As you may know by now all my designs originate from a photograph or a piece of artwork I have created. My Dad is a photographer and growing up, I often only saw one half of his face, with the other half hidden behind a retracting lens and a squinty eye. Having been exposed to this and with modern technology, I am rarely without my phone or camera, ready to capture the next inspiring shot.
I remember when visiting Germany many years ago, we ventured past a children’s play area. For some reason a roundabout caught my eye, the colour and slightly rusted and chipped paintwork made it such an interesting piece. But I did not take a picture. Camera phones were not around then and for some reason I didn’t have my small compact camera to hand, but I always regret not capturing that image. Whether it would have been a good photo or not I will never know, but I always remember that and now I capture everything, much to the annoyance of my husband and anyone else I go for a walk with for that matter!
My attention was drawn to the detail of that piece of playground equipment and that is primarily what I find works well when creating my designs. Strong, block colour photographs such as a vast cloudless blue sky, however beautiful the image, does not translate well into my designs. There is no texture, colour, light or tone to create an exciting pattern.
My best-selling BRETON design originated from a photograph of a simple leaf I stumbled past in a courtyard when on holiday in France (cue inspiration for the name).
The leaves had such intricate, delicate yet dramatic markings and I loved how the Breton design turned out, and apparently so did a lot of my customers!
Some of the most beautiful photos have not translated well as a pattern however. Also, not every textured, macro image creates the unique and joyful motif I try to convey. Therefore, every design involves a level of experimentation, development and adjustment to create the ‘that’s it’ feeling I get every time I finalise a design.
The main subject matters for my photography are nature focused, delicate blooms, a rolling landscape or sometimes a slightly less glamorous item, that just translates well into a unique pattern.
I have also created by own prints which I have then later transformed into my distinctive style. I created my very first designs using a hammer art technique. I took some beautiful pansies from my garden and used a hammer to imprint the pattern onto paper. I later enhanced the hues on the computer to create a more joyful design.
Whether I have used a photograph or create a piece of artwork, once my design is finalised as a computer file, I use a UK based printer to print my fabrics which are then handmade by myself or my small team into quality products.
With my new homewares collection, due to launch this month, I have been working on a new range of designs. Even though each design is individual, I try to look to create a collection of how they would work together. This maybe a similar pattern scale, harmonious colour or tones, or a related subject matter that I feel works together to compliment each of the designs.
I have started my business by creating a range of fashion accessories including pouches, coin purses and tote bags. However, as I mentioned my next venture is to branch into homewares, creating a range of cushions to start.
As always, I value your feedback or suggestions so please get in touch if you have any questions or custom requests.