Things look very different for me now since I began designing wallpapers 13 years ago – not long out of art school, fresh faced and, looking back, having what felt like all the time in the world. Now, with two young children and all of the commitments that come with trying to be present and good mom to them, designing has taken a backseat over the past few years.
I felt a creative pull to explore a new subject matter in my work, breaking free from the intricate floral patterns I’m known for. From an early age I have always loved abstract art, and studied it prior to starting my printed textiles degree, having particular interest in artists associated with the Bauhaus such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Clee and Josef and Anni Albers.
Having children of my own has made me think more about what I loved as a child myself, and I felt a disconnect in my adult years from those early explorations into abstract art.
Inspiration was found on my most recent family holiday to Malta, where my father was born. I spent time at the seaside and salt pans with my children, as well as wandering the quiet streets of the silent city, Mdina, just like our parents did with my brother and I when we were younger.
I had a new found admiration for the Maltese landscape, a place I’ve visited so many times before, but seemingly overlooked. The beautiful old buildings and rock faces, particularly those in Mdina with rich green vines tumbling down them. The time spent by the generations of salt farmers carving salt pans into the rocks, the irregular shapes, the constant crashing of the sea into them.
I left feeling inspired, and decided to use the salt pans along with the trailing caper bushes as the foundations for a new Maltese-inspired collection.
The grid-like patterns of salt pans, or ‘Salinas’ have dotted the coastlines of the Maltese islands for hundreds of years. Still in use today, sea water passes into pools where it is warmed by the sun and slowly starts to evaporate. Salt begins to crystallise, and after about a week it is ready to harvest by hand.
Inspired by the chequerboard patterns created by this centuries old technique, ‘Salt Pan’ is my interpretation of the organic shapes and shimmering pools often seen when flying over the islands of Malta and Gozo.
Salt Pan is available in 4 complimentary colourways inspired by the natural tones of the Maltese Islands: Azure Ecru, Honey Ecru, Leaf and Sunset Ecru, across fabric by the metre and cushions.
This design is inspired by the caper, or ‘kappar’, bushes which can be found in abundance tumbling down from rock faces and old buildings across the Maltese islands.
Kappar is a versatile, multi-directional pattern which is characterised by the loose movement of the plants fleshy leaves, which is equally striking when applied with the leaves flourishing upwards or cascading downwards.
Kappar is available in 8 colourways inspired by the Maltese landscape and surrounding Mediterranean Sea: Honey Ecru, Leaf, Mist Ecru, Med, Sand, Seagrass, Stone and Sunset Ecru.
Available across fabric by the metre, cushions and wallpaper.
I’m so excited to launch this new collection, but it’s fair to say it has been a real labour of love. So much development, sampling, photography, editing, and much more, goes into launching a new collection, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and time of the following –
All of the team at the mill, Vicky, Amelia, Olivia, Margaret, Jackie and everyone else who I don’t deal with directly for all of the wallpaper, fabric, cushion sampling, which took place over several months to make sure the colours, scale, finish were just how I envisaged.
All of my friends and family for their constant support, especially Rowan and Danyo
Natalie my lovely cushion sample maker
Maria for the super quick turnaround lampshades
Laura (Bobo) my sample cutting queen
Fi McDougall for the beautiful upholstered picture frames
The various photographers and editors who have shot the collection and really brought it to life –
A special mention must go Emily Findlay-Cooper, who has been my right hand woman in the beautiful styling and photography of this collection. We first met around 10 years ago at a trade show, and lockdown brought us back together when I needed lifestyle shots of some wallpapers, but I couldn’t go anywhere to shoot them. Emily very kindly offered to shoot them in her beautiful home, and we’ve stayed in touch ever since with a shared love of interiors, textiles, big jumpers, frills and cake.
Emily also has two children, and somehow managed to carve some time out to create all of the upholstered pieces you’ll see in this collection, and shot all of the lifestyle shots in her lovely home, Plas Uchaf on the Shropshire/Welsh border.