Sunday, 28 October 2012

Duck Egg In The Press! (Interiors Section - Independent)

Duck Egg Designs first Interview

Our blog this week comes courtesy of 'The Independent'. We are so excited that the Duck Egg word is spreading and were honoured to take part in the below interview! It is always so helpful to go back to the fundamental questions of who we are, what we do and why. Everytime I answer these questions I become a little clearer of where we have come from and where we are going with our designs. I am currently revising our new prints and cannot wait to launch these. We are busy painting our bespoke toy boxes for Christmas presents for little ones and getting ready for the Christmas Fairs, and waiting with baited breath for the screening of the Kirstie Allsopp show! More of that to follow...

Article below:

Interior insider: Ellie Harrington of Duck Egg Designs

Last year Ellie Harrington was struggling to find soft furnishings for her Victorian cottage. The solution? To design her own prints. Encouraged by others, she has since set up an interiors company Duck Egg Designs selling her vintage-inspired fabrics and upcycled furniture. She will feature on the new TV show Kirstie Allsopp’s Vintage Home.

My motto is… stolen from William Morris; 'Have nothing in your home that you not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful'. I love today’s 'make do and mend' attitude.

I want to create… vintage yet fun fabrics for the family home. Our fabrics mix the rural with a gentle touch of humour.

Pattern became my passion when… I was studying History of Art at the Courtauld Institute. I have kept a sketchbook of print ideas and doodles influenced from afternoon wanderings at the V & A.

I paint in… our shed or wherever I can sneak in a new piece of furniture. My husband stoically reworks my hand-drawn designs into computer graphics and carefully watches the budget.

Rather excitingly… we are taking part in a Channel 4 interiors show presented by Kirstie Allsopp (showing in the Autumn), displaying our designs and home renovation work.

Filming with Kirstie was… great. She was fantastic and understood we wanted to create a practical yet country-style kitchen. The brilliant crew respected our style opinions and were patient with our budding thespian of a toddler.

I learnt a huge amount from… Chehvani Leonard, the stylist on Kirstie Allsopp's show.
East Sussex is… a real treasure trove of vintage finds. I have met some wonderful people who bring beautiful and unusual pieces over from France.

My vintage secret shopping place… is Rye. Not only a picturesque place, it is full of one-off finds for the garden.

My biggest design challenge… has been our first print collection and also transforming our long and narrow kitchen.

I love… the Gustavian style mixed with a little decaying French Chateau beauty. I often return to pictures from my travels to guide me.

I rely on… my husband to tell me if something is over the top. He trained in architecture so he likes clean lines and structural pieces, so it's what he doesn't say that often alerts me!

I really admire the brand of… Annie Sloan. Her paints are beautiful and give a very different finish.

I love browsing through… the fabric shops of Liberty. It is a wonderful melting pot of current design. The Cloth Shop on Portobello road could ruin me. Their vintage mangle cloths are a joy to look at.

For inspiration, I turn to… Country LivingCoast and World of Interiors magazines brilliant must have. I collect vintage maps and any books on print from second hand bookshops.

Annie Deakin is interiors writer for the Independent, sofa and interior design website

Friday, 19 October 2012

Ode to a Jam Jar- An inspirational artistic journey from our guest blogger Beatrice von Preussen

We are so excited to have a very special Guest Blogger this week. Beatrice is
an artist whose unique and original designs have us inspired and reaching for the sketchbook! Here is her wonderful story of her journey to her beautiful new range...

Ode to a Jam Jar.

Hi everyone, I am so excited to be a Guest Blogger here at Duck Egg. I met Ellie by chance and was pleased to learn that she is busy getting on with her beautiful designs not far from me near the Ashdown Forest. I too am busy designing and making here in Brighton and Ellie has kindly invited me to share my newest project with you…

Pots To Put Things In.

I have always been delighted by the mundane items of everyday life. There is nothing more appealing to me than a kitchen dresser jostling with eggcups, teapots, and toast racks. I love the way that things rated ‘special’ such as granny’s silver tea pot, once carefully displayed, over time come to take their place next to a drying wishbone, a stone from the beach, a postcard slotted behind the spout. These objects and their haphazard arrangements tell such individual tales and illustrate to me the beauty and richness of our run of the mill, domestic existence.

One of my all time favorite day to day items (possibly on a par with The Matchbox) is the humble jam jar.

A jam jar is a basic vessel, often on the stout side, yet when clean and gleaming, label removed, all trace of it’s past life scrubbed away; it is an elegant item. In my eyes full of promise, bursting with possibility, ready for anything.

You can do all sorts of clever things with jars but essentially you can put things in them. And you can stick labels on them. And I do love a label.

Which is how this happened…

Just imagine, I thought, if that label were to say ‘Sweet Peas’

And then - as sometimes it’s hard to stop just there - ‘Perfectly Pink. Personally picked for your very own perfumery pleasure.’

Or some such.

So I made this one.

With this on.

And suddenly it was a real item – a Home Ware.

I was pretty keen on this development, this pot pleased me on many levels.

So, I got to thinking, as some might say…

I stared at many jam jars, made moulds, poured clay.

Things were put in pots, things were stared at – lots of staring, thinking I like to call it - pictures drawn, glazes fired, colours sampled.

Some of this:

and some of this:

Eventually I arrived at these:

Seven different Pots To Put Things In.

This picture was taken before the final tweaks to the labels, I made some little changes such as more white in the Sticks pot and darker writing on the Shells label. You can see the whole range on my website where you can also buy your very own pot to put things in.

And remember, you don’t have to do what the label says, it’s just for fun. All these pots make beautiful and unusual vases, or chopstick storage, or magic wand holders…

So there we are. The tale of how Pots To Put Things In came to be.

They are 1 pint in volume, hand made in England, dishwasher and microwave safe and cost £32 each. Except for the Kitchen Pot, which is 2 pints – fits more stuff in – and costs £36.

I carefully wrap each one and it arrives in it’s own little box, with a bow, on your doorstep; ready to jostle up next to Granny’s silver tea pot on the dresser.

It’s been really good fun writing this and looking back over all the pictures, I hope I can come back soon to join Duck Egg Designs.

Unless otherwise state all images Copyright to Beatrice von Preussen, photographic credits to Gregory Davies.

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