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Mark Making – Cross Hatching

August 24th 2012

Cross Hatching

Tree for textured lines

Cross hatched BLUE

Cross hatched RED

I love the drawings of Eric Ravilious (see my blog September 13th 2010), especially the way he uses cross hatching to build up pattern in his paintings and prints. There are 100’s of ways one can make textures, apart from drawing textures using pen and ink or making them from Lino printing I sometimes use lines from something I may have photographed, here for example a lovely winters tree. Not sure how I would use this yet, I may just leave as they are.

Posted in art, botanical, pattern

Amazing Poppies

May 31st 2012

Poppy Buds

 

Opened up poppy, although it's a bit windy I managed to hold onto this beauty !

Waiting for a kind bee!

 

Posted in botanical, colour, photography

Floating in Venice

May 11th 2012

Smell the wisteria.

Vintage wisteria Venice

Grand Canal 'don't look now'

Venice April 12

 

My recent trip to Venice was blighted with rain, but this didn’t seem to matter as it still felt like a film set.

So much wisteria, the rain just made it smell more heavenly!

When I get a minute I will post some more.

Posted in botanical, colour, vintage

Made in the UK, we should be proud

September 20th 2011

At the moment its very much about having a look that ignites a mood, the resurgence of wallpaper way back in 2000 has made it the catalyst for the pattern boom we are seeing today it started on the walls and has spread right across fashion to furniture to ceramics. People are more connected to pattern now in this country, which means they can more easily digest and relate to it in their homes.

Jocelyn Warner Wallpaper Wisteria Silver Blue

Jocelyn Warner Wallpaper Wisteria Silver Blue

 

Flowers and plants of all sorts are still really powerful in print, they offer a form of beauty that with the right colourway and printing process can create a mood of tranquility and calm even if the repeat size is on the larger scale. I think ( from a designers point of view) that scanners, digital photography / digital printing has revolutionized the way we look at nature “enlarged” and “close up” dissecting images into pixelated abstracts; very much like when photography first hit the art scene when you had photographers such as Karl Blossfeldt taking purposely styled studies of plants. It made people look up close at texture and form, the same has happened now with designers using new technology, you get the chance to get in close to you subjects and this means you can form a closer relationship, generating a different mood.

The colour and tone you can alter at a click of the mouse has revolutionised design and I think the wallpaper and print we see now on the high street possesses some of the finest design and print qualities for a long time. Considering most of these are designed and manufactured in the UK we should be very proud.

Posted in botanical, design, pattern, textiles, trends, wallpaper

A first look at our new wallpapers

August 7th 2011

A nice, summery Friday afternoon is just the time to share a little bit of news. We have been beavering away on a brand new collection of wallpaper and the forever lovely website Designsponge has just posted a sneak preview.

Two of our new papers, ‘Dandy’ and ‘Lace’ have been produced using surface printing, one of the oldest methods around and the one that most closely resembles block printing – the favourite method of William Morris. Surface printing leaves a wonderful hand painterly feel to the paper, adding a richness and depth which can’t be achieved by any other form of production.

Dandy

Dandy

Lace

Lace

For ‘Wisteria’, another new addition to the wallpapers, we are using gravure, another of my favourite printing techniques. It enables us to create a look which is simlutaneously hand-painted and photographic. Clever stuff!

Wisteria

Wisteria

Colour themes for ‘Dandy’, ‘Lace’ and ‘Wisteria’ follow trend directions, think eclectic lemony yellows, turquoise and pinks, shadowy tones for blacks, silver and relaxing blues and a luxurious gun metals. We look forward to showing you more in the next few weeks.

Posted in botanical, interior design, pattern, printing, wallpaper

Design*Sponge interview

March 17th 2011

I’m excited to say that the lovely online design magazine Design*Sponge has just published an interview with me as part of the ‘What’s in your toolbox?’ series. This is a peek behind-the-scenes, giving readers an insight into the likes and inspirations of a particular designers. Click here to read my contribution

Thanks so much to Design*Sponge for the feature.

Something_From_the_toolbox

Something from my toolbox!

Posted in books, botanical, colour, craft, design, interior design, pattern, printing, textiles, trends, vintage, wallpaper

An update from Paris

February 1st 2011

Sorry I’ve not been blogging for a little while but I’ve been v.v.v. busy launching our new fabric range at Maison & Objet last week and then coming down with a nasty cold. So I have only just re-surfaced and been able to look through our pictures of the event.

This was our first time exhibiting at Éditeurs, a key part of the show. As you may may know, Maison & Objet is huge. Using all 8 of the exhibition halls at Paris Nord Villepinte, it caters for every type of buyer from wallpaper, table tops, bed linens, furniture, accessories to artificial flowers and stuffed polar bears… yup there were 2 at the show amongst stuffed penguins and owls (remember taxidermy is a growing trend after all!)

