the seventies
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early years
in the 50's
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in the 90's
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afm020.jpg Mary Fedden, well known painter, friend and neighbour in Hammersmith, was asked by her cousin Robin, a director of The National Trust, if she knew anyone who could design Tea Towels. She suggested me.
There were no National Trust shops then, in fact hardly any museum shops existed; it was the beginning a new style of shopping. I was designing things that people might be tempted to buy at the end of a visit to a National Trust house or garden. This influened my style. I was using line drawing as my work became more representational and my colour became more muted, to go with the historic houses. Also it meant that I really had to learn to draw buildings accurately. Many of my designs were for specific properties, which I always visited, so I got to know a lot about the English countryside.
The National Trust shops grew in size and number and I was designing other products as well as tea towels, table linen, kitchen textiles and ceramics.
afm024.jpg A new long term design relationship started during my period working with The Trust. Maxine Magan who started a cottage industry called Cuckoobird, was making kitchen and other fabric products in Kent. The prototypes were made by her, and the cut out patterns were delivered to workers all over the county to be sewn. She was extremely particular, and even demanding! But working with her was a great experience. Together we designed a tea-cosy in the shape of a cottage, which became quite a best seller.
I continued with my external assesing, I love seeing students work, and I travelled all over The British Isles visiting Art Schools. As well as finding my own annual assistant, I was able to find jobs for quite a lot of students.
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