New Wallpapers for Farrow & Ball 2017
This is my first blog for the new website and where better to start than the new Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection I created for them.
Firstly, it’s really important for me to explain that there is a whole host of technical specifications that must be adhered to when designing wallpaper for FaB. I know these tolerances very well as I have worked with them for over 10 years. There are paint bleeds, trim complexities, drum or block printing practicalities, flow and repeat, and dreaded tramlines. I have been on the factory floor many times and have seen first-hand how their machines work and more importantly how the employees manage the production of every roll.
We decided that the 2017 collection should be floral and soon after that a story of ‘hand-made’ designs using pen and ink, and cut-out paper flowers emerged.
This is the largest and most complicated design I have built for my client. The ink flowers are very large, almost the width of the paper itself, 55cm. I wanted the flowers and stems to look like a hand-drawn line to reflect the paper like quality of the petals, so I used Indian ink and a pipette.
I knew that for this design I would have to use a block printed method, what’s more, I will need to use two blocks for extra height. So every roll of wallpaper is printed with two blocks end to end. Technically complicated, as they each must be manually lined up at the beginning of every wallpaper run.
To make this design even more of a challenge for the factory floor (sorry guys), I had to make the design a half drop repeat. This was vital as to ensure the flow of the design is organic, balanced and beautiful. See HELLEBORUS
…is made from a bouquet of cut-out flowers in paper. It has a pretty, confetti texture, but is big and brave to suit modern living. This is a two colour wallpaper, so figuring out which colour was to be which, whilst considering potential overlap during the two print process was slightly challenging.
The result is how I imagined, a cascade of flowers with a slightly modern twist of quirky angles in the cut out shapes. FaB have printed this design in really outstanding colours and because it is roller printed, it a great painterly texture. See HEGEMONE
This design I really enjoyed creating with a Bamboo pen and black ink. Imagining pretty little cactus flowers, succulents, rock plants and alpines makes this design about the spring bloom of a desert, hence, Atacama, which is a desert in south America. We had stumbled across a small pice of printed fabric.
I had to change the scale of my artwork, as well as simplify it just a little to make it printable and appealing. The result is a fun, living print, bursting with life. I love the interesting colour ways this paper is available in. See ATACAMA
FaB Florals Video
I recommended to FaB to video me while I was creating the designs. So one afternoon the amazing Robin Kitchin came along and filmed lots of detailed shots of the designs being constructed. It is so good to see the new videos showing the full process of the wallpaper from me at the beginning to factory floor and hanging.
This could be my favourite aspect to this project. Seeing the designs wrapped around 3 London taxis is fabulous. I am always honoured when FaB ask me to work on new wallpaper designs, such a fantastic British company to work with. Then to see them on the black cabs, what a delight. Next project..? TAXI!