Jax Black

Jax is a Senior Costume Technician at Lime Grove. Here she talks about the experience of learning and teaching at LCF.

There is a place for everyone and you may not know yours until you're about to graduate.

Can you tell us about your background - qualifications and education?

I have a HND in theatre design from LCF and a PGCE in Higher education and am dyslexic. I am also Costume designer and maker with a love of British history Specialising in 20th century bespoke reproduction and TV work behind and in front of the camera in my personal practice.

What did you do before you worked here?

I originally trained as a hairdresser but became a stay at home mum until returning to education as an adult learner at the age of 35 when my children were at school.

What do you do as a technician, what do you specialise in?

As a senior costume technician for teaching and learning, I take care of the workrooms, health and safety, budget and students’ technical needs. I run technical workshops for costume and 3d effects students and supervise self-directed study sessions

What is your approach to working with students?

My approach towards my students is to be inclusive, approachable, informative and encouraging. Keeping myself up to date with current trends and sharing my findings. I actively encourage all year groups to work together and learn from each other and I try to spend as much of my time as possible in the work rooms to facilitate my students technical needs

What do you feel is unique about the learning experience here at LCF?

Not having visited other learning institutions I can only comment on what I know we offer and that is a solid team of subject specific staff who are very experienced in their field. A well-equipped learning environment which has the most amazing resources in both digital form and the outstanding fashion and art rich library. An added bonus for our students is that each site has well designed social spaces, both indoors and out.

What do you hope the students learn from you?

Confidence, A good work ethic, an enquiring and diverse approach to their research and a high level of technical skills with a view to always improving. The knowledge that they will never stop learning.

What have you learnt from them?

I have learnt that each student is different, with social, personal and work related highs and lows. One size does not fit all in the case of students and each person's learning has to be dealt with as an individual entity.

What sets LCF students apart from students from other colleges?

They have the confidence to know that they are attending one of best fashion based learning institutes in the world and it shows in their attitude and their work.

What is an average day at work like for you?

Taking a diverse cohort of 29 1st year costume students through the technical pattern cutting and sewing processes of a period bodice, corset, bustle whilst keeping them informed of how these garments would have originally looked, been made, worn, washed historically and also how to take care of their modern interpretations. While also taking care of the other self-directed study areas for 2nd and 3rd years. Alongside daily emails, room checks, meetings and of course a lunch break.

What would be your advice to people considering the course or subject area?

Expect to work very hard, but understand the outcome will be something that you will be incredibly proud of. Be aware that as a new student you won’t understand everything asked of you or have all the answers straight away, it is a new area of learning, so be kind to yourself. Be open minded as to where your heading; costume is not just about the designer; behind each top designer, there is a very large team of makers, buyers, dressers, dyers etc. There is a place for everyone and you may not know yours until you're about to graduate. Finally, time management, curiosity and a hunger for performance costume of all genre is a must.