Colette Moscrop is a designer and screenprinter who is returning to thread… a festival of textiles as an exhibitor in the marketplace. We wanted to find out a bit more about her, her work and what she likes about thread and she was kind enough to answer a few questions…
Hello Colette, thank you for agreeing to talk to us. Could you start by telling us a bit about yourself and what you do?
Hello, I am a textile designer and hand screen print all of my designs in my garden studio. I love the texture of natural fibres and print on linen and cotton in rich colours. My designs are uncomplicated and modern with a hint of retro. I love being able to print onto fabric, it’s a wonderful way to bring your design work to life.
I sell my designs as Fabric Panels, so you can use them in your sewing projects to make items such as purses, bags, quilts, cushion covers etc.
I also have a range of hand printed accessories, such as project bags, purses, peg bags, buttons, cushions and tea towels.
When did you start your business and what do you like the most about working for yourself?
I began my screen printing business in late 2013. I had previously worked in fashion and had designed evening wear and accessories for the boutique market. After starting a family I wanted to work with textiles in a different dimension and at a different pace. I dislike the throw away culture and prefer to buy and use products that have been sustainably designed and made, with a view to being used for the long term. I keep this in mind when designing and strive to produce timeless work.
I love the freedom that comes with running your own business, the choices I make are from the heart and are made with integrity. Every week is different so life never gets dull, there is always something new to learn and exciting avenues to explore. Working from home is ideal, it fits around family life, allowing me to pick my girls up from school, go on school trips and then work in the evenings when necessary.
Can you tell us some more about your approach to printing? Do you have any tips on the process that you would like to share with us?
Screen printing is a wonderful process, the endless choice of colour combinations and layering of designs is exciting. Misprints are inevitable, and they always add something special to the piece, so if you’re new to printing, embrace the imperfections and work with them.
I’d also recommend keeping your designs simple, the most basic of shapes can be rotated and repeated in so many ways to create interesting and unique patterns. I run one day workshops in screen printing and it’s wonderful to see the work my students create, even those who claim they ‘can’t draw’ produce fantastic work.
How do you design the patterns and where do you draw your inspiration from?
Inspiration can come from anything, though I’m particularly drawn to architecture, decay, historical designs from the 20’s – 50’s, art and urban living. My designs are mostly created by hand, using paper, pencil and ink. Once I’ve sketched out an idea, I play with scale and repeats with photocopies until I’m happy with the overall design, I then draw it all out by hand before having my screens exposed professionally.
When you create home wares, do you look to produce a series of work or one of pieces?
So far my home wares range has grown organically and responded to demand, with short runs of a particular design / colour combination. This has worked well so far, though I definitely need to relook at the choices I offer, the downside of being able to print in any design / colour is that I do! I need to rein it in a little and keep my production tighter.
The time has come for me to design a complete range, and offer a more concise collection. So later in the year I plan to offer just that, so stay tuned!
Do you have a particular signature item or items that you most enjoy designing and/or making?
I really love the design process, creating a print that will work for several different projects is a wonderful process as there is a lot to consider. Each design needs to work as a stand alone print, to be used in larger projects and in repeat, but also to be able to be cut up and used in patchwork quilts and smaller projects such as purse and bag making. As for the accessories, my zip purses are a really popular item, they are beautiful, functional, tactile purses that you can use for anything – phones / chargers, cosmetics, travel documents etc. I love to make these, knowing that they will become a staple in someone’s everyday life is pretty special.
We are delighted to have you take part again in thread and welcoming you back as an exhibitor. What do you most enjoy about thread and what should visitors expect?
Thread is such a friendly, vibrant and interesting show. There is a wonderful selection of stalls to suit all makers and textile lovers. You get to chat with the designers and makers and learn more about the process and inspiration behind their products. Thread has it all, it’s well worth the visit!
Colette Moscrop is one of the many exhibitors in the thread marketplace. More details and a full exhibitor listings are available here
Further details on the talk, exhibition, participation sessions and the workshop programme will be added on the thread pages here in the forthcoming weeks. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Twitter @maltingscraft and Facebook to keep up to date with news on the festival
thread 2018…a festival of textiles is on Sat 30 June l 9am-6pm. The day tickets are on sale here!