Quiet revo­lu­tion

De­signer and au­thor of a new book on ‘gen­tle’ de­sign, Abi­gail Ed­wards dis­cusses her love of calm­ing prints and in­tro­duces the cre­atives who share her pas­sion

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents -

In­te­ri­ors stylist and au­thor Abi­gail Ed­wards shares her love of mind­ful pat­tern, and in­tro­duces the con­tem­po­rary de­sign­ers to know


While she was a free­lance stylist for in­te­ri­ors mag­a­zines, Ed­wards de­vel­oped a love of pat­tern. Now, work­ing from her Lon­don stu­dio (along­side Claude the Whip­pet), she cre­ates her own ex­quis­ite wall­pa­pers and fab­rics Hav­ing grown up in a very ru­ral part of the Cotswolds, the del­i­cacy of na­ture’s frag­ile shapes is in­cred­i­bly in­spir­ing to me. When I’m at my child­hood home in Sheep­scombe, near Stroud, I spend many hours walk­ing my dog in the dense, an­cient wood­land that sur­rounds the vil­lage. The area’s gnarly old trees fas­ci­nate me; the his­tory that is cap­tured within their branches hints at leg­ends and se­crecy. Many of my de­signs at­tempt to cap­ture their un­set­tling and eerie beauty.

I have made count­less sketches of trees, feath­ers, leaves, plants and other ran­dom for­est finds that sit in my sketch­book, wait­ing for the day when I will dip into it for re­search. Years might pass, but with­out in­ten­tion or plan­ning, a new thought will trig­ger a men­tal im­age, and then those draw­ings be­come rel­e­vant again, de­vel­op­ing into a pat­tern.

In fact, draw­ing is my favourite part of the de­sign process. I will re­peat­edly draw some­thing un­til I’m con­tent that it looks the way I imag­ined it. De­tail is im­por­tant to me, but I don’t like lines to ap­pear too laboured – a lit­tle wabi-sabi is es­sen­tial.

As I trained in fine art rather than tex­tiles, I’ve taught my­self how to cre­ate pat­terns in what I now re­alise is quite an im­prac­ti­cal way, but this ram­bling ap­proach works for me. I tend to find the less dig­i­tal and more la­bo­ri­ous, tra­di­tional meth­ods of cre­at­ing prints a more nat­u­ral and far more en­joy­able way to work. abi­gailed­wards.com

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