Design Process

For me designing is a considered and slow process, a thoughtful process of how an item will be both beautiful, as well as practical.  On some pieces, I can spend months thinking about how it will work, working through the concept to final prototype. Or I can make a new item in a day from the initial spark of an idea.  Over the past few years I have made lots of products, realising that, though I can make anything, I longer have to make everything. 

Having worked behind the scenes in interior design, I love making for the home. Following the William Morris principle of form follows function, I hope to create items that can be practically used, or worn, but that still look like a piece of textile art. The making takes time, each piece is treated with care. Design and marbling inspiration for me come from nature, music, art and even architecture.  
Occasionally the design will start from the materials received, some of which are pre-loved and then repurposed and given an extended life, such as the theatrical textiles and ballet slippers I receive from The Royal Opera House.   
Sustainable textiles project with The Royal Opera House.  Seen here are ballet slippers, worn for one performance, the leather base worn.  The slipper is deconstructed and leather marbled to create marbled leather key fob, on a silver key ring and a cable tidy with a silver button closure
My home decor and leather goods are created for the discerning, eco-conscious consumer, with my hope that they will last a generation and beyond.  When a prototype piece is made, it is tested, worn or used in our home, to see how tactile and functional it is, tweaking the design as needed.  I design and make leather goods for durability, wishing them to be handed on for generations to come, so I offer free repairs for life on all of my leather aprons, bags, cases and stationery. The design for my carry goods is kept simple,  so the marbling remains the focus.  

When making a 3D design, I first sketch on paper, create a 3D paper object, then a fabric prototype. This is tweaked, reworked and made again, before making the final piece in marbled textiles, or leather. 


Materials are sourced responsibly, for their provenance and environmental impact. I choose supple, strong virgin leather from reputable tanneries in Britain and Italy, who use traditional sustainable processes, that do not harm the environment and know where their hides come from.  The hides are saved from landfill, as leather is a by product of the food industry. Using these tanneries ensures the leather produced is of the highest quality, as they use no harmful chemicals, only natural tannins in the process. 
Each hide has character and will age beautifully, the patina darkening over time. After tanning, the hide is then dressed and hand-stained by a master currier, using techniques passed down from generation to generation. This leather is sustainable and 100% compostable at the end of its long life, unlike plant based synthetic materials, with an unknown long term impact on the environment and the use of fossil fuels in the material.
For my community and school leather workshops, I repurpose leather, received from furniture and shoe manufacturers. 

Using traditional hand tools, heritage crafting techniques, the design produces products that I hope, are simple, classic, but with a contemporary twist.  Made not for fast fashion, but for longevity, to be cherished and then passed on.  Marbling makes each piece one of a kind, a piece of textile art to be worn and used.  I also brand all my products, as branding ensures the authenticity of British craftsmanship. 

Papers chosen for marbling and bookbinding are hand made, sourced from paper mills here in the UK and in France.  I am working on a range of my own hand made paper, using up my paper offcuts, threads and textiles for limited batch stationery. I will add in wildflower seeds dried from my garden.
I have marbled A2 and A3 hand made paper for trade for a number of years, but with the increasing cost of the paper, I am working on a more economical range of marbling designs to be printed on eco-kraft paper for gift wrap, recycled tissue and Linocut printed marbled cards, printed on recycled paper. 

You can find more information on my Marbling and Leather pages