I wanted our stand to have a ‘one off ‘ sort of feel, more like an eclectic retail store than the flat walls of the normal exhibition spaces. We managed to make the table out of some beautiful mahogany wood that was salvaged from a science lab (still had the holes for the Bunsen burners!) which we put onto a pair of old builders’ trestle legs, with a shelf underneath for rolls of wallpaper and storage for the fabric and wallpaper books.

I got some hazel wood ladders made so that we could hang the wallpapers in roll form on each step…

…and managed to find a scaffolding rack on wheels from a flea market that lent itself very well for displaying and draping fabric over:

Also from same flea market I found some lovely old wooden fruit crates, which were perfect for storing the newspapers we’d had printed for the show. We then had the beautiful vintage sofa upholstered in Flora Graphic and the mid-century chair in Treetops Blue placed along the sides with the Bloom rug bringing colour to the floor as the final touch.

We got some great feedback with many people commenting on the “calmness”, “softness”, “soulfulness” and “uniqueness” of the work and that showing it in this way had helped them to interpret the designs on more a personal level. Which was great as that’s exactly what we wanted to get across: something timeless mixed with modern creating a unique look! Hope you like the photos. If you came to see us, thanks so much and thanks also to Design Sponge for the article!

Posted in botanical, interior design, pattern, printing, textiles, wallpaper

Paris here we come!

January 17th 2011

All final preparations are underway for Maison et Objet which opens on Friday .
We have been working towards this for a while so it’s really nice to see everything coming together now.

Two firsts are happening: this will be our first time exhibiting at this show which, for anyone that has been, will know it’s huge and covers practically everything for interiors.

The second first (if that makes sense!) is the launch of our first fabric collection which I am absolutely delighted about. It is so great to be back working in textiles again.

As with our wallpapers the fabrics are British-made and have the Jocelyn Warner signature colourways and design scale. Produced on a beautiful linen fabric they have a sense of natural yet sophisticated style that fits very well with the urban chic lifestyles that we see so much of today. Below is a preview of what we’ll be showing but if you’re coming to Paris, pop by our stand to say hello and see for yourselves!

Blossom

Leaf

Treetops

Flora

Flora on a sofa!

Posted in botanical, interior design, pattern, printing, textiles

Maison et Objet

January 13th 2011

We’re just getting everything ready for our show at Maison et Objet in Paris next week. It’s our first time exhibiting their and we’re are really excited about it. Especially because we’re launching our new fabric range, based around our more popular wallpapers.

In the run up to the show we put together a little newspaper as a giveaway at our stand  – more about this next week when we blog from the event itself. For now, here’s a peek, hot off the press:

A stack of our newspapers which just arrived

Posted in botanical, interior design, pattern, textiles, wallpaper

Famous in France

November 22nd 2010

We’ve just received our copy of ‘Papiers Peints, le langage des murs’,  a lavish new coffee table book written by Genevieve Brunet. It has a particularly ‘French chic’ take contemporary wallpaper and features our ‘Leaf’ pattern in grey, turquoise and black-gold, as well as profile of the company in the section ‘La nouvelle vague. Classic with a twist’. If your French is up to scratch, it’s worth buying a copy

'Papiers Peints' published by Editions de la Martinière

A spread from 'Papiers Peints' with 'Leaf' and wise words from Emile Zola!

Posted in books, botanical, interior design, pattern, wallpaper

The fabrics are coming!

November 4th 2010

Sorry not to have blogged for a while, but I’ve been wrapped up in the production of our first ever fabric collection. It has been so exciting to realise some of the wallpaper designs into fabrics, having started off some 20 odd years ago hand printing my own fabrics on my little 3 meter print table, it’s awesome to see the huge industrial machines tackle the print run. They estimate 20 meters every minute …WOW! A far cry from my all-day-to-print run for a measly 25 scarves and having the odd ink splodge!!

Here are a few snap shots I took whilst at the printers:

The 'Treetops Birch' screen on the flatbed

'Blossom' being checked

Me and Tony doing the glasses test

Samples of 'Flora'

Now that the production is underway we’ll be getting stuck in to organising the fabrics’ launch which will be in Paris at Maison et Object in January 2011. Come and say hello if you’re there!

Posted in botanical, interior design, pattern, printing, textiles

The Wine Box Series by Arthur Meehan

September 10th 2010

Working in the tradition of Georgia O’Keefe and Karl Blossfeldt is American photographer Arthur Meehan whose latest collection of prints recently exhibited in London at the Jonathan Cooper Park Walk Gallery

Tulip-2, by Arthur A Meehan

Tulip-2, by Arthur A Meehan

I really like the sepia, old-school feel that’s somehow in keeping with the current love of all things nostalgic. The unique effect of these images is achieved by photographing the flowers inside a wine box, hence the name!

