Trials and Tribulations

Ruth and I have not worked together for a couple of weeks as she has been away in Switzerland and Wales, followed by a 5 day mini holiday away in Stockholm. This is an annual event for her with her sister and a close friend.  Every year together, they choose a new destination to visit and explore – a girly few days away. Apparently Stockholm was the most beautiful city but lacking in those special design interior outlets which were something they were all seeking, on this front it was a disappointment – Copenhagan offers so much in relation to interior design.  Swimming in the lake in Switzerland and hot summer days with family and friends was a welcome break and Ruth also firmed up that Oliver, her brother in law remains enthused re having one of his vintage cars reupholsered in our designs  – how exciting and quite something else.

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Stockholm in the winter

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The light fading in StockholmImage result for swimming in basel lake

Outdoor swimming in Switzerland

You know, sometimes the day just goes with a swing and on others up pop obstacle after obstacle – it’s just part of our lives and technology can often play a big part in those frustrations.  Last week was one of the days where whatever we attempted to accomplish was fraught with challenges and hiccups.  However, we are made of stoic stuff and perseverance paid off in the end although we didn’t achieve all we set out to accomplish, there were some positive outcomes.  Words do not always come easy and we struggled over the text on our ‘about page’, it happens, the words do not flow, however we are nearly there.  Images for this page on our website have been reviewed and we are now going along the route of ‘nostalgia’ revisiting our childhood photos picturing us in the landscape.  Ruth has a wealth of great images taken in Switzerland where she grew up.  I have very few of me as a child, but have managed to find a couple that may be suitable.   It was great fun and really lovely looking at the old snapshots of Ruth and her sisters as children pictured with her parents and grandparents in various glorious landscape settings.  Absolutely charming.  Progress has been made and we have now have made a final selection.  We decided that using old photographs of ourselves as children provided a far more personal and significant link to how and why we create work the way we do, rather than a staged photograph with our products in a modern day setting. Ruth continues to tidy up designs and put some into repeat which can be time consuming and challenging but something she enjoys – I am afraid I am can’t contribute to this process as my Photoshop skills are much more limited.

Childhood Slide for Blog 1Childhood Slide For Blog 2

We have received an invitation to showcase some of our products from one of Ruth’s friends in Frome who is holding a pre-Christmas open studio event with various artists and designers over the weekend Saturday 25th to 27th November 2 – 7 pm. Thank you Marjorie for thinking of us and we look forward to a successful show.

Majorie's invitation

Ruth and I spent time selecting items for this event and have now prepared items.  All are now labelled and ready to be delivered on Thursday to Marjorie’s wonderful home in Frome.

Christmas card images have now been proofed.  They still need a bit of tweaking but we are now well on the way.  Good news in that a request has come from Ruth’s brother-in-law who is based in Switzerland to use one of the designs for his business – we area expanding into a European market!

The past couple of weeks has been pretty hectic for me with a visit with fellow Arborealists to Lady Park Wood in Gloucestershire where an invite had been extended by George Peterken who is part of a team of people who are scientifically overseeing and studying the wood.  The weekend was a great opportunity to walk, experience and sketch this unmanaged ancient woodland, ultimately to be culminating in an exhibition of work generated by members of the Arborealists.  There is also a film currently being developed which highlights The Arborealists and their work in connection with the wood which lies just above the Wye valley.

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Above are a couple of my sketches, so much graffiti in the imagery. It was very interesting to have a guided walk and very informative talk by George and then to spend the remainder of the day sketching in the wood.

Another beautiful winter day on Friday with clear blue skies, sunshine and a very cold atmosphere provided a wonderful setting for a visit to Tisbury.  Met an inspirational lady who runs the shop who was very interested in our business model which has similarities in relation to social/community enterprise connections. Another bit of networking!

http://www.countrycalling.co.uk/item/montes-clark-and-the-long-room-tisbury-2

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Check out their lovely website, colour, colour and more colour plus a few inspirational designer interior accessories that would compliment any home.http://montesandclark.co.uk/

Messums at Tisbury was next to do that day.  Extraordinary, big work in the Tithe Barn by Judy Pfaff.  Lots to digest here, mixed emotions re installations and use of materials. Tree roots were spectacular unlike the awful manmade foam that formed part of some of the installations – mixed messages here, but apparently not what was intended by the artist whose work focuses on materiality and not ecology and pollution.

