We have enjoyed printing Aleksandra’s wonderful painted flowers over the last year, and are so pleased she has shared with us here the story of her upholstered chair. Thanks Aleksandra!
The Mythical Fern Flower
Words and pictures copyright of Aleksandra Lejman
My main aim was to design and produce a professional fabric for upholstery. I was inspired by my old chair found at a car boot sale. The chair was in poor condition so I wanted to renew it and give a breath of something new created by me. That’s why I focused on designing the right fabric for upholstery.
Some of us are familiar with the story of a magical fern flower which blooms for a very short time on the eve of the Summer solstice. The flower brings fortune and luck to person who finds it. My fabrics inspired by mentioned fern flower are a pencil drawing and they have been developed with Adobe Photoshop and then printed digitally.
Drawing the Flower
The Finished Chair at My Degree Show
Through a lot of samples and experiments with digital print I came up with my final fabric for upholstery.
I printed my design on to cotton sateen digitally and then contacted with a professional local upholsterer. He helped me to finish my old chair.
The Finished Chair at the Cornwall Design Fair
My works (my chair and fabrics) were shortlisted to go on display at the Cornwall Design Fair in Penzance! It is a high end contemporary crafts fair similar to the Bovey Tracey contemporary crafts fair.
I was really pleased recently when I happened across the Textile Forum (textileforum.org.uk) and noticed that one of my favourite customers, Jodie Ellis, was currently their featured artist, with an installation at One Marylebone (pictured right). Jodie was one of our first customers, and always sends something interesting for printing. So we asked her to write an article for us, and here it is. Thanks Jodie!
Many years ago I trained as a Textile Designer in New Zealand. Back then screen printing was the only production fabric printing available and jobs were almost non-existent in the Textile Industry.
Although I was a carpet designer for three years, after that I worked in offices for many years, travelling and working around the world until I ended up in the UK. I have always had an insatiable
need to know every textile technique there is and love learning and teaching myself new skills.
Fast forward to a holiday workshop in France – my ears pricked up when the American participants were talking enthusiastically about how they were sending digital fabric designs off to a website to be printed. On my return to the UK I decided to investigate and soon found Lacuna (then Liberty) Press online. To my absolute astonishment my first digitally printed textile (above) arrived on my doormat the very next day!
As a recent Fine Art graduate, my work still involves textiles although in a more sculptural form. But every so often I feel the need for a fabric print, or see or think of a great idea for a printed fabric and that’s when an order is despatched to Lacuna Press and I excitedly await the post arriving. Printing and designing fabrics is so much more accessible and sophisticated now, and my selftaught
skills in Photoshop open up so many avenues for exploration and experimentation.
I love Lacuna Press for being so quick, friendly and helpful and happy to take small scale orders – it opens up such a world of textile printing possibilities – it’s absolutely light years away from messy screen printing!
We fell in love with Bryony’s fox design when she sent it to us to print, and we were delighted when she said she would let us list it in our shop. More wonderful colourways and designs from Bryony will be listed very soon. Do please keep them coming Bryony! And thank you too for writing this lovely article. Images and text copyright of Bryony Ford
I have studied Fine Art, Textiles and Photography as A Levels, at Weymouth college, I followed this with a Foundation year. I have always been interested in mixing up the different subjects and find that designing illustrations for fabric is a fantastic way of integrating fine art with textiles, I find this particularly satisfying as I have always liked it when my designs have a practical application.
At college I experimented a lot with screen printing, which definitely inspired me, but it took the discovery of Lacuna Press and digital fabric printing to really make me see the potential of having my designs on fabric.
My Design Inspiration:
I work in a lovely old fashioned Art & Craft shop in Dorset, where it seems that every possible thing is sold! I find being surrounded by all sorts of different materials and equipment at work, helps me to become interested in a huge variety of creative outlets, and advising customers gives me the motivation to try out new things all the time. I am particularly attached to the spinning and weaving side of things; using traditional equipment such as spinning wheels and looms gives me a real appreciation of the production and uses of fabric, and its rich history.
The most inspiring side of working in this environment, in regards to my own creative work, is the inspiration of colour, there is nothing quite like rows and rows of paint tubes and boxes of pastels to really give you an appreciation for colour!
As for the subjects of my designs, I have always lived my life surrounded by the natural world, and I tend to turn to this automatically for inspiration. Growing up on Portland on the Dorset coast as the daughter of a local naturalist, I spent most of my time, when I wasn’t in school or reading, walking around this beautiful, although often bleak, unusual landscape. The local foxes were never actually seen parachuting through the sky with umbrellas, but I did have a rather over-active imagination.
How I Work:
I like to utilise the technology available today, but I also still like to draw by hand. I create the outlines of my design as a sketch in pen on paper, which I then scan and send to my iPad, I use a simple stylus along with the lovely application Procreate, to add in layers of colour to my design,keeping everything separate so that I can tweak the colours later. I find using the iPad really helps with control.
When I am happy with the main feature of the design, I then draw the background element separately and export the whole lot into Photoshop, where I assemble the repeating pattern.
London based textile pattern designer and illustrator Gabriela Larios creates imaginative and fun designs that celebrate her deep love of nature, story tales and themes from her childhood in her native country of El Salvador.
Giftware and Textile Accessories
Alongside her surface design work for international home-ware, fabric, stationery and accessories companies, she has launched her exclusive giftware and textile accessories label, producing unique textile products and accessories originally hand painted at her home based creative studio in London.
