so many new colours and textures to work with so it’s going to be fun.”

Bolt of Cloth owner Suzannah Tonascia says Dawson’s designs stood out from the crowd.

“I picked Josie’s work as I liked the intricacies of the design,” she says.

“It felt very different to anything with a Kiwi vibe already on the market and I could see how we could work with her to get it into various formats that would appeal to our customers.”

Applications for this year’s Bolt of Cloth Textile Design Awards are open until the end of July. Tonascia says applicants don’t have to be textile design students but could come from other disciplines such as graphic design.

For more information on the Bolt of Cloth Textile Design Awards or to view Dawson’s designs visit