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http://www.judypfaffstudio.com/?p=2510

Joyful renditions in the Long Barn using old Indian papers, painted over.  Rather likened to a the results from an ethnic themed workshop/experimental student studies! A riot of colour with a few more sombre monochrome images plus some very imaginative 3d installations hung on the wall made for an experiential day.  This all provided lots of comments and debate with the two friends I visited with.   Great to see two works by Buckmaster and French who are members of the Arborealists alongside and Ivon Hitchens hung in the foyer of the Long Barn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All in a days work

Yes, lots of research into website design has paid off and Ben our chosen website builder completely understood our brief and has come up with the first draft of our new site. It needs considerable tweaking but we are definitely all reading from the same page. Thanks Ben,  we are on the way.  Although we have a lot of information, both in text and imagery already prepared there still remains much to do.  We are currently arranging a photo session with a professional photographer based in Bath to produce a suitable image of Ruth and I in an appropriate setting, either sitting on a piece of our upcycled furniture, perhaps in The Woodworks workshop /Woodworks shop or alternatively in the landscape.  We will have to glam ourselves up for that one! Below is a friend of Ruth’s posed with her wonderful crow patrol textile designs.

http://www.luxandbloom.com/ourstory

https://www.donnawilson.com/our-story

Our aim is to present a simple and very clear and exciting visual website which is easy to navigate both for researching products and for purchasing products.  Revisiting our logo we have decided to make it stronger with more contrast in the colours as it appears a little faded We aim to have direct links to social media such as Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, but meanwhile the  second collection designs need tidying up and putting into repeat.

At present we have two pieces at the workshop currently being upholstered – an Ercol chair which is a  companion piece to the WOW Ercol day bed and a very sweet Edwardian low seated balloon back chair both wearing designs from the Floating Landscapes collection.

There are several pieces of furniture waiting in the background to be brought to life with fabrics from the new collection Landscape Graffiti once it is ready for print.

Currently looking at print cost both for digitally printing on fabrics and for art prints.  Fabrics will be available by the metre, as cushions with art prints available in three sizes, A3, A2 and A1, printed to size so as to go into ready-made frames, thus giving the purchaser the option of bespoke or ready made framing.  In addition we are looking to  produce large scarves/sarongs and will have a couple of samples made up and photographed on a model showing imaginative ways of wearing them, as per the examples below with designs by Charlotte Linton.  Sadly, Charlotte’s products are no longer available.

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Oh what fun.  Christmas card designs.  Having worked together on concepts for the website we had a break away with Ruth on holiday in Switzerland and then Wales.  We both had some ‘homework’, one item of which, was ideas for a Christmas card. Last Friday was the first working day together after Ruth’s return and there was plenty to share.  Ruth expertise on bringing original designs into repeat were looked at and assessed – always so much work to do at this stage, what with tidying up and creating an overall workable and pleasing pattern – we are getting there.

Christmas cards.  Well, therein lies a story.  I suppose it was not too much of a surprise that we came at the challenge from completely different perspectives and starting points.  As individuals we have such different ideas.  I realise that I can be a bit too ‘edgy and experimental’ design wise, a bit too wacky sometimes, which, of course, is great in the right place and totally acceptable for my own personal Christmas cards.  I think Ruth felt the same and her designs reflected her personality.  It was decided that we start afresh, working together to produce a cohesive, professional design that represented our Mc Bean and Budd collections, a Christmas theme that incorporated our inspiration and current designs.  This can then be sent out to previous customers, prospective interested parties and all those who have been involved in the business. It proved to be the best way forward and we worked a whole day on several designs.  Two very strong images evolved which we were both happy with taking forward.  We acknowledge that there will always have to be compromises, but that is sometimes the price one pays when working collaboratively.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebranding Mc Bean and Budd

Another milestone as Ruth and I have decided to rebrand and create a new website that is solely designated to our collaborative work together.  The decision was made based on feedback from clients who found that having a hybrid site which included both Ruth Moser Designs and Mc Bean and Budd was somewhat confusing and probelematic in making a delineation between collaborative collections and previous collections created solely by Ruth.  We are both very happy to go forward and excited to have the opportunity to create a brand new website and this week have researched possible formats for the new site.

Our aims are to have a really strong branding concept, clear, decisive and easy to use with a strong emphasis on the visual.  Our research led us to the excellent site of photographer Yesten Venema – Product Photographer.  The photographs on her site are quite beautiful and the page layout is simple and very effective.  It ticked a lot of the boxes for us although a very different service/product was being offered.

