It's been a busy couple of weeks! Drakes Auctions is in full swing attracting new customers with some exciting antiques and collectables, and whilst working at the auction house I've also been busy creating new products ready for the opening of my Etsy store! Heres a sneak peek into what I have been up to...
Having sourced a beautiful collection of linens from Ada & Ina for my backing fabrics, and luxury fibre filled cushion pads, the next step is to start making my cushions!
Amongst working on my collection of lampshades, I have created a collection of A5, 36 blank-paged, eco-friendly notebooks, for all your jotting-down and doodling needs!!
Working at the auction certainly has it's perks. With the ability to buy some great pieces of furniture in need of restoration, and a little modern touch!
Ill be back soon with the final products and the launch of my Etsy store!
I have recently returned from a 2 week stay in Guernsey, visiting my Mum. Whilst there, I met Denyse and Diana from Iris and Dora Designs, and had the opportunity to use their studio and equipment.
With various design ideas in mind, I selected a few. Each were comprised of various elements that would be layered on top of each other to create bespoke screen-printed fabric.
With the sun shining surrounded by my Mum's collectables, from vintage tea-sets, ornate mirrors and picture frames, antique furniture and her quirky bits and bobs, her adorable little cottage with pots of flowers blooming in the courtyard, I couldn't have wished for a more inspiring place to delve into the arty head-space needed for printing!
Each textile panel is unique, printed with eco-friendly inks onto hand-dyed grounds. Layering different elements, with various coloured inks that either complement or contrast each other, I decide placement as I print. Following no repeat rule, I print as if painting a picture.
Take a look at the full collection of my new prints on the Portfolio & Designs page.
New interior and fashion products to launch soon!
Please use the contact form for any other information regarding my work, commissions or collaborations.
All imagery Gemma Lofthouse ©
Having created the fabrics for Studio Tord Boontje's Shipwrecked collection, I was asked to re-create the fabric for Tord Boontje's joint stand with ceramicist Lucy Smith, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 100th Anniversary.
The fabric lined walls created an exciting backdrop for the garden ornaments and furniture. Different plants and flowers complemented the different elements and colours of the print design.
The stand even won an award for the high quality presentation!
All imagery and work, Gemma Lofthouse and Studio Tord Boontje ©
In January 2013 I partook in a 3 month internship at Studio Tord Boontje. Whilst partaking in the internship I designed and contributed to a variety of products ranging from fabric, to ceramics and jewellery.
I was fortunate to be working at the studio for the planning, designing and launch of the new 2013 collection and exhibition 'Shipwrecked'.
I was asked to create a fabric that represented the plant life on a tropical island.
Through research, drawing and photography I created a number of elements that could be layered to create a “jungle” or “forest” effect. Mixing a variety of green pigments, the different elements were screen-printed onto dyed muslin grounds. Combining a mixture of white based and regular pigments added depth to the print, creating solid and transparent elements.
The 'Shipwrecked' Collection and exhibition also included a new range of textile jewellery, Swarovski Pearl and acrylic jewellery, ceramic plates, lighting, ‘Stitch Furniture’, scarves, and tables.
Images and work: Gemma Lofthouse & Studio Tord Boontje ©
An exquisite valley close to the Chinese border, Sapa sits with towering mountains on all sides. Although it holds such beauty, Sapa would draw considerably less of travellers attention if it were not for the H’mong and Dzao ethnic groups in the region.
Their distinguished clothing and headdresses can be spotted all over the town and they are keen to make their presence known to you.
The most rewarding part of visiting Sapa is if you are able to trek through the mountains and villages. Ladies of the tribes will more than likely hound you as you set off on your walk, but as I discovered, you might be lucky enough to gain the company of a few who can take you through the villages and tell you some very interesting facts and stories about the history and the surroundings. Of course they will expect you to buy a little something from them at the end, but I found it was a small price to pay for such an experience, and came away with a beautiful piece of H’mong textile and H’mong silver jewellery.
If you are not feeling up to trekking through the mountains and villages, H’mong and Dazo groups gather in the square daily, selling items displaying their world renown embroidery skills. The market stalls down the streets also sell a variety of souvenirs and traditional Vietnamese items.
All images Gemma Lofthouse ©
On my way back from Australia, I was fortunate enough to spend 6 weeks travelling around South East Asia. My first port of call was Chang Mai, to the north of Thailand.
Although I feel some of the areas I visited in Thailand have lost their cultural ambience, Chang Mai still boasts rich colourful markets and shops selling traditional art and textiles.
Many pieces of textiles sold in the markets are pieces of traditional-style tribal clothing. If you dig deep, you can be lucky enough to find little antique gems!
If you’re interested in the production of silk, and want to buy some high quality silk fabric, there is a silk factory, Jolie Femme, where you can see how silk is made.
Chang Mai is home to a variety of inspiration. Temples, known as Wats, can be found on almost every corner, each with individual intricate patterns and details.
If a culture shock is what you wish from a travel experience, then Chang Mai might not be for you. If you want to experience an easy-going holiday with a difference and a touch of culture, then it is a great place to visit. You can afford a little luxury but still walk around the nitty gritty streets of Thailand!
All images Gemma Lofthouse ©
During my time living in Melbourne I contacted various design and print companies to partake in an internship. I arranged a 4 week internship with a screen printing company called Ink & Spindle.
During my time with them I gained experience of how an independent screen printing and design company works. My experience included printing and making pieces for Arts Fairs, to printing custom orders for people homes. Ink & Spindle provide a screen printing service for smaller design business’s who do not have their own facilities to print the work themselves.
Together with helping with day to day printing tasks around the studio, and making items for sale, I worked on my own print design. I wanted to use inspiration from Melbourne. When travelling anywhere in the world, I appear to have an obsession with architecture. Melbourne was no different, with it’s unique array of little wooden houses, so quaint, and not what you would expect to find in and around a big city.
I used the streets lined with different houses, signposts, and quirky attributes as my starting point. From there I created sketches, and photoshop imagery from my photography. Creating a ‘Melbourne-inspired’ print, capturing the variety of architecture displayed around the city, and surrounding suburbs.
I experimented on a few different grounds, with varying shades of pigment, putting my print into an all-over repeat, creating a modern day toile-de-jouy style print.
Being back in a studio and having the opportunity to screen print one of my own designs was so much fun and inspired me to continue to create new designs and ideas.
All images Gemma Lofthouse ©
I am a textile print designer/maker, with a strong passion for striking prints. textiles, design, colour, texture, interiors, fashion, travel & different cultures.