December, 1963

Oh what a week.

Can you hear that noise? That little pounding in your ear? It’s the sound of the creative beat. It’s been playing all throughout my week, helping me to draw, paint and to develop patterns.

I started the week by completed more paintings for the team in Sacha Pierre, motifs for their upcoming collection and for a side project therein. I was free to drawn, paint and manipulate. And when I couldn’t think of how to do more within the side project, I returned my attention to the upcoming collection and the myriad of drawings and research that we had gathered for that.

The pattern that I has been making last week wasn’t working for me. I wasn’t getting a Sacha Pierre vibe from it, I wasn’t feeling it. So taking two different motifs, I started to work on a collection of designs similar to one that had already been created by Sacha Pierre, but different enough so that it was completely separate. I suppose a sort of ‘moving on’ collection that still keeps to the same framework as the last.

When I showed the team my initial design they really liked it, which thrilled me. I was really chuffed (and still am) at having these two established designers liking my pattern. From here, and taking my chuffed buzz with me, I started to make cushion designs that would complement my first pattern, then from there, I was lead on to creating a further design using just one motif. I was really inspired this week, as you can tell from my designs snowballing from the one before and so on.

I took this inspiration home with me, to my own ‘Mineral Spirit’ collection. I drew minerals, painted them and scanned them into my computer before manipulating and turning into a repeating pattern. I used information that I got of Fannie about all the different possible layouts for repeating patterns and tried them all before finding one I really liked. From here I plan to change this design so that it is four different colourways, exciting huh?

Throughout the week I was set a few tasks by the Sacha Pierre team, which was a pleasant side path along with the designing, the first was of course to create my motifs, but the second was really interesting and a bit frightening at the same time. Isie asked me to look over all the little blurbs that had been written about the company so far, and to condense it into one or two paragraphs so as to go onto their new catalogue design. I’m not naive enough to think that what I wrote was perfect and that Isie would keep it exactly the same, but I was again so thrilled to be this involved in their collection, that I really don’t mind.

One thing that I touched upon last year was creating a CAD visual, which I created a few really rudimentary version of; but today I was able to create more, again chuffed, thrilled, over the moon; you name it, I was it. Using a CAD visual that Fannie had already used before, I was able to change a few of the layers so that they featured my designs instead and ‘hey presto’ there were my designs, on bedding, on a bed, looking ridiculously exciting. (it’s been a really exciting week for me). I plan to take this re-established knowledge home with me so that I can use the designs of my collection with CAD visuals.


500 Miles – Sacha Pierre

When I wake up, yeah you know I’m gona’ be, I’m going be the girl in Sacha Pierre.

It’s the halfway point already and what a great two weeks it’s been. As I’ve said previously, this work placement has been markedly different from my last. While with Richard I thought it was learning quite a bit about Photoshop and the designing process but, boy oh boy! I’ve learned so much more in Sacha Pierre that I’ve needed to start writing them down so as to remember it all.

When working with Richard, the atmosphere was much more relaxed, with the air of completing tasks at a leisurely pace; in Sacha Pierre however there are many deadlines and tasks that need to be completed, both for their current and next collection.

cleaned foliage

I feel that if I had known all these little Photoshop tricks and traits that I have picked up with Sacha Pierre, I would have been more of a service to Richard. My skill level would have been higher and as such I would have been able to create better work. This just proves to me the importance of having a skill like Photoshop, and as such I shall endeavoured to keep up with it.

With Sacha Pierre I am able to create my own motifs and designs, while still working to their theme, but I find that here, I have less restriction on what I can create than when I was with Richard. Also, I find that I don’t mind working digitally as much, because I have been able to take breaks, and concentrate on drawing or painting which I think helps to refresh my mind for when I go back to working with Photoshop.

While at Sacha Pierre I’ve had a lot of time to spend drawing and painting, and as such I have been able to learn the circumstances in which I can create work that I know I’m capable of. When in university I usually feel quite rushed to have my drawing/painting done by the end of the lesson or day which has not been productive for my drawings skills. Whereas at Sacha Pierre, I’ve been given the freedom of spreading a painting out over the course of a few hours, days or a week if I so wish. With the assistance of both Isie and Fannie I have learnt a lot of new tools and shortcuts to use within Photoshop. They have enabled me to scan in images into the computer, how to clean these images and then how to change them into layers of colours that still resemble the original painting but where the colours can be changed and can be made into patterns.

grey flowers

I have enjoyed paintings thoroughly. Being able to turn my motifs into digital renditions had been really exciting to learn and really beneficial to my practise. I have been able to create artwork that pertains to the theme that Sacha Pierre is working from for their new collection, what I found least enjoyable so far during this placement was being given free rein to start creating patterns. Even though I have been creating artwork, this is a long stretch away from creating a pattern that adheres to their theme. Again I feel this problem of design on a collection or project that isn’t mine and so I think and approach it differently from how the team will.