Kitty McCall

A great deal of discussion took place over home page visual and we were both very smitten and intrigued by Gabi Bolton image. Take a look.

http://www.originallittlebird.co.uk/

This really set us both thinking, what are the key visuals of our branding – collaborations, nature, landscape, reconnecting to nature, nostalgia, ecology and sustainability.  Both of us had a selection of photographs from our childhood playing in the woods and gardens and captured on camera by doting parents.  We both searched for one that met the brief.  How exciting to find this one of Ruth’s two sisters playing in the treehouse built by their grandfather.  This is the one chose for our homepage using the items of cloth in the photograph superimposed with our own designs . We both feel it is a perfect image to portray what we are all about. It provides and meets the brief as well as providing intrigue and further investigation by the viewer.

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Contact has been made with a local website designer and we are looking forward to seeing the mock-up within the next two weeks.

Ruth has been working tirelessly on getting some of the Landscape Graffiti images into repeat and we remain very excited about, what we believe are innovative and very original designs.  Graffiti and its interpretations both by fashion designers and textile designers is very much on trend.  Here is some of the ‘competition’.

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Timorous Beasties – Graffiti Stripe

 

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Jane Clayton, Interior Designer and Arthouse Meath Charity Print Graffiti Cushion Cover

Our designs offer a very different perspective to those already out there in the market.  The design process is one which gradually evolves, different layers are built up with each layer always retaining the marks of the maker.  The overall effect if one of an exquisite painting which retains every detail.

Our aim is to launch our new website together with our second collection in the New Year.  Upwards and onwards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patience, Perseverance and Productivity

Conversational Collaboration

Collaborations are so much about conversations and as Ruth and I sit down to design there is always a flow of ideas and decisions that eventually need to be agreed upon as we work with the process.  This week has been exciting on the design front with the developing of new approaches to making work whilst keeping true to our use of original and hand drawn/painted imagery. This second collection most definitely has the WOW factor as it draws to its conclusion.

Patience in that everyone is busy, engaged, developing, marketing, presenting, involved in Design Fairs, Projects and global travel.  It is a waiting game, following through and maintaining contact with prospective clients are ongoing conversations.

 

Perseverance in that we shall not be disheartened.  It is a competitive world and we need to be persistent.  We believe in our product and following through is essential to getting our product out there. We need to keep the channels open.

Productivity is in abundance as designs have been extended, different colourways established and yet more concepts have evolved.  Landscape Graffiti as a subject has surprised us and provided extensive opportunities for exciting and innovative interpretations.

A wee bit of history re conversational pattern:

 

Conversational pattern: a fabric design started in the 1800’s that has a recognizable picture such as an animal or plant, named as they usually start a conversation.

Collaboration: the action of working with someone to produce something. here is an example.

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Wonderland – Mad Hatter

A contemporary collaborative textile design based on the above design.

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“This contemporary toile design illustrates the intersection of myth and memory. It depicts a fantastical interpretation of nature, where human objects of the past conjure up memories of lost treasures. It is a collaboration between an artist and textile designers.

 

Good news that the Bath Woodworks community project which we support has now employed an upholsterer who is very enthused about using our textiles on the donated furniture.  Restored and upholstered items will then sold in The Woodworks shop in Bath.

This all taps into our ethos of ecology and upcycling of secondhand items into works of art.  We have also discovered that there is a trend for art galleries who are showing interest and displaying ‘high end craft’  within the gallery space alongside paintings and sculpture, creating further diversity for clients.

An example of the opulent side of upcycling too. Bokja’s Sixties bean sofa, featuring a collection of luxurious vintage cloths – Aubusson tapestry, ikat, velvet Bukhara, Russian chintz and African Kente – will set you back £15,000 (Dancing Lady Sofa).

 

 

A few more glimpses of current designs

To be continued…….

Jane Eaton

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading

Mc Bean and Budd in London

Another collaboration – Business and Pleasure – the aim of our trip to London.  In this particular instance definitely a recipe for success.  It was a comfortable and pleasant train journey up to Paddington, although a wee bit of angst as I had been issued a ticket for a different train!

First port of call was to see the Giacometti Exhibition at the Tate Modern.  Below is a short  but informative few facts relating to Giacometti.

