guest blog

Welcome, Abigail Percy

by Grace Bonney

Hi there! My name is Abigail Percy and I am a Designer Jeweller based in Glasgow, Scotland [UK]. I work from home and have been running my small business for about two and a half years now. I make and sell my work full time, running an Online Shop and supplying various galleries and stores throughout the UK and abroad…this translates to many an hour at the bench hand-making all my jewellery and just as many on the computer or behind a camera! My designs are organic in style with a vintage twist – combining contemporary silhouettes with softly antiqued finishes and styling. I always work with leaf and flower forms creating feminine, enduring pieces of jewellery.

That is the aim, anyway! ;)

I started my own blog in January 2006 and it has been a fantastic way for me to market my jewellery, drive me and my work forward, meet people and be involved in the creative online world. What would we all do without blogs, egh? Most importantly, blogging keeps me inspired and switched on to the world of design in a very immediate and accessible way!

I have met some fantastic people through blogging [Camilla, Maria, Karin, Claire, and Natalie to name but a few!] – all people whose work I really admire and each and every time have found that these virtual friendships translate amazingly well in person. I feel very lucky to be part of this online community, and extremely flattered to have been invited to guest blog here with Grace this coming week…so, thank you for having me Grace and hello design*sponge readers!

I guess we should get down to what I am going to be writing about this week. For those of you who know me, and know my work…it won’t come as a surprise that I will be ‘talking’ about Botanical design…everything in the world of leaves and flowers and how they are translated into design and art. It is a field I am continually fascinated by, not least because that is where my own work sits…but because it is just so damn pretty! I love seeing just how many different ways the same plants can be stylised…from something very literal, to something really abstracted and vague – all stemming from the one source. How someones ethnographic effects their design work really captivates me as well…their cultural design heritage and how that may influence them. I am hoping to be able to cover just some of that huge topic this coming week…..

To start us off today and get our juices flowing – I am looking to some fantastic Pattern Design {textiles, wallpaper etc} that is catching my eye these days. I hope you find some new favourites among the bunch below!

Neisha Crosland > {a long standing favourite pattern of mine, so wonderfully abstract}

Clarissa Hulse > {left image: wonderfully bright patterns, with almost photographic qualities and beautiful silhouettes…look here if you want colour and impact!}

Les Indiennes > {image above, right: beautiful muted colour palettes and stylised patterns…I love the subtle Indian influences and stylisation – the Flip book is well worth spending some time ooh-ing over.}

Marthe Armitage > Wallpaper {image above, left: with her low-key online profile…Marthe is an *amazing* Designer / Artist Crafts-person who has worked with the same traditional block printing processes for years. A recent discovery of mine, despite her long and successful career, her patterns just astound me, and truly blow my mind…their flow and ingenious repeats are so fresh and beautiful. A modern day William Morris!}

Sam Pickard > {image above, right: Another recent, and joyful, discovery…I just adore Sam’s work. Very illustrative and organic…I love the strong links to the drawn line, each and every design singing with Pickards individual and unique voice. I love how the fabric’s texture and colour is very much central to the design motif itself. Wonderful work.}

Skinny Laminx > {a firm favourite of mine, Heathers work is so fresh and vibrant. Having touched on cultural influences on pattern, I love seeing the influence of South Africa in Heathers designs….all alive and hopeful in their aesthetic!}

Susan Bradley > {image above, left: someone else who has featured here on D*S before…but always worth a mention. I love the traditional take on florals and foliage – the structured stylisation taken from English and French flocked wallpapers and architectural detailing, re-worked in modern ways….always wonderful!}

Timorous Beasties {image below and above, right: three images} > {Glasgow based design duo, whose patterns and digital mastery of floral imagery always catches my [and the rest of the design worlds!] eye. The layering, diffusing and placement of their motifs is really leading the pack in the floral stakes…a harder edged take on chintz, and one that I love!}


More tomorrow! Happy Monday :)

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  • Fantastic to find Abigail guest blogging here. She’s been such a sweetie to chat to online and I can’t wait for my necklace to arrive in the mail!
    Also a big surprise to see my work amongst all the lovely florals here. Thanks so much for thinking of me, Abigail!

  • Enjoyed this posting. Good to see someone discussing botanical design. I was interested in your comment on Neisha Crosland > {a long standing favourite pattern of mine, so wonderfully abstract} and I wondered whether her work is abstract ie. reducing or simplifiying form or whether in fact she is capturing an essence ie more of a sense of the holism. It maybe sounds like a dull semantic point – but I feel it is important as one is concerned with ‘seeing’ rather than just looking. Something that Goethe and the German Romantics that inspired the Arts & Crafts movement talked about. Im curious too, do you feel these designers that you have highlighted are following the arts & crafts approach or is their approach radically different? Look forward to reading future blogs.

  • Hello everyone, and thanks for the warm welcome :)

    Hi Sandra – always nice to hear from you!…yes, I see why you have picked up on that statement. When one see’s the title of this Neisha Crosland pattern {Anemone}, that in itself changes the way we ‘see’ the pattern. I think additional information and insight always does that when looking at art or design – it changes it. Suddenly, you see the sum of the parts and *can* regognise an Anemone flower! However, I think the abstract elements of her designs are part of their success and appeal….people don’t always want or need to ‘see’ design and it’s underlying influences, and I think her work gives people that distance, making the patterns very liveable and workable in domestic spaces [often an important factor in some of the most popular design I sometimes think, the ability to blend, merge and live within it’s surroundings rather than stick out like a sore thumb]…..they lack that confrontation {of obviousness} if you like….so I do find an aspect of their ambiguity quite abstract in design.

    I suppose, in essence, many of these designers {as with many designers today in general} are following many of the Arts and Crafts movement principals…however, I am not sure they do so purposefully. I think the principles of A+C are so deeply engrained in the art and design world now, they are passed on [through teaching and inspiration] without specific intent {people always think they are doing something new! ;)}….I guess what I mean is, I don’t think these designers specifically mean to boulster or prolong the A+C movement per se – but through the concern of nature as motif [and fashion!], they automatically elevate it to higher awareness, following in those fabulous footsteps by default :)

  • Hi there,How are you?What a good websıte…They are good desıgn…I thınk so it always takes too much time doing that one.But I have one question of you.For one design how much tİme are you doing?

  • Hi, im a Student and Studying Art for A-level, I do enjoy looking at your designs, at the moment i am drawing my own flower patterns and developing them to put on a lamp shade as my final piece. I was just wondering where you get your ideas from? and could you give me any advise on a final piece i could do, iv basically created my own pattern from something so simple, and i have been looking at the patterns and putting them on plain white cushions which look good and now looking at my pattern i am goiing to draw it on a lampshade i bought. So could you give me any feedback, as soon as possible if thats ok. Thankyou very much.

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