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what's in your toolbox

What’s In Your Toolbox: Lottie Day

by Annie Werbler

What's In Your Toolbox: Lottie Day, on Design*Sponge

From a picturesque Georgian mansion in the charming city of Norwich, England, textile designer and screen printer Lottie Day makes signature home goods symbolic of the region’s pastoral countryside, which she shares all over the world through her works. In her studio, Lottie draws the illustrations that grace her wares, which include an assortment of “tea towels, shoppers, deck chairs and lampshades.” Being the sort of person who enjoys making a modern mess right beside all that historical intrigue, her “best work happens in a tornado of scrap paper,” Lottie admits. If she could “have arms like Vishnu,” perhaps she could do even more — but Lottie’s advice to mere mortals working within the confines of the human body is to fulfill a need for nature and refresh. “You can’t find inspiration sitting at your desk.” —Annie

Photography by Beth Moseley

What's In Your Toolbox: Lottie Day, on Design*Sponge

What’s in your toolbox?

  • My apron, it’s always collecting new colors and marks.
  • A big pile of silk screens and a squeegee (my favorite word).
  • Six pairs of scissors — I’m always misplacing them.
  • Brown tape is an absolutely essential tool for a screen printer.
  • My industrial sewing machine, which I bought from a lovely old man in Cromer. Apparently it used to live in Buckingham Palace!
  • Jam jars are perfect for storing mixed paint, and old credit cards work well as mini squeegees.
  • Plenty of easy-peel oranges.

What's In Your Toolbox: Lottie Day, on Design*Sponge

Fill in the blank, “When I am in my studio, I feel ____________.”

Content. It’s my favorite place to be.

What's In Your Toolbox: Lottie Day, on Design*Sponge

What’s on the top shelves of your inspiration library right now?

There’s an incredible exhibition here in Norwich called “Magnificent Obsessions.” I really love reading about personal collections — people fall in love with the smallest and strangest things. I’m always searching Norwich Library for old printmaking books.

What's In Your Toolbox: Lottie Day, on Design*Sponge

How do you keep yourself organized?

My notebook is full of endless lists. My partner is always trying to get me to switch everything online, but I just can’t live without my Redstone paper diary. I really enjoy making a mess — my best work happens in a tornado of scrap paper.

What's In Your Toolbox: Lottie Day, on Design*Sponge

If you could have one superhero (or magical) power, what would it be and why?

To have arms like Vishnu! I like working on five things at once.

What's In Your Toolbox: Lottie Day, on Design*Sponge

What is the best advice you have ever received, and what is the one piece of advice you would offer to a young artist, maker, or designer?

Go outside. You can’t find inspiration sitting at your desk.

What's In Your Toolbox: Lottie Day, on Design*Sponge

How do you combat creative blocks?

Jump in the car — the Norfolk countryside can cure most creative blocks.

What's In Your Toolbox: Lottie Day, on Design*Sponge

Where do you like to look or shop for inspiration?

I’ve been running my own gallery for a couple of years now, so I’m always surrounded by creative people. It’s a constant source of inspiration.

What's In Your Toolbox: Lottie Day, on Design*Sponge

If you could peek inside the studio or toolbox of any artist, maker, designer, or craftsperson, whose would it be and why?

I’m a huge Marimekko fan, so I’d love to have seen Maija Isola’s studio. She wasn’t scared of using color and injecting fun into her designs.

What's In Your Toolbox: Lottie Day, on Design*Sponge

What’s on your inspirational playlist at the moment?

I love Tune-Yards — the perfect soundtrack for making a mess.

What's In Your Toolbox: Lottie Day, on Design*Sponge

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