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/alberto-giacometti-1159/lists/eight-things-know-alberto-giacometti

We both related to and loved the use  line in both his drawings and sculptures which links to the linear and mark making elements in our own designs which we combine with expressive, colourful and painterly compositions.

The human sculptures show such a great strength in materiality and yet the surface suggests a ruggedness and fragmenting in its application,  but always there remains a fragility in the linear form.

It was wonderful to see Giacometti’s early work of sculpted heads, represented in a myriad of forms, from realistic to tribal to surreal. We could see the ‘influences’ of so many other artists of the period.

 

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Wonderful.

Exquisite

 

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Minimalist

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Familiarity -Giacometti

 

Having covered a lot of ground pm then took a long walk down to The Ivy Chelsea Garden Hotel for our evening meal.  All very relaxed, no airs and graces, good food and wine in a very beautiful and green environment.  We both admired the waitresses attire, all over floral fitted, trouser suits, very English Garden.

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Returned to the mews in Kensington, tea and to bed in a most relaxing and chilled environment.  Up and out for breakfast and then on to visit and make contact with  a few very up market and cutting edge interior design shops as part of our research. There are some amazing, innovative products by very talented designers out there and we were both very enthused and encouraged.

Matisse in the Studio’ Exhibition at the RA was next on our ‘to do’ list.  Fortunately, not too busy, as we are always apprehensive at timed entries,  as it suggests thousands of visitors and the inevitable back pack encounters in the gallery! It is always the icing on the cake to see work for real, to experience up close the colours, texture and scale of works.  As with some of Picasso’s work the application of paint is quite thin and flat.  It is all about the line, the pattern and composition.  Joyful, often high key in colour we again found links to our designs where the use of bright colours, which we incorporate, celebrate the landscape.  This is the most uplifting of exhibitions, no doom and gloom here; it was fascinating to be able to see the familiar objects that the artists used, time and time again, that most familiar coffee pot that we know so well included in his most celebrated interiors and still lifes. An added bonus was to see the working sketches for the still life below.  The shell always seems rather at odds in this particular composition for me, but there is the famous coffee pot.  It all rather emphasizes and confirms that there is beauty to be found in the most simplistic of forms. The humble coffee pot will never be quite the same.

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https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/jul/31/matisse-in-the-studio-review-genius-crowded-out-by-bric-a-brac

A quick browse down Regents Street going towards Oxford Street and Libertys where we found the store undergoing a bit of an update – about time too.  We realise that it is an iconic landmark for visitors to London but perhaps for some it has its heyday, we didn’t find much to inspire and left via the antiquated and rather fusty, out dated lifts.  All rather disappointing as it is such a flagship for fabric and interior designers.  This is not to say that there is not a place for the historical architectural ambience that Libertys offers but at present there is not too much of anything new to be seen within this concept.

With the current trend for more high-end, upcycling and ecologically produced products  the new global designers are certainly showing us something unique, innovative and presenting practical, yet exciting new concepts for our homes.

Great and inspiring couple of days away, providing lots of food for thought.

Our second collection now well on its way with more designs evolving and others coming to fruition.  It is all very exciting  and our Edwardian chair in the window of The Woodworks shop in Bath is creating a lot of attention and very positive feedback.
Victorian Lady’s Salon Nursing Chair

Covered in furnishing cotton velvet with the design “Poetic Landmark Cadmium”

H 70cm, D 44cm, W 51cm

£320 plus carriage

Jane Eaton

 

 

 

 

 

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Collaborators – Mc Bean and Budd

AUGUST 16, 2017

Great to have two full working days together this week.  All very productive both on pushing forward on designs for next collection and on the promotional, marketing and social media side of the business which for us creatives is always a bit of a slog.  We remain dedicated and professional on this level, doing our very best to embrace and extend our expertise to both approach the right audiences and connect to others working in a similar area.

Today we had a client from London down to the studio to see products.  She was someone who has a love and appreciation of colour, so our designs rather blew her away.  Our darling little Arts and Crafts chair was snapped up and we are thrilled that it has ‘gone back home’ with Frances to her house  located within the Arts and Crafts district of West London – how lovely is that?

Arts and Crafts Chair

Lots of delicious time working on our new collection ‘Landscape Graffiti’ this week.  Ruth and I have a wealth of material which provides plenty of scope to develop a good selection of innovative designs which have a common link.  All work remains still in progress – but here below is a little taster of a couple we have been working on which we feel are gradually coming together. Our vision, through process,  has begun to emerge and be established and we feel we are achieving new and exciting concepts for the second collection.