I want to be able to watch Fannie and Isie during this creative process, at least for a short while, so that I can see how they think, which motifs they join together and how they create a rolling repeating pattern that can be printed on a rotary printing, because these small issues are weighing on me because I feel so green in realisation to their business. I think that during the coming week I will be able to watch more the working of both Fannie and Isie and gain a greater understand of how they would approach pattern creating. I think that this will be very beneficial to me as a design myself, but I feel that I still need to gain more confidence in my own abilities.

Do the Fan Dance – Sacha Pierre

Monday was a hectic day in the office; the manager and seller of Sacha Pierre were both in so that the whole team could go over the details of their current collection. It was very interested to hear about this side of textiles that never gets mentioned within an educational setting. The amount of work that goes in to making sure that the printed samples are the correct colour, the barcodes for each item are generated, the packaging is perfect and promotes the product to the best advantage and having all of this completed by a specified date. 

  While all of this was going on I was able to concentrate on creating more paintings for the new collection. I received a handy tip from Isie; to paint my image or flower or whatever, in different perspectives, so that when it comes to designing patterns, I have a choice that will make the design look let flat and more well-rounded. In keeping with the current theme and colour scheme Sacha Pierre are working from, I chose to paint images that had already been chosen by the team, or else they expressed interest in. I chose a few that I myself might work really well and the team seem to like those too.Once the paintings were completed, which took me over into this morning, they were then scanned into the computer like the rest had been, and then I spent the afternoon cleaning up the paintings in Photoshop. After I had cleaned them up, Fannie showed me how to change the painting, into a digital version that was made up of two or three of the colours that were currently being used in the Sacha Pierre collection.

Have your painting fully visible within the Photoshop document, from here use the select colour range option and start by selecting the darkest colour range. From here selected a colours from your colour scheme, then created a new layer. With the selected area now outlines on the new layer, fill the area with your chosen colour and deselect. Repeating the method three or four times for the one motif I was changing, I experimented with using different colour combination. Once happy with the colours, I then locked the necessary layer so that the new motif stayed together when moved or copied.

Fannie then suggested that I should try creating a pattern from this motif, which I’m not going to lie, scared and stressed me out at the same time. I didn’t feel like I would be able to come up with a good design and I was quite aware that I am a second year textiles student t while the other two women in the room had already crated a successful collection.

I found this little task to be quite challenging; I think I was putting too much stress into the task when I should have been thrilled with the unending options laid out in front of me. After a few minutes starting at the screen, moving one motif, then repeating; I went back to find the motif in a different colour way and combined the two onto one pattern. I warped one to the colours and but accident, came across a little design that I thought might look good mirrored, so that’s what I did and I came out with a little pattern that I tough was quite cool considering the big fuss I was making about trying to accomplish it.

It was really exciting for me to see my painting turned into a motif that was compared of the Sacha Pierre’s colours, and the thought that one of my paintings could actually make its way onto one of their products if a concept so thrilling I have to stop myself from squealing whenever I start to think about it.

The designing process here is so different from when I was working with Richard. There I only had my limited knowledge of Photoshop and his already completed motifs to work from. Here I am able to edit and learn new things constantly, growing my Photoshop and designing skills more than I thought was possible.

Mirrored Fan Dance

Top of the World – Sacha Pierre

The creation of the second mood-board was as enjoyable as the first. I started my day by gathering images that worked with the theme and colour scheme of Sacha Pierre’s new collection. I then went onto using these image within the mood-board, combining them with paintings and Pantone colours, and lastly the Sacha Pierre logo, which instantly adds to the professional feel of the board.

While creating the board, I got a few suggestions from Fannie on bit I might consider changing, and once I had, I could see how these small changes can change the tone off the mood-board.

Mood Board Two

For the next two days I revelled at the feel of being a part of an actual running business. I was set tasks, was left to expressive my creativity via painting, and was able to help research magazines that could possible feature Sacha Pierre within.

