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Parris Wakefield Additions 1 of 12 showcase

Parris Wakefield Additions 1 of 12 showcase

Each month from August 2014 I am inviting a designer to have their work in my shop so they can show and sell their work to the people of Colne in Lancashire, free of charge, no commission, just a way for me as a retailer to support designers.

First up and in the spotlight are Parris Wakefield Additions, a design partnership creating hypnotically beautiful patterns with inspiration from various sources including artwork and nature. I had seen the work of Parris Wakefield online numerous times but upon opening the packaging and seeing the cushions and lampshades in the flesh I was hit with a wave of bold colour. This is a textiles collection for the unafraid, the brave and the bold, it us unashamedly colourful and yet it is incredibly easy to live with and love.

The fabrics are designed in a way that the patterns are sinuous and biomorphic yet they verge on geometric, clever. I really can’t pick a favourite pattern design as I would happily live with all of these in my home, the Zig Zag (like a crisp missoni knit as a print) is the least exciting for me but that’s like saying it’s my least favourite toe, it doesn’t really matter.Additions is a range of contemporary interiors products by UK designers Howard Wakefield and Sarah Parris. They specialise in bold, colourful, graphic patterns across a range of products including cushions, fabrics, rugs and wallpapers.

What inspires you?

Inspiration comes for all around, anything with colour. The first designs were mostly inspired by paintings but also nature and fashion. Our latest design ‘Chance’ was inspired by a photo I took of layers of peeling paint at Ipswich docks, and the squeegee paintings of Gerhard Richter. When designing digitally there is the element of control in understanding how to manipulate the colour but also an element of chance, you never know exactly how two layers are going to interact, Richter also embraced this element of chance in his paintings and we love this quote. “If I don’t know what’s coming – that is, if I have no hard and fast image… then arbitrary choice and chance play an important part.” Gerhard Richter interviewed by Sabine Schulze 1990

Where do you produce your work? (home studio, warehouse, shed?)

[blockquote]We work from our studio at home in Suffolk. We are so lucky to have this great space at the top of our converted barn, surrounded by fields and common land it is a truly tranquil place to work. I love the buzz of the city but I am a country girl at heart. Here I can indulge my other passion for wildlife and plants and our children have a beautiful environment to grow up in.[/blockquote] 

How is your work produced? (handmade? factory produced?)

[blockquote]All our designs are printed in Britain, our lamp shades are handmade in Dorset and our cushions are sewn by the Handmade Alliance. They are such a wonderful organisation, a social enterprise, training prisoners to produce high-quality, hand finished products for British designers. The alliance is founded on a desire to help prisoners learn through making, and to give practical and emotional support to help them reintegrate into society on release. We believe at Parris Wakefield Additions that design should be beautiful and socially responsible and the Handmade Alliance makes that possible.[/blockquote]  

What are you working on at the moment?

We are just finalising a new design called Forget-me-not which will be launched at Tent London this September.The colour palette for Forget-me-not was inspired by a historical valentines card of a girl surrounded by forget-me-not flowers hearts and a golden yellow ribbon on a dark background. Such a beautiful card and wonderful colour combinations inspired us to create a pattern that was a real expression for our love of colour and pattern. Forget-me-not flowers symbolise true love which seemed appropriate name for the design.We have also been collaborating with Camira Fabrics, Britain’s leading textile company who are recognised for their product and environmental innovation. With Camira we have re-interpreted our Zig Zag pattern using colours that co-rdinate with their range of plain fabrics. The design is pushing digital print technology to the limit by digitally printing onto wool, which gives it a new look and feel – this is a very exciting development for us. We hope to be able to do more similar collaborations in the future as well as build on our own fabric collection.

What advice would you give to a new designer just starting their career?

There is so much to consider when starting out that if you think too hard about it you will probably talk yourself out of it. But if I had to give one piece of advice it would be design from the heart, if you are passionate about what you do and don’t compromise it will be right.

You can see Parris Wakefield Additions in the Live Like the Boy shop at 12 Church Street, Colne, Lancashire, BB8 0LG throughout the month of August.