And I felt so happy about it yesterday on our first field trip —I certainly hope that it is not the last one, we went to three studios that had really valuable information to share about their work, inspiration and techniques.
And it was amazing to see some English pretty landscapes 🙂
First, we stopped at Stroud at Studio Seven, where Liz Lippiatt works and creates colourful things in a shared space with other 6 artists. Liz has a long career in making and does screen printing in velvets, silks and linen, her textiles and prints tell stories and show how much love and passion she puts into it. A couple of things stuck from meeting her and her work space: design, or textiles in this case require so much love! She transmitted the enthusiasm that she puts into her work, and that fact that things have changed throughout the years don’t seem to have affected her desire to create and collaborate, which I find both fascinating and brave, because this is a life choice that one must be committed to make it financially viable, and her signature, she has a clear style, her colour choices and experimentation with textures and materials show a mastering of screen printing but without getting stuck doing the same things.
I loved how she overlaps textures and shapes and uses the back and front of the fabric for her designs.
See her extensive gallery here
Then we went on to Moreton-in-Marsh to visit Rapture & Wright, a studio founded by Peter Thwaites and Rebecca Aird in 2004, they do textiles for interiors and wallpapers, all printed by hand in their barn/studio.
At first I thought, where are we? Because the place seemed isolated to me (please excuse my lack of English sense of space as some places do seem pretty isolated to me -used to a big BIG city) but then we went in in the middle of a printing session and I saw the size of the printing table, which was massive, and the big roll of fabric that they were setting. Rebecca talked about their 12 year journey and how they manage their business. I was pretty pleased to see than in practice, there are people out there that build their business around sustainable practices such as sourcing locally and using friendly fabrics such as linen, which is the only fibre that they use for their designs. I was at awe at the skill and speed of the printers that managed to print the first colour of the table in about 30 minutes.
An interesting fact, they have a mill in Scotland producing all the fabric that they use.
YES! And everything is printed by hand!!! Wallpapers and fabrics.
Again, love and passion for making everywhere.
See their collections here
Lastly, we visited Beckford Silk and they make scarves! A family owned business that has been around for quite some years. Anne, the director and daughter of the founder, showed us the silk scarf making process from start to finish. She talked us through the process of coming up with new designs and the process of separating the colours for screen printing.
At some point in their history they even used block printing, my most loved memory from block printing was reading about William Morris and how he believed that everything should be made in the middle ages way… but I know that screen printing came way after, I still found that very interesting.
Beckford silk know their customers and their process and they even have some space for a store, see their shop, clients and videos here.
Common observation from the three places:
They write it down
they keep strict written notes on how they mix the colours, this is essential to their process and a recommendation from them all.
Write our processes down so we can go back and know how to achieve something cool or keep exploring on something that didn’t go too well.
ps. I need to get out more.