laura spring reigns supreme with colourful bag collection

Laura Spring reigns supreme with colourful bag collection

Homegirl London pays homage to Laura Spring.  Laura is known for her bold, colourful and contemporary designs.  Her abstract patterns include grids, arrows and compasses.  With her surname being Spring, it’s quite fitting that some of her designs are based around weather with the use of striking stylised meteorological symbols.  She really is the bag lady queen reigning supreme with her statement shoulder bags for carrying books plus a useful duffle bag backpack, cool laptop bags, iPad sleeves and makeup bags.  Laura also makes pencil cases, notepads and her latest offering is cotton tea towels.  Using both screen printing and digital printing techniques Laura’s designs are fully enhanced and will certainly brighten up any dull day!  I caught up with Laura Spring to find out more.

laura spring duffle bags

Arrow Duffle Bags

Meet Laura Spring

Laura studied Visual Communication at The Glasgow School of Art, specialising in graphic design.  She tells me about life after graduation – “I spent quite a long time working in various wardrobe departments in theatres.  I knew I wanted to create things with my hands rather than through a computer.  A placement with Timorous Beasties quite early on after graduation planted a seed somewhere and eventually after about six years of costume work I decided to get back to my love of screen printing.”

laura spring portrait

Laura Spring

The business started itself by accident, Laura explains – “I had been lucky enough to be awarded the Scottish Craft Residency at Cove Park during the summer of 2011.  Here I was exploring an idea I’d been thinking about for sometime – how can a print relate to the function of the object it is used for.  This thought earned me a place there that summer and for six weeks.  I was in the most beautiful Scottish countryside, working from a studio housed in a converted shipping container with the space and freedom to make as much work as I wanted.  It really was something quite special.”

laura spring friendly tea towels

Friendly Tea Towels

Today Laura is based in Glasgow, she tells me – “After studying here for three years I had really fallen in love with the city and the people.  It seemed like the natural thing to do was to stay as there is such a great creative scene – it’s really supportive and there’s loads going on.  It’s also easy to live and make work in the city as rents are generally much lower than say London.  The consistent rainfall for half the year means you don’t get distracted by too many sunny days!”

laura spring arrow book bag

Arrow Book Bag

The benefits of being in control of her own destiny is important to Laura, she explains – “I think it’s the freedom that allows you to pursue your own ideas, thoughts and dreams.  It can be the best thing in the world and the most difficult at the same time.  Ultimately all decisions come down to you which can be amazing and scary.  It can sometimes take me a long time to think something through but usually I trust my gut and it’s never let me down yet!”  Laura works mostly alone but does have Chips, the studio dog for company.  She also has help with the general running of the business, some of the screen printing and a freelance machinist is also on hand when required.

Laura Spring Collection

Laura makes a range of bold, colourful and contemporary fashion accessories, mainly bags which range from sturdy duffel bags all the way down to makeup bags and wash bags.  She tells me – “I’ve split the collection into digitally and screen printed fabric and have introduced materials such as waxed cotton and leather into the new collection, which is really exciting.  Screen printing is a traditional way of printing that is very labour intensive, but can create really dynamic, colourful work with beautiful results when two colours overlay each other.  Colour is an integral part of the products, instead of using black I’d prefer to use navy.”

laura spring convergence barrel pouches

Laura Spring Convergence Barrel Pouches

One collection takes inspiration from the relationship between motif and function with a focus on the weather and the use of stylised meteorological symbols.  Laura explains – “This began as a series of prints called wet, windy and warm where umbrellas, wind toys and semi-circles were used to create a bold series of prints.”

laura spring notebooks

Windy, Warm and Wet Notebooks

The other collection features designs which take their inspiration from research in The Science Museum’s meteorological archive to focus on wind patterns.  Laura tells me – “These are titled Arrow, Compass and Grid which are and are full of bold shapes and bright colours.”

laura spring grid wash bag and grid makeup bag

Grid Wash Bag and Grid Makeup Bag

Research is an important part of Laura’s designs, she explains – “I love to research into things … if I have a seed of an idea I really love to look at as much source material as I can to develop my thoughts.  I think one of the best sources of creative inspiration for me though is going and visiting things, places or people first hand.  The internet is a great tool in many ways, but nothing beats wandering around a place you’ve never been before and taking photos of things that strike you.  Even if it’s just two colours put next to each other on a wall, I don’t think anything can beat first hand experiences of something.”

laura spring compass wash bag and makeup bag

Compass Wash Bag and Compass Makeup Bag

Laura respects the work of Donna Wilson – “She has made consistently great products over the years and grown her company in what seems to be a very natural, yet exciting way.  I really admire designers who cross over into many disciplines and I love the interiors range she has developed with SCP.  I think that’s a great example of two creative companies collaborating in a pretty outstanding way.”

Buy Laura Spring Products

You can buy Laura’s products from her website Laura Spring and she ships overseas.  To give you an idea about price points – duffle bags are £120, book bags £50-65, iPad sleeves are usually £37.50 but may be on offer and thirteen inch laptop covers are usually £47.50 and may also be on offer.  Laura is happy to provide a bespoke service for customers.  This could be working with retailers to creating exclusive colour ways, products or designing an exclusive print.  She’s also interested in commissions, collaborations and exhibitions.  If you have something in mind do send her an email and you can take it from there.  If you fancy attending a screen printing course do check out Laura’s website for further details.

Author: Homegirl London.  Photographs and thanks: Laura.