Monday, September 14, 2009

Drawing closer


It’s not always very clear, where the idea for the collection comes from. One looks at lots and lots of things, goes to exhibitions, searches the internet, sits in the library and goes through many books and collects lots of research. In this huge amount of information there will be some images that seem more interesting than the others. So you will print out a few, put on the floor and look at them for a while.

And then you go and look for MORE interesting stuff, as if you did not have enough research already. Then you will let it all settle a bit.

At some point you’ll get a certain kind of feeling of what you will want to make. Well, that’s how it works for me anyway. During the design process it will usually all change, but you have to start from somewhere.

ben nicholson in tate britain 3

Ben Nicholson 1

ben nicholson in tate britain

I had been collecting lots of research when suddenly I realised that what I was interested in was art. Art by some certain artists. I saw some fantastic works by Ben Nicholson in Tate Britain. It was white on white geometric cutout shapes from the 30’s and elegant line drawings. I found the same works also on Tate online , where those images above originate.

Ben Nicholson 3

I looked at a book called Ben Nicholson Recent Paintings on Paper and realised I was very interested in drawing, the line and the empty space. Pics above are from that book.

Maret Olvet 1

Maret Olvet 3

I found another inspirational artist, Maret Olvet from Estonia. Loved her colours and shapes. Pics from and

All this did not take me very far. Except that I knew that I wanted to design some prints with hand drawn lines, something spontaneous and a bit… “arty” ( sorry, it sounds terrible!).

sketch 2


graphite figure 2


By accident I picked out some of my own old drawings from a few years ago. They are old rough sketches and graphite fashion drawings which I liked because of their spontaneity.

036 copy2

Then I just took paper and started scribbling and drawing without thinking much

050 copy

025 copy

Out came those swirls you have seen before in this blog. I drew a whole mountain of them, maybe about 100.

The best ones I scanned in, blew them up and scattered all over the fabric with no repeats. And that’s how my prints were born.


It’s a whole science to get the colours right in Photoshop, when filling in a surface that has different shades.

To get the colours I wanted, I printed out a sample with dots, and numbered the favourite dots. Of course I could have done a sample of each print, but the time was not on my side. The problem was also the size of the files, they were HUGE! More than 200MB, so it took forever to make even smallest of changes. So I had to get it right from the start- that’s what I thought.

graph 5

Still it was always a small surprise when I got my fabrics back from printing: oh, that’s how it came out! But that’s allright, because this collection is inspired by art and you must leave room for coincidence and happy accidents when making art.

I did some different colourways too, just wanted to see what happens if it was orange :-)





I took pics of ready fabrics on the dummie. Somehow it’s very hard to see what you are doing by just looking at it. You have to look through the mirror or take a photo.

The photo always tells the truth. Most of the designers take photos of their work in progress, because then you can see what is wrong.

Now all there is left to do is to turn those fabrics into a collection.

toile 2

I have only done some toiling and sketching. The most interesting toiles so far are the ones I made using some horrible old ripped up dress I found from somewhere.

toile 1

It really is an old rag, and I did not even bother to iron it, but you must know how to READ those pictures and the toile. You must be able to SEE the interesting detail, the interesting cut. You must be able to see the potential of fantastic dress even in a horrible rag of a toile.