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Donna Wilson

Donna Wilson – Wool fwend!

I’ve got a wool fwend, you’ve got to say it like that famous line from ‘the inbetweeners’ when they’re shouting “car fwend!” and I’m sorry if you haven’t seen it but only sorry because you’re missing a few good chuckles. Donna WIlson may or may not approve of my wool fwend comments but it’s all in good humour just like her infamous creature creations.

If you’re not familiar with Donna Wilson’s work then you must acquaint yourself, I believe she achieves a great balance between modern design and technique but with enough of the handcrafted, crude but humorous vintage ethic design rather than “vintage inspired”. I have been lucky enough to meet Donna Wilson and chat with her about her childhood growing up in rural Scotland and how her MA was the turning point when she began producing her knitted creatures as a way to make some money whilst she was studying. Now stocked world-wide and with outworkers based on the windy isles of Orkney (wind being my only real memory of those islands!) Donna is a design genius that shows no sign of slowing down.

Many of you, dear readers, may have encountered a piece of Donna Wilson’s clever design without realising it, for her simplistic modern sofa design for SCP is used by Jonathan Ross on his ITV chat show set; I got a bit pissed off recently when I saw some lout of an American actor with his feet all over it but then I was brought up properly. The transition from funky creatures to clean lined yet vintage furniture was as smooth as the fair-isle knitted fabrics that are synonymous with Wilson’s signature woollens and it was with complete credit that she earned an Elle Decoration designer of the year award.

If I received a Donna Wilson anything this Christmas I would be overjoyed, there is no pretence in the way the design is formed and the character strap lines make you wonder

just how alive these creatures are in Donna’s imagination. For example; Ralf “Likes off road mountain biking and extreme sports.”it reads like an ex-boyfriend more than a raccoon!

If you’re able to get to Yorkshire Sculpture Park before 26th Feb 2012 then you are sure of an absolute treat, take the kids, have a sticky bun and then walk it off in the park, just watch out in case any of those real life creatures have leaped out of Donna Wilson’s head!!