Artists and makers: Charlotte Gaisford
The Tiger Blue design started life as a fabric design. I have large curtains in my kitchen and The English Home magazine was coming to photograph my house. At the time I had some lovely Schumacha fabric curtains at the window but I knew I needed to have curtains made using my own fabrics. I set about designing a large scale design so I could use it to replace the curtains which were there, a hard act to follow. The house feature was a great opportunity for my small business so I had to make the most of every opportunity. I created the design by putting together sketches of motifs found around my house, I found a chinoiserie table so I sketched some of the motifs from there. Once I had collected together all the artwork, I took photographs of it and then transfer it to my MAC computer and placed it all into a program called Adobe Illustrator. The learning curve for using this program is steep but I have worked with it a great deal so know how it works. I create a colour palette using a small number of colours and they all have to be Pantone colours. I then re-coloured the sketches and make them into vector images so they can be re-sized without losing any resolution. The motifs are moved around a rectangle and I have to use mathematical methods to create a repeat pattern, this design is a half drop repeat which I think is more pleasing than a straight repeat.
I created the fabric and made the curtains and they appeared on the front cover of the magazine so all that effort was worth it. Meanwhile I tested the pattern as a wallpaper, I did nothing to the colours and sized it to fit 52cm roll width. It came back from the printers and I was delighted with the results, it looked better than the fabric version and this design has turned out to be one of my best sellers. I have now sold it all over the world and is still sells very well today.