Social Togetherness: Eleanor Pritchard in Conversation

On May 9, 2020 · 0 Comments

Social Togetherness – twentytwentyone are honoured to work with a host of wonderfully creative designers, makers and manufacturers and today we are talking to contemporary textiles designer, Eleanor Pritchard.

Where’s home for you? 

Peter and I moved just a few months ago to a little bungalow on One Tree Hill in Honor Oak Park – South East London. It needs a lot of work but is full of quirky charm. I feel so grateful we are in such a quiet, leafy part of the city – the lockdown must be so much harder for people with no green space around them.

What are the highlights of your home-working day?

I have been really touched by the many kind and thoughtful personal messages I have had from clients all over the world in the last few weeks. It makes me realize what a strong network we have grown through our work over the years. 

The lockdown has brought a much slower pace of life for me. It shows up how frantic the schedule in the studio can be. Now even making a pot of coffee has become a ritual! 

What creative pursuits are you doing now that you ordinarily wouldn’t manage if the world were at its normal pace?

I feel very lucky that our new home has a garden. When we first looked at the estate agent’s details for our place I had visions of Tom and Barbara from ‘The Good Life’… and indeed last month we dug up part of the lawn for potatoes and broad beans. We have a tiny cold frame and all my seedlings are coming up now – it feels very grounding and rewarding to watch them grow. 

Are you learning a new skill, craft or hobby?

Initially, I imagined that this particular situation would offer all sorts of creative opportunities – I kept reading articles about how this is a chance to write that unwritten novel or paint that masterpiece!! … but in reality, I find myself much too distracted for any really creative design work. What I have found though is real pleasure in using my hands to make something. I am working very slowly on a piece of drawn-thread work which will – one day – work as a curtain for our bedroom window. In many ways, the process of drawn-thread is the opposite of weaving (…perhaps a metaphor for me in these strange times! …). You start with a woven fabric and then remove sections of threads which are tied to form open lace-like effects. It is very slow to do, but that’s the joy – it’s about the process rather than the outcome. 

I have also been doing a postcard exchange with a group of friends. I am trying to draw one every day – and the pleasure of getting something real and home-made in the post is wonderful. It’s a very different way to stay in touch with people – a non-virtual, non-digital exchange. 

What positive change might come from Covid-19 for you, or your wider community, or the world at large?

I really hope I can hold onto something of the slower pace for myself. In the wider community we must show much more real recognition (in terms of wages and working conditions) to all the essential workers we all rely on every day. The pandemic has shown up the widening inequalities in this country, and we need real resolve for change. As a global society, we must also bring some of the energy and resolve which are in such evidence now to the climate crisis.

Any interesting projects, exhibitions or launches for later this year that you can share?

One project that will launch later in the year is a new blanket we have made for Fallingwater. It is called Carreg – Welsh for stone – and references the fireplace in the Guest House at Fallingwater. It is part of an ongoing project in which I have been responding to the architecture of the house through woven pattern. I have just written a post about it on our journal which you can see here.

Given time to reflect, what would be your wish for a new piece of furniture or lighting? 

I would really like a pig bench from Mick Sheridan’s ‘Welsh Vernacular’ series. They are a beautiful contemporary re-interpretation of a rustic tradition. A couple of years ago Mick used some of our Aerial fabrics for the upholstery on the Welsh Vernacular series and I have been dreaming of one ever since.

Any music or podcasts you would recommend? 

I have been listening to Max Richter’s 8 hour lullaby Sleep on radio 3 – the 2015 live recording from the reading room at the Welcome Collection. I was really sorry to miss the live ‘sleepover’ performance of this at the Barbican a couple of years ago so it has been great to be able to listen to the whole piece now. It is very mesmeric.

I have also recently finished reading ‘The Shepherd’s Life’ by James Rebanks about sheep farming in the Lake District. I really enjoyed the insights into his relationship with the landscape through shepherding – a way of life that in many ways is unchanged over the centuries. 

Please send us a photo from home of something you find inspiring. 

I find Rachel Scott’s work particularly inspiring – and now even more-so since reading ‘The Shepherd’s Life’. She spins her own yarn and makes wonderful hand-woven tapestry rugs. All the wool is undyed from British sheep breeds – the range of colours is extraordinary. We have three of her rugs at home and I really love them. There is a piece on our journal which I wrote about her work a couple of years ago here.

