Claire Wil­liams, aire


Claire Wil­liams lives in the mill town of Helmshore, in Lan­cashire’s Rossendale Val­ley. She cre­ates iri­des­cent wall­pa­pers and sump­tu­ous tex­tiles, for which her ter­raced Vic­to­rian home – in need of to­tal ren­o­va­tion when she bought it – now pro­vides a perfect back­drop. Claire feels a deep con­nec­tion to the area and its his­tory of tex­tiles pro­duc­tion, hav­ing lec­tured on print­mak­ing at The Univer­sity Cen­tre at Black­burn Col­lege for 18 years.

‘I had a fan­tas­tic ca­reer in teach­ing,’ she says, ‘but I al­ways dreamed of prac­tis­ing what I preached. So, though sad to leave my stu­dents, I fi­nally made the leap in 2016 and started my own busi­ness.’ Claire’s strik­ingly orig­i­nal wall­pa­pers and fab­rics fea­ture her own del­i­cate water­colour de­signs that are dig­i­tally printed onto rich sub­strates – pearles­cent, me­tal­lic and foil pa­pers. She is currently work­ing on a new col­lec­tion of fab­rics, with cush­ions made with heavy silks, linens and vel­vets.

‘I find the po­ten­tial to print onto dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als and tex­tures ex­cit­ing,’ she says. ‘I am also ex­plor­ing de­vel­op­ing prints onto me­tals, which would sit as in­lays into be­spoke fur­ni­ture.’

Win­ning this Award so early on in the life of her busi­ness

– she has launched only one col­lec­tion so far – is a fan­tas­tic boost for Claire. ‘It is such a huge hon­our to win,’ she says. ‘Af­fir­ma­tions like this keep you go­ing, pro­vid­ing the all-im­por­tant con­fi­dence to spur you on.’

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