Welcome to another post in our ongoing conversations with the artists, designers, and craftspeople behind the products at Reverie Living. Here Helen Peterson of Cloth+Ink shares the impetus behind the boutique textile company she has created here in Colorado.
How did you get started - how did you learn to do what you do?
Since childhood I've been surrounded by women working with fabrics. My grandmother ran a fabric store on the high street and my mum made all of our clothes. In high school I began screen printing textiles and fell in love with this art, propelling me onto a path of textile studies at university in the UK. There I gained a wealth of knowledge from fiber manufacture to store merchandising. I've worked in fiber research and clothing manufacturing and now I'm putting that knowledge and experience into my own mini textile enterprise here in Colorado.
Where do you find your inspiration - how do you come up with your design ideas, for both the fabric and the products themselves?
I love being outdoors snapping photos and most of my inspiration comes from elements in these photographs. I look for pattern mainly in nature but also from time to time in architecture as well. I begin a design with a watercolor or sketch and play with how an element can be worked into a repeating pattern. Because my designs are from organic inspirations, it has become important for me to carry this element through to the fabric bases I print on, which are all organic hemp and cotton blends. I'm obsessed with the “hand” or feel of a fabric as well as its performance factors. The aim for my products is for them to be useful and practical whilst looking beautiful.
What are some design elements and/or products you are particularly excited about right now - both for your own work and what you're seeing from others?
In my own work I'm excited about my move to organic fabrics. I feel this has completed the circle with my work and I intend to continue with this in the future. As for the work of others, I have a crush on all things wood right now, particularly walnut, with hints of mid-century influences. I'm drawn to things made from natural, earthy materials like wood and stoneware, products that I have none of the skills or know how to make myself.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs in creative industries?
Follow your vision, be clear on it but be flexible along the way. Be open to mistakes as these are often the best learning points and listen to the feedback from others, as your work will be perceived in more ways than just your own intentions.