This collection is the result of a collaborative family effort. On New Year’s Day I had a fall, leaving me with two broken arms and making it impossible to hold a pencil. I worked with my husband Nicholas and daughters Rose and Flora, curating their sketches – and translating them into workable patterns and scales. Finally I was able to enjoy the last part of the process: choosing the colours for the new designs, to pull them together and enable them to sit comfortably with my other collections.
Tea Time by Rose Arbuthnott
My oldest daughter Rose, a fine artist, poet and writer, has designed the quirky and light hearted Tea Time, a witty interpretation of everyday items of crockery and kitchen, boldly drawn with a retro feel.
“The daily adventure of cups and saucers, pots and flowers, the delicious enthrallment of the simple things in life are celebrated in this design. Reflecting domestic life in your curtains and the soft furnishings around you makes for a homely and fun feel”
By The Sea by Nicholas Arbuthnott
This design has been drawn by Vanessa’s husband Nicholas, an architect who created the family house from a derelict cow byre twenty-four years ago. This is his first foray into fabric design:
“By the Sea has been inspired bu my early childhood in Solva and recently, visits to Mousehole and St Ives. I delight in coastal towns with their cosy harbours and brightly coloured cottages nestling behind little pathways that snake between terraced gardens and climb up the hillside.”
Branching Out, In Full Flight and Hand Printed Stripe by Flora Arbuthnott
My younger daughter Flora, a natural-dyer, print-maker and forager, has produced three delightful designs. ‘In Full Flight’ depicts a sweeping, large-scale, stylised bird set within a leafy trellis. This is repeated on a smaller scale in ‘Branching Out’.
“I find it inspiring to walk along hedgerows and through woodland, watching birds fly down to eat blackberries and elderberries and gather twigs for their nests. Observing branches and climbing plants such as Wild Clematis and White Bryony creeping up the edge of the trees, I develop the shapes. I created the deigns by cutting birds and branches out of paper with scissors and arranging them across the fabric. This way mum and I were able to play with different pattern repeats and arrangements. The act of cutting out produces soft streamlined shapes and the flowing curves of wings, necks and tails”