Art student Ruby creates a gem of an idea

Young designer Ruby Phillips is hoping to see her work in the gardens of a Shropshire stately home after coming up with a ‘fabulous idea’ for an outdoor art installation.

The 17-year-old, from Ketley, is nearing the end of her level two art and design course at Telford College, and looking forward to moving onto the level three programme next year.

One of the projects she has been working on since lockdown has been an idea for decorating trees in the grounds of the National Trust’s Sunnycroft Victorian villa in Wellington with woven

Telford College | Ruby Phillips’ creation, designed for the grounds of the National Trust’s Sunnycroft villa in Wellington
Telford College | Ruby Phillips’ creation, designed for the grounds of the National Trust’s Sunnycroft villa in Wellington


Inspired by the work of American fibre artist and painter Ani Hoover, the former Charlton School student sourced an app which allowed her to superimpose her designs into a tree.

The result, which gives an artist’s impression of how the final installation could look, has been

described as a ‘fabulous idea’ by the Telford College art and design team.

The college has a long-standing relationship with Sunnycroft, and hopes to be able to turn Ruby’s designs into reality when the Covid-19 lockdown is over.

Ruby said: “I am finding lockdown an enjoyable and chilled time. I have been able to complete my college work in a calm atmosphere at my own pace.

“I have really appreciated the contact with my tutor, Anna Dowdall, and have found emailing my completed tasks an easy way to hand in work.

“I hope everyone is coping as well as me, but if I had to give any advice I would say take care of yourself and make sure you are doing things that make you happy.”

Her mother Zoe said: “Just recently I have seen a new daughter, enjoying her learning and completing her coursework without being pushed to do so.

“I am thrilled to see my daughter engaging and being proud of the work she is creating – and I am convinced that this is mainly due to the support which Telford College is providing.

“The college should be recognised for its achievements, as much as the students.”

Art and design tutor Anna Dowdall said: “Ruby is a quiet young lady who works hard in class. But since lockdown she has really developed her written and email communication skills.

“She has been in touch with me regularly, and used her initiative to create interesting and exciting art work using what materials and equipment she has available.

“The skills she has been developing whilst in lockdown have helped to improve her confidence, communication skills, independent learning and self motivation.

“This strange situation of lockdown has really helped some students, like Ruby, to find their independent learning skills. I am also aware of her confidence building throughout the year.

“She is a lovely, friendly young lady who is a pleasure to teach, both in the classroom and during lockdown.”


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