Over the next two issues, Hayley Flangan brings us the eight leading home-grown designers we should know. Here are the first four…
Designer and stylist Abigail Edwards grew up in a small village in a rural part of Gloucestershire. She began her career studying fine art at Wimbledon School of Art in London and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Abigail’s first wallpaper collection launched in 2011, the hand-drawn designs are inspired by nature and fairy tales. Her collection has recently expanded to include fabric and accessories as well as the award-winning wallpapers that have featured in numerous magazines and grace the walls of homes and commercial spaces around the world. All Abigail Edwards’ products are made, where possible, in the UK and are environmentally responsible.
Bold & Noble was born at the kitchen table with the vision to create beautifully-made screen prints that people would love. While Granny babysat, they worked nights on their first collection, which still keeps on growing. Their designs don’t cost the earth – in both the financial and ecological sense. Bold & Noble now have a great team, all huddled up in a Hertfordshire studio working (and chatting) usually with the kettle on and the radio playing. All their products are made lovingly in the UK by hand, using traditional methods. Plus all their collaborators are based in England, meaning they get to meet the printers, try out colours and materials until they’re happy to press the big green button!
Founded by Simon and Angie Lewin, St Jude’s collaborates with an eclectic range of artists to create and print unique fabrics, cushion covers and wallpapers. Painter and printmaker Mark Hearld studied illustration at Glasgow College of Art and then completed an MA in Natural History Illustration at the Royal College of Art. He now designs a range of fabrics and wallpapers for St Jude’s – all produced in the UK. Taking his inspiration from the flora and fauna of the British countryside, Mark works across a number of mediums, producing limited edition lithographic and linocut prints, unique paintings, collages and hand-painted ceramics.
Louise Body trained in Fine Art painting and graduated from Nottingham University. In 2002, as part of an exhibition about domestic environments, Louise hand-printed wallpaper featuring the British obsession with tea drinking. At that time there were very few interesting wallpapers on the market so Louise decided to design and make hand-printed wallpapers. Working from her studio in Brighton Louise spent her first year hand screen printing wallpapers to order but demand quickly outgrew supply so she moved production to a wallpaper factory in the north of England. Eleven years on and the company is now run by Louise and her husband Jonny from a studio in St Leonards-on-Sea on the south coast of England.