St Ives was the anchor for Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf’s childhood holidays, where they stayed each summer at Talland House. Here, they inhabited an intensely sensory world, where verdant gardens gave way to sweeping views of St Ives Bay.
Talland House still stands above Porthminster in St Ives, now modernised into apartments, so to capture the sense of abundance that informed the early lives of the sisters, we also looked to Charleston in Sussex. This was the country home of the Bloomsbury group, where Vanessa Bell lived for 40 years. Here she let her imagination run wild, freely painting the walls, mantlepieces, furniture and ornaments with playful patterns and vibrant florals, and bringing her memories of rambling St Ives gardens to life with her unconventional planting.
Our designs this month reference Charleston’s magical interiors and the blooms growing in the overflowing gardens of both Sussex and Cornwall. Here our print designers share their inspiration for our key prints this March.
Sophie’s experimental garden sketches progressed to become simplified and stylised flowers and leaves. This print was created with paper cut outs and paint ‘swatches’ of colour in the centre of each flower.
The curved stems and lampshade-like blooms of the fritillary plant inspired this elegant floral design.
Tall spearwort flowers provided the inspiration for this print, based on delicate illustrations from Kathryn’s sketchbook.
Sophie took a small section of one of the paintings created by her uncle, artist Ron King, as the starting point for this print. She enlarged it and incorporated all the juicy colours found on an artist’s palette to make this unique abstract design.
This pretty floral design, created by Sophie Chadwick, was influenced by the loose and painterly quality of Vanessa Bell’s work.
Inspired by a silk shawl from the 1920s, Sophie create this evocative print, which features stylised Art Deco flowers for a vintage feel.
In the 1980s, Sophie’s mum created a tapestry cushion for her favourite wooden stool, inspired by the work of the Bloomsbury Group and Omega Workshops. Sophie used the flowers from the tapestry as the basis for this repeating design.
Ever wondered how the team bring our prints to life? Read our Story of a Print blog and watch for yourself how a print goes from concept to shop floor.