>>> I’ve been meaning to sit down and do a little piece about Birds!
>>> They are a constant fascination for me and I think they are really inspiring and incredibly beautiful. I’ve always watched birds and we had birds as part of our family as pets, parrots, canaries, finches and budgies. Being able to travel abroad and see so many unique and different types of birds has been a real joy and their colours, patterns, shapes and textures will always be a huge influence on my design work.
>>> I wanted to share some artwork from one of my favourite bird and nature illustrators – Charley Harper. His work encompasses an amazing sense of colour, form and texture and he focuses on the unique characteristics of each bird and their individual personalities. They are often in unexpected poses and this is what I really love about his work, it is quirky, amusing and vibrant. Everything I think that a bird is!
>>> Just a collection of some illustration and print visuals I found to inspire me on a Saturday afternoon. Incredible colours and attention to detail, fresh, playful pattern and designs, all of which embrace a love for hand drawn illustration.
1. Leah Duncan – printed textiles/illustration
2. Kenzo spring/summer 2011
3. Eloise Renouf – textiles and stationery
5. (Ma + Chr) – graphic design/illustration
>>> Recycling fabric and re-inventing textiles, breathing new life into once discarded or unloved items of clothing or homeware is something that I love and I always enjoy finding other designer/makers who share that enjoyment too. In today’s consumer driven madness, it is totally refreshing to see design embracing the ‘recycle, re-invent, remake’ philosophy, such as Ingrid Jansen from Wood and Wool Stool in the Netherlands.
>>> Her beautiful homewares are made lovingly from secondhand crochet blankets and reclaimed wood. She turns them into cushions, stools and picture frames which fit so well in a variety of interior spaces. I love the eclectic mix of patterns and colours and the homespun and handcrafted look of the finished products, they are truly lovely objects to use and admire.
>>> Being a trained weaver I am always on the lookout for interesting uses and applications of woven design. When I was studying at university my degree collection encorporated some fabrics made like a rag rug with reclaimed strips of fabric and ribbon woven into the cloth, creating a new fabric out of old pieces of fabric. I still like rag rugs today so I guess I was attracted to the above woven chair as it uses the same ideas and techniques to create a strikingly modern design which I think also follows the ‘recycle, re-invent, remake’ philosophy and retains a real sense of fun!
>>> I’ve also been learning to do a bit of crochet recently and I came across images of crocheted pebbles which I think are great. Although it is possible to crochet around the pebble to create a unique handmade object, it would be lovely to recycle existing crocheted fabric and remodel this around the stones therefore giving old textiles a new lease of life.
>>> I really hope more people come to realise that we don’t need to throw away as much as we do. With a bit of imagination and some time, old and unwanted textiles can become beautiful objects we can learn to love all over again.
>>> Just lately I can’t get enough of Letterpress!
>>> I’ve always been torn between weave and print ever since I did my textile degree and even though I have based the beginning of my design career on weave I find myself increasingly drawn towards printed design and illustration.
>>> One afternoon a little while ago I came across Studio on Fire, a letterpress design company based in Minneapolis who produce really incredible printed illustrations and products like the calender shown above. I fell in love with the unusual colour pallette and the quirky handdrawn illustrations turned into beautifully textural artworks. They’re just stunning!
>>> I think my passion for handmade crafts and design is fuelled when I see really contemporary designs being brought to life through a non mass produced method. To quote Studio on Fire – ” In a world of increasingly slick mass production, letterpress printing offers a distinctive difference. The impression of artwork sculpts the paper, creating a work of art that engages the user and creates an interaction incomparable to offset printing.” This makes my heart happy!