Our second Bloglove Spotlight is with Polly Rowan of A Rowan Tree. You're not familiar with her lovely blog? You should be! She's a textiles designer studying in Bath and her aesthetic leanings towards bold organic colours and shapes make for some truly unique designs - she's going places! Read on to get inside a creative mind.
1 Polly you are textiles designer living in Bath, England. What made you decide to study textiles?
I had always enjoyed art, but when I was 14 I made my first screen print and after that I was hooked! My art teacher was really inspiring and encouraged me to do what I loved, which was to design patterns and prints for interiors. Four years later I’m still doing the same thing and I still enjoy it!
2 Your latest collection is of prints made from potatoes. How did you come up with this?
I wanted to explore new ways of hand printing that could be done after university or just at home, without the screen printing facilities. This included lino printing but I don’t have much patience for cutting out, and with the potatoes I could make patterns and colours work really quickly. It was fun to play with!
3 How did you become a blogger?
I started reading blogs when I was about 16, and a couple of years later my friend and I decided to set one up together, based on high street fashion. She lost interest after a while so I turned it into A Rowan Tree and just posted about everything I love! I like having a routine and recording everything so that I can look back on it. I’ve also talked to many other bloggers through blogging, and been inspired by so many people. I can’t imagine ever stopping!
4 What's your favourite design/style?
I really like simple Scandinavian style with white interiors, but with lots of colour added with beautiful textiles!
5 Who is your design hero/heroine?
Orla Kiely was the first textile designer whose prints really inspired me, and helped me to love pattern. It was a dream to do work experience at her studio!
Two of our favourite prints by Polly - made from potatoes!
6 What's one home product you can't live without?
I love lots of colourful cushions! I think they really change a space and you can have fun mixing and matching them. Luckily I can split my growing collection between my home and my student accommodation but I still have too many!
7 Where's your secret London chill out place?
They’re not very secret I’m afraid! One of my favourite things to do in the summer is to hire a boat on the Serpentine in Hyde Park. I love the shops and flower market on Colombia Road too. And for a slightly different evening with friends, All Star Lanes on Brick Lane is a fun little retro bowling place with delicious cocktails!
8 Describe your typical day and your perfect day
A typical working day is getting up at about 7 or 8am to catch up on reading blogs while having breakfast before heading to university. At uni I’ll work in the studio on drawing, designing, or researching in the library, usually with a chocolate break thrown in somewhere with my friends! I’ll head home about 7 or 8pm to have dinner and either watch a film or go out with my flatmates in Bath! I try to work hard during the week so that I can keep the weekends free.
My perfect day would be wandering around some European city with my boyfriend on a hot day. We would sit in parks with ice creams, wander around some shops and galleries, and have some cocktails and an amazing meal in the evening!
9 Where's your favourite place in Europe?
It has to be the South of France where I’ve been every August since the age of 10. Our friends have a holiday home there and all we do is sunbathe, swim in the pool, eat amazing food and go dancing at a crazy little French fete in the nearby hamlet! It’s such a great escape.
10 If you could have one Mora Approved product, what would it be?
I think the JOHO STUDIO Varje År Calendar Poster
is really fun (but also functional). I would have it framed in my kitchen to write little notes on it... or maybe just count down the days until summer! I think it’s quirky how it’s in Swedish, too.
11 What are your plans for 2013?
This year is going to be busy! The first half will be filled with working towards my final major project and degree show in June. After graduating in July I hope to have a fun packed summer - I just booked a holiday to the USA with my boyfriend which I’m so excited about. Then it’s time to organise my life post-degree!
Polly's workspace and two of her feather sketches that inspired her designs.
The print-making process!
Thank you Polly, we're really looking forward to seeing what beautiful designs you come up with next!
(Don't forget we're still on sale until 31st January - 30% off
a brilliant selection of unique pieces!)