In March 2020 Beatson Cancer Charity was proud to register its very own tartan. Designed specifically for the charity by Jane Hunter, we caught up with her one year on to reflect on her design career and influences, why she chose to support our charity and where the Beatson Tartan may lead us next....
How did you become a designer?
From a young age I always loved art and design so I took myself off to Glasgow School of Art and graduated in Furniture design (with a First, a surprise to me and everybody else!) Following on from that, my design career has been varied and interesting culminating in a business collaboration with my daughter, Hunters Atelier creating bespoke interior artworks.
What have been the strongest influences on your design work – what inspires you now?
Great design in its simplest form; often the simple designs are the best but that's not to say the Guggenheim isn't inspirational, it is; I'm an eclectic at heart so just about anything inspires...
What do you love about tartan – the history, the identity, the look of it?
I absolutely love the ancient tradition of tartan but also of making it wholly contemporary - and its absolute ability to be malleable - I've had the honour to design tartans for Nelson Mandela, President Clinton and President Kagame - the tartan design took the colours of their country and Scotland's and worked really well...
Tell us a bit about how you came to work with the charity and the process of designing and manufacturing the Beatson Cancer Charity tartan.
The lovely Morag [Director of Fundraising] from Beatson contacted me via Kiltwalk after hearing I had done some previous tartan design. The important considerations were Beatson Cancer Charity colours, universal appeal for all genders and its adaptability for any products. We had great support from Brian at Slanj to organise the manufacturing of the tartan at Isla Bank Mills in Keith, where we had the great pleasure of actually seeing the tartan being woven.
Photograph Jane Hunter (middle) at Isla Bank Mills with Kathleen McLaren (Right) and Ginette Hamilton (left) of Beatson Trading Co. Ltd
Watch this video to see the first ever ream of Beatson Cancer Charity tartan being woven.
Do you have a favourite product in our current Beatson Cancer Charity tartan range - which is it and why?
It has to be the Baker Boy cap, a style that’s been with us since the late 1800’s. Now that is timeless fashion!
Imagine you have been given a large ream of Beatson Tartan cloth to work with – we’d love to know how would you use it?
Sounds mad but I'd water-proof/damage-proof it and cover part of my camper van with it... and obviously make some matching cushions for inside!
Tell us about being on the judging panel of our Design a Bag competition involving Glasgow Caledonian University, what are you excited about seeing in this process? Is there anything in particular you’re looking for?
New talent always excites and inspires me so I can’t wait to see what the students come up with... I am looking for innovation, originality and real creativity with a twist.
What piece of advice would you give any young person considering a career in design in Scotland?
Follow your heart and dreams, never give up and don’t take no for an answer...
Many thanks to Jane for all her support - read more about the Beatson Cancer Charity tartan story here