1960s Wallpaper

My last visit to the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture was to research the Silver Studio collection and in particular to look at designs from the 1930s and 40s.  You can read my previous post for details of the visit here if you like.

In today's visit, I moved up to date and into the 1960s.  I started by looking at large wallpaper books from a company called John Line Ltd.  Sim, the archivist at MoDA who showed me the work, said these papers wern't mass produced, but produced in a speciality niche way. These were screenprinted so the colours were incredibly dense with a matt chalky quality.    Most designs had 3 colourways.  I was attracted most by the 'dabby' mark making which brought to mind Henry Moore. These wallpapers looked like they might have had African influences. Printed in two colours, a rich dark grey alongside a fresh yet subtle secondary colour.

This print could not have been from any other era but the 1960s.

These yummy  line and stripe designs, felt very contemporary.


Into figurative mode now, but in a very similar colour palette to the stripes, look at these charming bird wallpapers - so lovely!

I'll upload some of the fabrics and colour swatch books I saw too in my next post...

All images shown here are copyright The Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture, Middlesex University.  Visit their website: http://www.moda.mdx.ac.uk/

My proudest Eco Design moment

Besides the lovely moment when I won an industry sponsored competition, set by a great British wallpaper company, Graham and Brown, my proudest moment was when a roll of the finished paper was taken into the archives of a museum.
The wallpaper was on show as part of an exhibition 'Eco Home' in 2010 at the Geffrye Museum, a wonderful London museum dedicated to the history of the home. 
The 'Eco Home' exhibition hoped 'to address, without preaching, widespread and increasing concerns about ecology and the state of the planet and how this links to our homes and the way we use, decorate and inhabit them.'
A roll of the Bittern Wallpaper, along with a recorded interview with me about the design was taken into the archives at The Geffrye Museum as an example of the eco movement in design.
The three wallpaper designs are based around the Bittern, a bird who's reedbed habitat is seriously under threat from rising sea levels. 
I used mainly pen and ink to draw the birds in order to give a handcrafted feel to the collection.  The colour palette was based on the browns of the Bitterns themselves.  Bitterns are masters of disguise, shrinking to ball shapes or extending their necks to hide in the reeds so the designs combine these two elements.
This is a warm up to other blog posts I'm going to be writing about trying to balance my eco concerns with my love of designing.