Posted in art, botanical

Very Sanderson

April 20th 2010

For anyone interested in British textiles, Very Sanderson: 150 Years of English Decoration is on at The Fashion & Textile Museum until 13th June is definitely worth a visit. It traces the firms development from the very early days to the present to the 150th anniversary Vintage Collection launched this year.

It’s especially fascinating to see the early photogravure papers that were introduced in 1923, way before they became standard in the industry. Sanderson really pushed the boundaries of this technique. The exhibition includes some fine examples of papers that have gravure metallised canvas grounds, which were then surface printed with water-based emulsions. Another paper that shows the range of textured gravure grounds is from 1926 by Harry Watkins Wild – a beautiful peacock print. Look out for it as it hangs in the entrance hall on the way into the exhibition.

There are also some interesting interviews with people significant to Sanderson’s history. Pat Albeck discusses her design Sunflowers that has been re-launched. It was first produced for one of my all time favourite collections, the Palladio, but I think this design really stands the test of time and still looks fresh and contemporary. Elsewhere in the film Albert Riva, Sanderson’s Italian agent who grew up understanding and appreciating the collection and took over from his father in the 1960s, talks with affection about the company.

Accompanying the 150th anniversary celebrations is ‘Sanderson. The Essence of English Decoration’ by Mary Schoeser. She is an authority on textiles and wallpaper and her beautifully illustrated book is a must if you’d like a more detailed look at the company’s history and developments.

'The Essence of English Decoration', by Mary Schoeser

CFA Voysey, William Morris, Picasso, John Piper, Lucienne Day, Norman Hartnel… ‘Very Sanderson’ celebrates a roll call of amazing designers and artists invited over the years to combine innovation with timelessness. Long may it continue!

For more information see the Fashion and Textiles Museum blog and download the Sanderson history timeline.

Posted in books, botanical, design, interior design, pattern, printing, review, textiles, wallpaper

At Home With Digital

March 11th 2010

In 2000, Bernard Ashley set up the print company Elanbach as a separate business from that of Laura Ashley and the company has worked really hard over the last few years to develop digital fabrics to a point at which they can be produced on a commercial scale. Now only printing for their own collection, they opened a great showroom at the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre in September and although the main direction of the designs is a bit twee for my tastes, Elanbach should be applauded for their commercial involvement in digital printing and for seeing its potential early on.

Elanbach Chelsea Harbour showroom

In some ways I think the digital fabrics might hold the key to breathing life back into this country’s fraying textile industry. With only a few companies really exploring digital printing in the UK, it might still be considered a cottage industry here, but having seen how it has taken off in Europe and South-East Asia, it seems a real growth area financially but also a way to be able to offer great creativity as well as a beautifully finished product. And we’re nothing, in the UK if not creative! Inks are becoming more light-fast and durable and as variety of what can be printed on keeps improving with fabrics like heavy linens, cottons and velvets in the mix, we’ll start seeing more digital prints in the home.

Posted in botanical, design, interior design, pattern, printing, technology, textiles

The magnificent Mrs Delany

March 5th 2010

At the Sir John Soane’s Museum in London Lincoln’s Inn Fields there’s a lovely exhibition of the work of Mrs Delany, née Mary Granville.

Born in 1700, in the days when embroidery and art showing pretty flowers was considered charming but not taken seriously because being female then, creating such things was regarded as a hobby. However, Mrs Delany’s is a considerable body of work in its own right, combining such a high level of skills, dedication and passion. Working at least 100 years before Marianne North of Kew Gardens fame, during her lifetime Mrs Delany built up a strong relationship with Kew Gardens who gave her plant specimens.

She started off with embroidery and sketching and then at the age of 72, she began her remarkable series of 1000 flower collages, Flora Delanica, now owned by the British Museum.

Portlandia Grandiflora, © The Trustees of the British Museum

She managed to get hold of glossy black and vibrantly coloured papers to make collages which, looking at them now, feel current, appealing and never twee.

I found it quite up lifting to see a woman’s work from this era held up in such high esteem and not just considered something to pass the time. She went about her work in a very methodical manner, organising her household to store the materials she would use to make her collages and embroideries. The collection of her sketchbooks depicting gardens scenes and delicate graphite fauna left me scraping my jaw off the floor! Through her visual style, techniques and by proving that a woman could be considered a serious artist, in many ways Mrs Delany was way ahead of her time.

Everybody should go to see this exhibition it’s free and at the wonderful Sir John Soane Museum where one should never need an excuse to visit the fantastic yellow room!

‘Mrs Delany’ and Her Circle is on until 1st May.

Posted in art, botanical, craft, handmade, review, vintage