Artist and wallpaper designer Marthe Armitage has collaborated with British fragrance house Jo Malone to produce a block-printed design in three colourways that forms the packaging for the limited-edition Summer Afternoon range. This beautiful collection includes soaps, drawer liners, bath oil and an evocative candle.
How did you get into block printing? I lived in India for two years and would watch artisan craftsmen printing bedspreads on long tables out in the open air. Seeing them at work, printing in their hit-and-miss way, I truly appreciated the beauty in imperfection. On coming back to London, I set up a workshop on my landing and created my first wallpaper design. It looked good, so I carried on! Describe your design and making process. The idea comes first. I draw it onto lino and cut it out, trying my best not to make any mistakes! The process takes a long time and it’s entirely possible for the result to be a failure. I use an old offset lithographic proofing press, made at the turn of the
19th century. As far as I know, all similar machines were sent off for scrap!
What’s the inspiration behind the design you’ve created for this collection? I met with the Jo Malone creative team and after much discussion we agreed to use gardens as a starting point. Shortly afterwards I visited Chiswick House in London one sunny day for inspiration and seeing children playing, gardeners working, the beautiful statues and plants… it all felt so alive. I wanted to capture that in my design.
What’s your favourite Jo Malone scent? I couldn’t say – they all suit different moods!
See Marthe Armitage’s designs on the Summer Afternoon range at Jo Malone, 0800 054 2939, jomalone. co.uk.