We are thrilled to begin 2019 with a brand new textile collection. Inspired by botanical illustrations from the 18th, 19th and 20th century, the Flora collection draws on the work of three female artists who each made an impact on the field of botanical art.
When starting a new collection, I always begin by free hand sketching and I see where it takes me. For this collection, a clear floral theme emerged, but I wanted to make sure it wasn’t too pretty or sweet. That’s where the choice of color became really important. We loved the idea of floral patterns in not so traditional colors — a warm, charcoal brown seemed to fit the bill, along with a steely shade of blue/green and a modern yellow ochre. Finding just the right shade of each color is always a labor of love. Not only does each color have to be right individually, but they must work in harmony with each other. Once we pulled it all together, a soft shade of blush rounded out the collection.
As the designs emerged, I wanted to honor some individual artists whose style of work, overall accomplishments and even personality fit the collection. One of the first designs we settled on was a leaf reminiscent of a wood block print. What eventually turned into a large scale pattern started as a tiny sketch.
For our largest scale pattern to date, it seemed fitting to highlight the extraordinary breadth of work of Lilian Snelling. Working in the early 20th century, she completed over 800 botanical illustrations in her prolific 30 year career. Images of the work by all of these artists are protected so I can not share them with you here, but please explore our Pinterest board for some of our favorites.
If you would like to incorporate some botanical prints into your home, there are lots of options available, from collectible, vintage illustrations to botanical inspired items.
The Matilda pattern evolved the most over time. I started by sketching the interior element of the design, and then added layer by layer to ultimately settle on a medallion style pattern. I love the boldness of it, and the artist honored by this fabric had to be equally bold in her work. Look no further than Matilda Smith. She had a penchant for tackling the most monumental tasks, including the Giant Saguaro and none other than the Corpse Flower. I can’t even begin to image what it was like to draw that flower while in bloom!
And, lastly, the small scale, charming Beatrix rounded out the collection. For this enchanting and whimsical flower, we turned to the much beloved Beatrix Potter. Not only was she the author of some of the most iconic children’s stories, but was also herself an accomplished illustrator.
It wouldn’t be a blog post without some of my favorite finds. There were so many great pieces for spring inspired by botanicals that this list could have been miles long! And, it’s a nice break from all of the snowy weather!