I never knew Lockdown could be so creatively exciting
New Botanical Collection created in 2020
|I have an artist friend, Madeleine Agnew, who I haven’t really seen over the last two decades as we ended up doing different jobs in different parts of the country. We follow each other’s work on Instagram and just before Lockdown, I saw Maddie had created some fantastic velvet cushions based on her ‘botanical’ paintings and that got me thinking…. I suggested we could make some home furniture together. The day before Lockdown she hot-footed it over to Manchester from the other side of the Pennines and we hatched a plan. |
Instead of velvet, I wanted to use my usual wool, produced at one of the UK’s oldest mills, with a history dating back 300 years. The rest of the construction follows the usual process – sustainable wood supplies, hand-turned legs and super-strong frames guaranteed for 10 years. Could it get any better you ask? Well yes, the wool is digitally printed using a 100% renewably powered process.
After many hours creating and planning over Whatsapp, the fabric was printed, the pieces upholstered and lastly, photographed on the day before the second Lockdown! We’d come full circle.
It’s worth mentioning that these images don’t form a pattern, Maddie has painstakingly deconstructed her paintings and we have layered them on the fabric with a ‘flow’ rather than a repeat pattern, giving them a unique painterly feel.
A peek at the process
As we were working on a totally new process and didn’t want to make costly printing mistakes, we had to get creative with our planning and see how things like toucans can bend around corners! Maddie would email me her images based on my dimensions and I had to somehow turn that 2D thinking into some 3D reality. It was easier to do this ‘Blue Peter style’ and get my paper and scissors out. I had loads of these little paper models that I made up, videoed with commentary, and Whatsapp’d back to Maddie for editing. I’ve still got these on my shelf as a little memento.
This is Maddie in her studio. She studied Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University where she later completed a Masters degree in Visual Communication. Now based in Holme Valley, West Yorkshire, Maddie dedicates her time to painting watercolour portraits of people and animals. You can also see her amazing velvet cushions on her website. As for me, you all know what I do – decorate furniture with fabulous fabric.
New Limited Edition Pastel Collection
To mark our first anniversary, we’ve created the new Pastel Collection. Say hello to this breezy and calming quartet of pinks and blues. Available in ANY size!