One task I am glad of was the opportunity to change the inspiration wall inside Sacha Pierre; to take down all the old imagery and replace them with the mood-boards I had created, images that were relevant to the new collection, as well as paintings and drawings that had been competed, along with fabric manipulation samples that Fannie had created. I was here that I was really glad of having been given this task, for just by looking at these small samples of manipulated fabric, I was struck with even further ideas about my own SUBJECT collection.


I have been inspired by the creative process of Sacha Pierre, how they have an over lining theme, and then within this one theme, four separate bit equally important collections. I have chosen to do the same, I was finding it difficult to images how I would create so many design hat would relate to one another and still match up to my overall collection theme, when I realised that as long as they matched up to my overall theme, it didn’t matter if these designs were different to each other. And so the Mineral Spirit collection was reborn!


Within my theme I have chosen to have four different collection, something for everybody but all of the same design; Colour Spirit is a collection of matching napkins and table-runners; The napkin will feature a single design, while the table runner will carry a repeated pattern for the napkin. Edge Spirit is another collection of napkins and table runners inspired by Dendrites; these napkins with have one detailed edge, one hand printed and other digitally stitched, while the table runner with feature a mirrored version running down the centre. Formation Spirit is a collection of four napkins and coasters, inspired by Agate. The napkin design will be printed in four different colourways. And finally Ridge Spirit is a collection of table clothes that are based solely around fabric manipulation. But not just any manipulation, these chair coverings will emulate minerals.

These four collection, and my ideas for them, have already been influenced by my work placement. I feel as though a weight has been lifted now that I can clearly see what my collection is and how I will go about creating each one. I look forward to this following week and can only hope that it will be as inspiring as the last.

Mood is a Thing for Cattle – Sacha Pierre

As I said in my last post, I’ve come into Sacha Pierre at a really great time, as they are just starting their new collection. Having gathered books for inspiration and created drawings/paintings from these yesterday, today I was ready to move on to creating mood-boards from which we will be able to work from when it comes to design/pattern development.

Fannie and Issy are quite busy at the moment, creating packaging for their existing products so that they can go into sale; creating all the necessary labelling and editing of photos, working to quite a tight deadline. As such they have much less time to hand to really throw all their energy into creating their new collection. This gives me a chance to come to up to speed with their style and the style of the company, to learn how they design and to what specification they are designing as well as for what clientele.

I spend the morning painting while I was waiting for Photoshop to download to my laptop. I was able to take a good few hours out of my day to firstly start with a drawing that I was happy with, then was able to slowly progress into the painting stage. Taking my time with each colour and stage so as to not rush or ruin the process and I find that this is really working with me. Fannie and Issy are well acquainted with the long hours it takes to produce something of really good standard so I don’t feel any pressure to have my paintings completed quickly which is really liberating.

With images and drawings that Fannie had complicated together onto a hard drive for me, I already had the foundations to begin creating a mood-board. With the use of that handy website Pinterest, I was able to gather more images that I thought would really work with the images I had been supplied with. I added in paintings that were created by both Fannie and myself, along with using the correct Pantone colours for their collection.

It was while creating the first of my two mood-boards, the one I completed today, that I learn quite a few really integral tools/shortcuts and tricks that I feel will be unendingly helpful within my digital designing.

logo free

I learnt how to ‘touch up’ my scanned paintings so that they are of printable quality; shortcuts of how to change the levels, hue and saturation of my image, as well as how to warp the image itself. I was shown a shortcut of how to copy everything within one layer into another, and also how to copy all visible layers into a new separate layers, which is a much more useful tool than having to merge all the layers together, which then renders the mood-board, in this case, un-editable.

Fannie and Issy both parted with their insider knowledge of how to use Photoshop and gave their wisdom onto me so that I too will be able to create how they do.

This work placement is markedly different from my last. Whereas Richard was at liberty to take as much time as he wanted; when taking microscopic images of his minerals and through my creation of patterns, in Sacha Pierre there are deadlines that need to be kept and clients that have to be satisfied.

There is a constant reminder that the designs you are creating will eventually end up being sold to customers; which is really thrilling and only slightly near-racking!

While on this placement I will be able to learn the business side of the industry, which isn’t taught within an educational setting, which I think is an excellent thing to know.

Tomorrow I will be creating a second mood-board which will encompass the second half of Sacha Pierre’s Colour Scheme, which will then inform the rest of the work that myself and the team complete from the tomorrow onwards.

Brave New World – Sacha Pierre

Today was a brand new day, and the start of my four week placement with Sacha Pierre.

