The second range I designed began in late 2014. I have been obsessed with fields for years now, especially the layering of different fields as abstract patchworks of textures. Very early on I started to get the idea of doing a design which was itself a patchwork of different elements including field boundaries such as trees, hedgerows, fences, walls and animals.
I then tried out this idea of a patchwork in this early treatment (below). I really liked how this was looking, even though it’s very rough. The patchwork idea worked well. I especially like the abstract textures of ploughed fields and this was always going to be an important element of the design. I had taken a number of photographs which were essential to the development of this design.
Moving forward from these initial ideas and sketches I decided to create a much more complex treatment including all the elements. The treatment (below) was the master for all the designs and, although I redrew everything, this was the illustration I worked from. The only thing I didn’t like about the way the design worked was that it felt very busy. I played around a bit and realised that I needed to inject some space into the design and also have some elements which were simpler – not using all the colours. That was when it really started working well.
The lampshade (below) really shows the design breathing with the addition of some spaces. Printing the lampshade was a massive exercise in itself as it had to be printed eight times; four colours for the left hand side and four for the right as the lampshade artwork was too long to fit onto one screen.
For the cushion, I decided to create two designs using different elements from the master illustration and also reducing the colour palette to three colours so it wasn’t quite as intensive to print. The cushion patterns actually repeat around the sides.
I also, in a fit of madness, decided to print tea towels. They ended up being the least cost effective thing I’ve ever made, costing so much to create that it wasn’t worth it in the end. But I love the design.
Working on this Farm Yarns range and the previous Cover Story range has allowed me to explore print design with a number of elements I love about the English countryside.
Moving forward, I suspect I will be revisiting these elements but in new ways. I can’t see that I will ever stop working on countryside themes.
Both the Farm Yarns and Cover Story ranges are available to buy in my Folksy shop here.