When reading Country Living magazine recently, I saw a great article about Sarah Johnston of Marram Studio and her beautiful hand screen-printed floral designs. I love the simplicity of Sarah’s predominantly one-colour patterns…very contemporary, graphic and fresh!
Sarah very kindly answered a few questions for me:
When did you start your business and where are you based?
I started my business in 2005 based in the Orkney Islands (having moved back to Orkney after studying Textiles at the Glasgow School of Art). I originally started working as a freelance designer before launching my first collection of jacquard woven fabrics whilst working from home.
Then, I found a studio space in a converted school building in the town of Stromness where I set up a print table and began creating hand-printed textiles and this year I have moved the business down to Glasgow where funnily enough my new studio is also a former school building.
I’m still spending some time in Orkney designing but I’m enjoying the opportunities down here in Glasgow and I’m loving all the trees down here – the spring blossoms were just beautiful.
Where do you get your floral inspiration for your designs?
Growing up with two keen gardeners for parents, I’ve always been interested in plants but my love of plants really took off when I got my first camera and flowers became one of my favourite subjects.
I’m inspired by all sorts of flowers and plants – wild Scottish flowers, the flowers in my parents’ garden back in Orkney and exotic tropical blooms at the Botanic Gardens here in Glasgow.
What are your plans for 2011?
I’ve lots of plans for the rest of the year including working on ideas for new designs and products, looking for new boutiques and galleries to stock my work and finding time to do some freelance design work too hopefully.
Also, I receive a lot of enquiries about producing my designs as meterage, so I’m working on producing a small collection of fabric by the metre.
From the 9-13th November, Marram Studio will also be at the Country Living Christmas Fair in London which is great fun and it’s a lovely opportunity to meet customers in person and see their reactions first-hand to our latest products.
Do you have a favourite flower?
That’s a hard question and one for which the answer probably changes frequently for me.
However, if I have to pick just one then I think that cow parsley or other umbellifers like wild lovage and fennel are my absolute favourite flowers. I often see cow parsley growing in roadside verges and I’ve been inspired by how beautiful the silhouettes look against the sunset.
P.S. I wondered where the name from her company comes from and apparently, it’s named after the native grass that grows in the Orkney islands’ sand dunes.
(Images : Marram Studio)