I’ve really been looking forward to going in and working with Sacha Pierre; I will be able to experience what it’s like to be within an established interior design company. I really like Sacha Pierre’s style. I usually don’t work with florals because I find them to be too overwhelming, but the previous design the company have crated are really fresh and minimal, mixed in with some bright, bold patterns, suing both print and digital embroidery. I feel that I will be able to learn so much from being here; I’ve already learned how they clean up their motif so that they are ready to print, and have seen how they edit their photographs so that they are ready to be used in their packaging or in their catalogue.

It will be really interesting to compare the difference from working within an established company to when I was working with Richard. At the moment they are similar with using Computer Aided Designs and Photoshop; yet they will both be completely different because of the subject that they are using within these programmes.


I started off the day with a short introduction to the previous designs created by the company. Their overall theme and colour scheme is the same, but within this there are four separate branches that they have been designing for. I was taken through what they considered to be their key designs and which were they’re co-ordinates, which was really interested. Already I’m learning new terms that are used within the design industry that I’ve never heard to use within my University setting so far.

I was also taken through the images from their photoshoot, which have been used in their catalogue and on their website. These images are also going to be used for their packaging, but need to be edited first, which I was able to watch. I was able to see the initial drawings that they and created for that collection and then see the final outcome; how the designs had been changed and how all of this can be done with ease using CAD.

All of this really helped me to see the signature designs which is associated with the Sacha Pierre name. I was able to start to get a feel of the kind of drawings and motif they create and how the use their colour scheme.

I’ve come to the company at a really good time as Sacha Pierre have just started their new collection. As with the last they will be working with one overall theme which has the same colour scheme as the last as these are the colours that they are using to create a signature for their company. Under this overall theme they will then have four different collections which I can be a part of.

Fannie and I gathered books from the library and started to look through to find images that can be used for this new collection. As I’ve come in at the beginning at this new collection I will be able to be in all the coming stages that we can get through within four weeks, the mood boards and initial drawings/painting through to learning how to use digital software to show how the design will appear on the actual finished product.

Today I spend the afternoon creating motifs from some of the books we had gathered. The style that Sacha Pierre use mainly for their motifs is painting, so I wanted to create my motif in the same style so that they would be compatible. I’m not usually one for painting but when looking at what they have been able to produce using this technique I was getting into a positive mood of trying it out. Why can’t I create a painting that is of the same standard as theirs? I can, and I’m going to try my best to keep myself focused.

I took a few hours of the afternoon to complete my paintings and I was feeling really optimistic about how they would turn out. I’m really thrilled with what I have been able to produce and didn’t realise that I could actually paint to this standard, it just shows what I’m capable of when I have the time and can keep myself positive about the technique I’m using. I will definitely be creating more opportunities for myself to do such concentrating painting.

Through the afternoon I was able to listen in the challenges of a business; the difficulty of having to rely on others, like photographers, to work to the best of their ability as you have been; to the issue of registering barcodes for your products, which was a wholly new concept for me to realise; to having to select the right images for your packaging, all of which has been really interesting. There’s a lot more to a business that just the fun of creating designs.

I’m looking forward to learning more about the in’s and out’s of working within an interior business and being able to have a role within the designing of the new collection.



Colour Theory

Yellow is the colour that is most associated with happiness, joy, and energy. When used in small amounts, yellow can arouse enthusiasm, optimism and stimulate creativity. Yellow is one of the colours that I have chosen for my collection. It evokes happiness, which when mixed with the safety of green and stability of blue, equates a perfect atmosphere of colour. This vibrant colour uplifts with a hint of freshness.

Green is the most restful colour for the human eye. It stirs up feelings of nature and growth which is perfect when representing minerals. I have chosen green because of these connotations, and the way it harmonises excellently with yellows and blues.  Again we see the feeling of freshness being brought in, along with safety and harmony.

Blue is perhaps the cleanliest colour, speaking of purification and hygiene. This sits well alongside happiness and safety. With these three as the main focal colours within my collection, a great atmosphere for dining is evoked, helped along with the additional colour of black and white.

White is also associated with purity and cleanliness. When dining, cleanliness is essential, and if white helps to promote this feeling, it’s the prefect accompaniment at any dinner table. Hints of lightness and relaxation are also evident within this colour.

Black is a very formal and elegant colour, denoting power and prestige. When keeping in mind the company I am working towards, black is the perfect additional colour to give subtle hints of the high-end market, of luxury and opulence. As the darkest colour it has the power to make others stand out.

Colour theory available at: accessed on 06.01.2016