Book Feature

This was a lovely surprise: A friend informed me the other day that print designs I developed as an undergraduate have been featured in a book! Although it was a while ago now; I still love these geese. It was during this time that all budding textile designers "put a bird on it"!

The book is called 'Printed Textile Design' by Amanda Briggs-Goode and it's really rather lovely. It's an essential buy if you're interested in textiles and print, especially if you are just starting out or a student.


Lovely Linen

I've recently started to develop a new range made from unbleached linen and flax to add to my existing collection. The natural stone colour, which also has a slight mélange-look, perfectly compliments my current palette.

In other news, my studio is finally starting to look like a real studio.


Enid Marx and the Innocent Eye

I draw my inspiration from various forms of vernacular arts and crafts or 'Folk Art'. These are objects or artifacts that have been created out of necessity by an 'untrained eye' such as everyday domestic items or architectural structures. It is the decoration however, that has then been applied to these objects greater than is necessary for their useful purpose that really interests me. The surface design can be traditional, it can tell a story or simply demonstrate the love and pride of the maker. I love the use of simple forms and shapes, the naïve but emotive interpretation of people or animals and more importantly (as a textile designer), an almost indigenous sense of pattern and repeat. Folk Art has an immediacy and a basic human appeal so that knowledge of Fine Art, complex themes or political context is not necessary for it to be appreciated.

Having said this, I am aware that as a 'trained' designer it may be somewhat hypocritical or inappropriate to use Folk Art to set the foundations and principles of my own design work. However, it was upon reading Enid Marx and Margaret Lambert's 'English Popular Art' that I felt encouraged to move forward with my project.

“[Folk Art] is not a thing that can be artificially revived; to try to do so would be to get the antithesis of the genuine tradition. But by preserving examples from the past for study and enjoyment we may, through our designers of the future, possibly regain some of the old individual qualities and delight in simple forms.” – Enid Marx, English Popular Art, 1951.

Enid Marx had been nothing short of a guiding light for me throughout my Masters year and her own work continues to inspire me. I am amazed by the wide spectrum of her talents; from printmaking to illustration, and painting to textile design, and yet she is relatively unknown and under appreciated by the design world. It is my aim to celebrate folk art sensibilities through pattern and surface illustration and to evoke a narrative through the imagery as a tribute to traditional folk art. The stimulus for my imagery undoubtably comes from both Scandinavian and British folk art and although both have important differences, I try to reproduce a quality and style that is intrinsically the same in all folk art no matter where it may originate.

You can read more about Enid Marx here.


There are times when I have been asked how I go about developing my prints, and whilst anyone would be worried about revealing their secrets, I'd also find it very difficult to pin down my exact process. People can often be pedantic about the design process but everyone has their own way of working. To be honest, sometimes I like to use as little of my brain as possible and just rely on instinct! Each design has its own journey and it always feels as if the final result had just been a happy accident, every time I complete something that I am proud of, I think to myself 'I'll never be able to pull that off again' and yet somehow I do. I am almost certain there are other people that feel this way about their own work.

I only have a few rules that I like to set myself which I believe is important for anyone to do; rules and limitations allow us to be more creative because true design is about problem solving. For me, screen-printing allows for these limitations and I like to consider print processes even at the initial drawing stage. I think about how my drawings can be translated into print design sometimes before I put pen, pencil or brush to paper. I use black Indian ink as my primary medium, not only because I love the freedom and primitiveness of using brush and ink, but because it means that I can often transfer my designs straight onto tracing paper to form the negatives for my screens. I try not to be too precious about this process, keeping my drawings as loose as possible allowing for a more organic aesthetic where little 'mistakes' only add to the appeal of the design.

image source: digitalt museum

Inspiration for my designs comes equally from illustration and printmaking as it does from textiles or surface pattern, and so I find the initial drawing stage to be the most exciting part of a project and at any point of the design development I may return to drawing to keep ideas fresh and to reengage with my project in new ways.