Earth Inke wallpaper with charm
For anyone who has visited trade fairs and design shows you will understand how your eye is caught by particular design, designers and companies, this was the exact case with Earth Inke. Visiting Tent in September I was delighted to stumble across the work of Katherine who runs Earth Inke, her stand had an immediate comfortable and friendly charm and this was reflected in the friendly chat and admirable passion Katherine showed when talking about her wallpaper designs.
Katherine’s wallpapers reflect life in a subtle and abstract way that verges on caricature. The colour palettes are soft, gentle and liveable, it is obvious that Katherine has an affinity with the natural world. The moths hovering around a lightbulb transport you to a garden shed even with their linear sketchy style, the loose and spacious design really allows a feeling of calm to take over when the wallpaper is on the wall.
‘On a Wire’ featuring the telegraph cables festooned with birds has you daydreaming, staring into the wonder of the sky and carried by the birds that perch themselves so sweetly in this bold design. This wallpaper also breaks tradition as it is applied to the wall horizontally rather than vertically.
I hope it shows just how much I love Katherine’s work, when a designer’s personality comes across in their work I am captivated, after all Live Like the Boy is all about living with character.
I spoke with Katherine of Earth Inke about her work, here is what she had to say,
Where do you produce your work? i.e .home, studio, office
I draw where ever I can , some of the designs that made it onto wallpaper were drawn on a train, whilst watching antiques roadshow and on a cruise ship! I make the patterns at home and I stage room shoots and ideas at a studio in Shrewsbury which is an old dance studio surrounded by windows at roof height. I steal time there from some old friends Helen and Richard Foot a photographer and a weaver… it’s a collection of creative minds.
What inspires you?
My designs are created from childhood memories of growing up in Moreton Corbet Shropshire. Each wallpaper is made from a specific happy memory from my childhood there. These memories form the basis of my designs but as an adult my love of Victorian architecture and study of Countryside and Environmental management form other avenues which inspire me. Teasels for example was created as my mum and I used to collect them for the house and she told me that they were what foxes use to brush their tails. We’d always try and spot them on every walk. Moths my new paper reminded me of hanging out in our shed with my dad polishing door knobs with Brasso. Above us all these moths would fly about and I loved the way they would clumsily flutter about bashing into stuff. They made me chuckle but they are incredibly beautiful.
How is your work produced? ie the process, traditional or modern construction techniques?
I hand draw all my designs with a dip ink pen, some first stages are in pencil. These are then manipulated into repeating patterns using Photoshop and Illustrator. The colours are based on earthy tones many created by soils, especially clays. Moths ground colour was first formed from Jackfield mudstone.
They are all printed in England by traditional wallpaper printers. I use a different type of printing process sympathetic to the design and the effect I am trying to achieve. Surface print is used in On a Wire to deliver a soft hand printed finish to the birds which I thought was important to best capture their beauty. Teasels uses a slightly more modern technique of flexographic printing which allowed me to best portray the detail of the drawing.
What are you working on at the moment?
A little hand drawn story brochure for my wallpapers and hopefully a pattern book soon. In terms of design, I have a woodland border design I’d love to launch. Sometimes you have to sit on an idea until you’ve saved enough to make it real.
Earth Inke Wallpapers are coming to Live Like the Boy soon, see samples in the shop