Serendipity at work,a cushion for Magpie in Treasure Tree...an intricate block featuring a Magpie in her tree, festooned with all manner of treasures looping over the twigs, snagged on branches.
Varx for Mr. Fox, her partner in crime! Varx being of course the Old English for fox...staring straight out from his camouflaged position amongst the Foxgloves!
Cameron is based in rural Dorset where he works in an old shepherd's hut...brilliant! He describes this flow of his surroundings into his work as ~
" a rich and magical seam...my designs are more than just arbitary patterns - I tell stories through them, often depicting the tension in nature between beauty and violence. For instance, in "Varx" we're confronted by the hypnotic gaze of a dog fox, veiled by foxgloves. Peer closer and we notice he's licking his lips as the remnants of his supper float away on the evening air."
You can find his work via The New Craftsmen a wonderful collective of artisans and makers.
I love the handmade feeling in his work, beautifully observed drawings cut out, working in the negative, it is a feat. I long to have a go...lino cutting for a term at college was as close as I have ever got to this art form. I feed my passion print and pattern here on my Pinterest board.
Here is Cameron at work on Varx...
This image reminds me of another iconic photograph taken by Andrew Montgomery (whom I also admire!) of Marthe Armitage...printmaker extraordinaire. You can see more of Andrew Montgomery's wonderful images of Marthe and her work shot for Gardens Illustrated here.
As so often with serendipitous events the coincidences cascade...rather like Cameron and Marthe's prints. Turns out that Cameron served an apprenticeship with Marthe.
The thing that is so wonderful about Marthe is that she is still working and clearly enjoying the creative process. Watching her pleasure whilst she draws is so inspiring and reminds me why I wanted to be a surface pattern designer all those years ago at college. This is a beautiful short film, "Back to the Drawing Board" in which Marthe describes the process she uses...
Two of my favourite designs Oak Leaf and Chestnut.
There are some lovely pieces about Marthe Armitage to read if you feel so inclined, you could try:
The Bible of British Taste or Little Augury
You can peruse and or purchase Marthe's wallpaper at Hamilton Weston.
Block printing seems to preserve the human touch more than any other printing process. The maker's personality is stamped onto the reels of wallpaper or rolls of fabric.
Angie Lewin also cuts beautiful blocks for her gorgeous pictures, often including text which seems to me to be an impossible task!
Sigh...brings me back to my neglected sketch book...
...Oh and then there's Sam Pickard. Sam designed Rosemary Russet back in 2007 and I have had a love affair with it ever after. I long to have it in my bedroom at the windows...with a 2 and a 1/2 metre repeat it is epic. The handrawn quality is gorgeous, beautiful inky, free outlines. The knitted effect in the background, the colours...
Happily Sam will exhibiting her work at this winter's Selvedge Fair and so we come full circle...I love it when that happens....serendipity!