When I was at Art College – foundation at Maidstone and then a degree at Norwich School of Art  – I explored screen printing then and fell in love with the process as a way to tell stories.  What excited me most was the traditional techniques of hand printing on fabric, the textures you can create and the happy accidents that come along the way. When I returned to screen printing after a career in graphic design I retrained in textiles and began creating limited edition designs which has now grown into my shop.

To me the technique and process is really important – almost as important as the design itself. I’m not so interested in mass production or losing the direct connection with what I make. I see it as more of a fine art approach to textile design, I love that every one of my designs is unique. No two Troubadour lampshades or Mangrove cushions are ever the same. The same goes for all my work. Only a few things I let be printed externally. And I use only a few permanent screens that I make myself, but I still prefer the direct connection I get when I cut paper stencils by hand, placing motifs and making design decisions, on a day to day and minute to minute basis.

Traditional, hand printing techniques connects my work with a long history of UK crafts people. And I’m proud to say that I also only use environmentally friendly materials – the inks I use are soil association approved, the paper I use for stencils is a recycled stock and the materials are UK sourced to reduce the carbon footprint. Wherever I can I find ways to reduce waste. Even my studio is home-made, hand-made and bespoke.

My approach is to first find an interesting story to tell, I believe that design should tell stories and it’s this that makes design work. My Ada design is inspired by Ada Lovelace, the mathematician who was the real brains behind the invention of the first computer (although Charles Babbage got all the credit for many years). Troubadour is inspired by the iconic coffee shop in west London I used to

 go to when I worked in a design studio in Fulham many years ago and still go to whenever I can. The Troubadour is where the likes of Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix played. Bawa is inspired by Geoffrey Bawa, a Sri Lankan architect who built amazing, futuristic, James Bond type buildings in Sri Lanka in the 1950s and 60s – well worth hunting out if you love architecture as I do and you can travel.

My latest range are hand-made, individually printed (of course) Roman Blinds. Each one depicts a scene through a window and are inspired by artists who have tackled this same theme. I’m fascinated by the idea. Henri Matisse, Patrick Heron, Ben Nicholson… many of my favourite artists have tackled a view through a window. My contribution to the genre was to pay homage to them with my own twist. And of course,  I thought it would be fun to close the blinds at night and transform a room into an art gallery. When the blinds are down, instead of a simple pattern or flat colour, you get an image of another world outside – the harbour at St Ives, the French Riviera, mountains and coastline.

I’ve worked full time since 2016 from my studio in my garden, nestled under the trees along  the North Downs in Surrey.

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contemporary designer jennie jackson at work

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