inside the artist's studio: helen rawlinson


This week, I would like to introduce you to my British friend, Helen Rawlinson and her lovely hand printed designs. I'm in love with everything she's creating. Helen shares my love for great textile products ranging from personal accessories to awesome home dec items, especially her incredible lamps!
So enough of my gushing, and welcome to Helen Rawlinson's studio!


Who is Helen Rawlinson?

My Twitter profile says, ‘lamp lady, printer, mum’, not necessarily in that order but it just about sums me up. I’ve made lampshades for years, selling to independent retailers and departments stores throughout the UK and abroad. I hand print the shades with my own designs onto a translucent parchment style paper. I then add machine stitching to enhance lines and shapes, which, once lit, gives a lovely dotted detail. The shades are teamed with simple turned wooden bases. All the manufacturing side is done in the UK.
inside the artist's studio: helen rawlinson
Aside from this, I’ve recently been having a great time with printing on to fabric and now make a small range of bags and purses plus a fun home décor / accessory range for kids.

When did you start hand printing?

Textile design and making has been my full time occupation since leaving the Royal College of Art, London, UK, with an MA in embroidery in 1993. My previous training was print design.
In 2006 I was lucky enough to find a fabulous studio at a converted Chocolate Factory, very near to where I live in Hackney, East London. A beautiful property owned by painter, Keith Ashley. He transformed it into 25 studios for artists and designers. I love it and have been there ever since.
inside the artist's studio: helen rawlinson
My son Stanley was born in 2005 after almost giving up hope of ever having children. Since then I‘ve taken the best part of 4 years off to enjoy being a full time mum. During this time, I’ve managed to keep the studio going and I’m just starting to find my feet again in the world of work, ready for when Stanley starts school next year.
inside the artist's studio: helen rawlinson
What inspires you?

I never felt very confident with a paintbrush but instead, I fell in love with scissors and paper.
I’ve always worked with collage, piecing things together, cutting and pasting, so I’m inspired by anything to do with that style of work, both modern and classic. There is a strong trend for paper cutting at the moment and I love it all. Vintage style is constantly inspiring. From picking up finds in car boot sales and junk shops, my ideas are often drawn from old ceramics and retro toys, printed ephemera and children’s book illustration from a bygone era. Being able to spend plenty of time in the library with Stanley, I’m always happy to come home with loads of books for him and me.
I used to do a lot of pencil drawing on my travels and carried a sketchbook with me all the time. I then turned these into screen prints for my collage work, making visual diaries of my time away. I’d love to go back to this more illustrative style when I have time, but at the moment I’m snapping with my camera. There are so many patterns in everything around us, so design ideas pop into my head all the time. I make little scribbles and take pictures to remind me later on.
inside the artist's studio: helen rawlinson
I’m excited to be back at the print table again and have turned my attention to fabrics, initially using the extensive range of designs from my lighting collection with a few new designs along the way. I’m trying lots of things out, printing and making a variety of home décor and fashion accessories. I’ve been having fun with kids’ stuff too. All the clutter and play that comes with children is happily creeping into my work, hence the ABC and Shapes and Things range!
I’m still producing the lampshades, although it’s not easy doing batch production on a part time basis so I’m reducing my lines somewhat and making more time for new ideas. Nevertheless, I love to play with the effects of light on paper, together with print and stitch, so I’m sure it will continue to engage me for some time to come.

How does one acquire your designs?

The online boom has allowed designers and makers to show their work to a much larger audience from when I first left college and thanks to Etsy I really love the fact that people are starting to buy my work from all across the globe!
inside the artist's studio: helen rawlinson
My whole collection of lamps and shades at
UK Shop for all my current products in stock.
World Shop and where you can also have fun choosing my fabric panels for your own bit of crafting DIY.
Read more about my studio time and art for fun on my blog.
You can also find me here: flickr, twitter, facebook


Mee a Bee said...

Such a cool interview Kristina - I have linked back to it from my blog!

kristina said...

thank you jackie :)

Made by SwirlyGirl said...

Really beautiful work and great interview, Kristina!

Anonymous said...

Such beautiful and unique work--great interview!

Found your blog through Decor8!

Yuri said...

great work!! very interesting stuff, the fashionmaker is very cool!!
Yuriy Mizyuk

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