Graffiti Moody Chocolate blog

 

Graffiti Blue Flower Tree blog

Off on a jaunt together to London this weekend which will encompass some research and some ‘jolly time’ visiting the Giacometti and Matisse Exhibitions’  We will let you know how we got on in our next blog.

Any feedback re designs is always welcome and much appreciated.  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

First Post – Collaboration

Mc Bean and Budd               

Textile Designers Ruth Moser and Jane Eaton

The first collaborative textile design project ‘Floating Landscapes’ is now complete. It has been an exciting journey together. The creating of designs is always where we both want to be but there has been a tremendous amount of hard work in getting the website, administrative, promotional and social media side of business up and running. We have both learnt a lot along the way and now have a Facebook page under Mc Bean and Budd, two Twitter accounts and Instagram in the pipeline.

Some market research has been, and continues to be carried out in relation to our products and we shall be making further contact with selected local businesses.

Two of our one-off art chairs have found new homes and we are currently arranging for two 1960’s cocktail chairs plus a fabulous Ercol chair to be reupholstered in our fabrics. The ‘WOW’ Ercol daybed, our last upcyle, can be viewed on our website. This is a very versatile piece of furniture and can be presented with patterned back cushions with grey lilac seat or reversed to be all one colour.

http://www.ruthmoserdesign.co.uk/chairs.html

‘Landscape Graffiti’ is the title of the next collection which we are currently working together on and we are both very excited and eager to be as expressive and experimental with our design concepts so as to create unique, painterly textiles for use in both domestic and public interiors.

Here is a little glimpse of work in progress, early days yet, but we have already created lots of wonderful, colourful original imagery to use within our design concepts in preparation for the next collection.

First Collection Mc Bean and Budd

Arcadia Rose Pink ws

The first collaborative textile design project ‘Floating Landscapes’ is now complete. It has been an exciting journey together. The creating of designs is always where we both want to be but there has been a tremendous amount of hard work in getting the website, administrative, promotional and social media side of business up and running. We have both learnt a lot along the way and now have a Facebook page under Mc Bean and Budd, two Twitter accounts and Instagram in the pipeline.

Some market research has been, and continues to be carried out in relation to our products and we shall be making further contact with selected local businesses.

Two of our one-off art chairs have found new homes and we are currently arranging for two 1960’s cocktail chairs plus a fabulous Ercol chair to be reupholstered in our fabrics. The ‘WOW’ Ercol daybed, our last upcyle, can be viewed on our website. This is a very versatile piece of furniture and can be presented with patterned back cushions with grey lilac seat or reversed to be all one colour.

http://www.ruthmoserdesign.co.uk/chairs.html

‘Landscape Graffiti’ is the title of the next collection which we are currently working together on and we are both very excited and eager to be as expressive and experimental with our design concepts so as to create unique, painterly textiles for use in both domestic and public interiors.

Here is a little glimpse of work in progress, early days yet, but we have already created lots of wonderful, colourful original imagery to use within our design concepts in preparation for the next collection.

Zing for Blog .jpg

 

 

 

New Collection – Woodland

I realise with shock and horror that it has been ages since I wrote on my blog.  However, I have not been idle.  The house renovation is nearly done and I have designed a whole new collection.  Suddenly everything seems to be lifting since my dad’s death.  I feel less weighed down and a lot more energetic.  Full steam ahead with developing products for 2016 and applying to shows.  I am really looking forward to it.

The new collection is inspired by my love for woodland gardens.  As a child I often played in the woods, climbed trees, explored secret and shady corners.  There is something truly magical and secretive about a woodland garden.

One of my favourite places is the Colby Woodland Gardens outside Tenby in Wales.  www.nationaltrust.org.uk/colby-woodland-garden/ where I have spent many happy hours sketching.

Last year I saw a stunning exhibition of Odilion Redon at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel. www.fondationbeyeler.ch/en/content/odilon-redon His floating dreamlike images and unusual colours also influenced this collection.

Here is a small taste of one of my designs called “Woodland Bouquet”.

Woodland Bouquet Violet Mist WP

It is so inspiring and refreshing to work with new designs.  This would make an eyecatching wall hanging or curtains.