From her studio in Sussex by the sea, Fiona Howard creates wallpaper collections inspired by the wonderful British flora, coast and countryside around her. Everything about her work is carefully considered, hand drawn, carved into lino and hand printed to create unique collections. Fiona has refined her skill of repeating pattern, particularly in lino printing, over 30 years of dedication to the love of her work. Her designs for clients worldwide include such well known patterns as Sanderson's Dandelion Clocks. This is her own collection, produced in small batches to order, these wallpapers are easy to apply, 'paste-the-wall' papers. Mindful of our environmental impact, a tree is planted for every roll sold.
Every good design begins with a drawing. I have many sketchbooks filled with observations of plants and seeds, sketches, colours, patterns and ideas accumulated from various different sources.
My designs begin, first as a rough pencil drawing in a sketchbook and are then translated to a larger piece of paper. At this point I begin to work the elements into a repeating pattern. A design needs to flow gracefully and seamlessly across the wallpaper so that the eye travels effortlessly over the pattern unaware of the join. It should grow and intertwine taking the eye with it.The pattern is next traced onto lino. Each layer of colour requires another lino to be cut. This is a traditional and slow technique which can’t be hurried. I need to ensure that the flow of the design is maintained through each step of the process. I have my favourite gouge tools which have the familiarity of friends. They feel comfortable in my hand from years of use and almost know which marks I need to make.
Having carefully chosen my colour palette, the ink is rolled to a very thin tacky consistency and then applied carefully to the lino. Ensuring the careful registration of the paper, each colour is printed over the previous one waiting for a day or two between colours for the ink to dry. Sometimes a design is strong as a one-colour print, and other times the composition requires two or three colours. Once all of the layers of colour have been laid down, magically the finished design emerges. Then the prints are cut together to form the completed, repeating, wallpaper pattern, which appears to wander seamlessly across the paper.
All our wallpapers are printed in the UK on FSC papers ( which promote responsible management of the world's forests) using environmentally friendly inks. Also for each roll of wallpaper we sell we plant a tree in conjunction with 'One Tree Planted'.
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