Many thanks to Eleanor for taking the time to talk to us.

 

 

twentytwentyone’s March newsletter

On March 13, 2017 · 0 Comments

Material Immaterial concrete miniature houses

twentytwentyone’s latest newsletter is here, with details of the latest furniture, lighting and accessories to arrive in-store and online, plus details of our Mothers’ Day gift list.

Sign up for future newsletters here.

20 designers for the next 20 years

On November 8, 2016 · 0 Comments

twentytwentyone is 20 november edit

twentytwentyone celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2016.

To mark this milestone we have issued a series of monthly edits focusing on some of the visionary designers, makers and manufacturers that have made the past two decades so stimulating and inspiring.

In November, we celebrate a rising generation of designers whose diverse work is united by its originality, distinction and enduring quality.

View the edit in full here.

Winter woollens

On October 26, 2016 · 0 Comments

Eleanor Pritchard Sourdough throw

Throws and blankets come into their own at this time of year, whether draped over sofas and lounge chairs or layered on beds.

twentytwentyone’s choice selection of classic and contemporary woollen rugs and cushions will bring softness, colour and textural contrast to your home – while helping to fend off the winter chills.

Sourdough wool throw by Eleanor Pritchard

Eleanor Pritchard‘s woven wool throws and cushions are rooted in an appreciation of mid-century textile design while remaining distinctly modern in appearance. All Pritchard’s designs are hand-woven on traditional ‘dobcross’ shuttle looms at a small mill in West Wales.

The Sourdough throw (above) and cushion (below) are woven from a yarn that blends the wool of Welsh mountain, Jacob and Suffolk lowland sheep.

Rustic in texture (much like the bread after which it is named) yet graphic in pattern and colouring, the Sourdough range marries wool-working craft and heritage with a very modern sensibility.

Sourdough cushion by Eleanor Pritchard

View the full range of Eleanor Pritchard’s designs at twentytwentyone here.

By contrast, Wallace Sewell have drawn inspiration for their new bespoke collection of woollen throws and cushions from the richly coloured, geometric paintings of contemporary artist Chung Eun Mo.

Lloyd throws and cushions by Wallace Sewell, exclusively for twentytwentyone

Designers Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell are well known for their striking use of colour intricately arrayed in geometric blocks, and the new collection they have designed exclusively for twentytwentyone is no exception.

Lloyd (above) and River (below) combine bold and subtle shades woven in softest 100% lambswool to create a family of throws and cushions that will both compliment and provide contrast with any interior.

River throws and cushions by Wallace Sewell, exclusive to twentytwentyone

View Wallace Sewell designs at twentytwentyone here.

Mourne Textiles produces woven fabrics of exceptional design and quality using the last remaining production hand loom weaving workshop in Northern Ireland.

The company was originally founded by Norwegian designer Gerd Hay-Edie whose distinctive textiles were used as upholstery fabrics by, amongst others, Robin Day, Gordon Russell, Conran and Liberty.

Tweed throws and cushions by Mourne Textiles

Hay-Edie’s work and influence is currently celebrated in the exhibition ‘Gerd Hay-Edie: Evolutionary Weaver’, currently on display at Margaret Howell’s Wigmore Street shop.

The exhibition features a Robin Day Centenary Edition Reclining Chair, loaned by twentytwentyone and upholstered in Hay-Edie’s Blazer tweed.

Mourne Textiles woollen blanket

Hay-Edie’s classic mid-century tweeds are still available in a range of richly textural, monochrome blankets and cushions woven from a ‘wild’ spun yarn from Donegal.

View all Mourne Textiles woven cushions and throws at twentytwentyone here.

Natural sheepskin fleeces at twentytwentyone's River Street showroom

Finally, a natural sheepskin fleece offers an ideal option for those who may wish to experience wool in something closer to its original form.

twentytwentyone’s exclusive range of sheepskins are derived from rare British breeds. Treated at one of the UK’s oldest tanneries, the fleeces are preserved with environmentally-sensitive processes that maintain natural colour and tone.

Also available are long-haired fleeces from Icelandic sheep. Icelandic sheep wool has a longer length that creates a strikingly shaggy and luxuriant appearance, particularly when paired with clean-lined contemporary designs.

Long-haired Icelandic sheepkskin

A time-honoured way of creating contrast and enhancing comfort as the evenings draw in.

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