Every textile Gabote piece tells a unique story which captures her artistic vision and the love of crafted, soulful items that people can treasure and connect with timelessly.
Award Winning Textiles
Gabote’s latest textile pieces have recently been recognised by their illustrative qualities having been awarded two honourable mentions by the 3×3 Magazine International Pro Show Illustration Awards in New York.
All Gabote items are printed with water based inks and made in short runs to minimise waste. Gabriela is happy to be sourcing all components locally and working with British suppliers like Lacuna Press, who offer not only great quality service but also quick delivery times.
Textiles, Design & Illustration
Michelle Tonta is a printed textile designer expecting to graduate from Winchester School of Art in June 2014. She has previously interned at Zandra Rhodes, Jane Carr and Mirjam Rouden and takes inspiration from designers such as Peter Pilotto and Hermione de Paula. We have loved printing Michelle’s lively, vibrant designs! Another talent sure to do well as a textile designer. All pictures are copyright of Michelle Tonta.
“My love of both detailed and loose hand-drawings and paintings informs much of my work. I then translate these drawings into designs using digital manipulation whilst also trying to retain the painterly feel of my hand-rendered imagery. I also juxtapose these drawings with photographic elements by hand and CAD, experimenting with different composition ideas to get the best effect.”
“Colour and pattern play a huge part within my designs and these emanate through my work. My design process results in vibrant and eye-catching prints for both fashion and interiors and I aspire to keep producing such dynamic and captivating prints.”
Megan’s soothing colour schemes compliment wonderfully the natural world she is inspired by. I really enjoyed seeing how her work transforms from watercolour to fabric. Thanks for writing this interesting article for us Megan, and good luck with your future as a Textile Designer, we are sure you will go far!
Megan McCutcheon – BA Graduate in Textiles for Fashion & Interiors
All pictures and text in this article are the copyright of Megan McCutcheon
My name is Megan McCutcheon and I am an emerging creative designer and recent BA (hons) graduate in Textiles for Fashion & Interiors. I have a huge passion for all aspects of textile design, from tactile creations to digital design, and enjoy every moment of the creative process.
I have spent the past 8 years studying Textiles from GCSE level to undergraduate. My time spent at Cardiff Metropolitan University has been incredibly important in the development of me as a designer, and I have been fortunate enough to explore a multitude of textile techniques such as digital and hand print, stitch, embroidery, laser cutting, and digital design.
The natural world is a continuous inspiration to my work; being a lover of the outdoors and living in the Welsh countryside for my entire life has enabled me to access beautiful surroundings. My most recent collection which featured in my degree show takes inspiration from the stunning patterns and shapes revealed in aerial landscape photography. My designs focus on the contour lines of the land and intricate patterns of vegetation and rock formations.
I have an immense passion for colour which plays a very important role in my work, particularly in my current collection. It is a longstanding belief amongst psychologists that colour, in an interior environment, can effect ones mood. My dissertation investigated these theories, with fascinating results.
Findings suggest blue and green can evoke feelings of calm and tranquility, whilst orange helps to create energy and excitement. With this in mind, I have designed two collections: ‘Tranquil’ and ‘Energise’. Introducing soft blues and muted greens, ‘Tranquil’ aims to help create a calm, cool, fresh and relaxing environment, whereas ‘Energise’ aims to create an uplifting, invigorating and vibrant environment.
I envisage my designs to be used for interior products such as sofas, cushions, and curtains, but their versatility means they can also be applied to stationery or fashion accessories.
Previous projects include a ‘Pond Life’ themed greetings card collection, which was part of a University module working alongside gift packaging and stationary specialists International Greetings.
Plans For The Future
Now that I have finished University I will focus on developing new and exciting designs for fabric (printed by Liberty Press, of course!) to be made into products to sell. I have already set up a small business based on Facebook which I also intend to expand! More information and images of my work can be found on my website.
I love printing Megan White’s quirky, colourful, very distinctive designs, so I was delighted when she agreed to be our first featured designer. Thank you Megan for putting this article together for us, we really enjoyed seeing something of the design process you go through to produce your lovely textile prints.
Megan White – Textiles Designer
All pictures and text in this article are the copyright of Megan White
I have always been creative and drawn to the variety of colourful patterns on products when shopping. I liked the thought that one day I would be able to create designs that people would want to buy for themselves and their homes. After studying an art and design course at college, I visited an exhibition at Winchester school of art and knew that textiles was the route I wanted to take.
I am now currently a couple of months away from completing my degree in printed textiles at Winchester School of Art.
I enjoy all aspects of design whether its for interiors or fashion, from the beginning of researching and exploring a theme, to the next stage of where prints stem from; drawing, painting, collage, and photographs. From these I place imagery together both by hand and CAD to see designs starting to emerge. And then for the exciting part of the finished product being printed on to fabrics, papers, and lots of other materials.
Past projects have included designs for skiwear and accessories based on cells and kaleidoscopes and kitchenware around the theme of plants and landscapes. My recent collection is based on extinct animals for children’s, men’s, and women’s wear but can also translate into interiors.
Colour, architecture, nature, nostalgia are all things that inspire me as a basis to a collection of prints. This can include shapes, textures, text, and certain imagery that interests me to form a theme.
Plans for the Future
My future aims, as a textile designer once I finish university is to continue creating new and exciting prints, and hopefully one day to set up my own business selling and producing products with them. I am planning to set up a website soon which will show a wider variety of my work.