CLAIRE GAUDION is our Supplier Of The Week, 22-28 February 2016; with their contemporary home textiles. Taking inspiration from her native Guernsey, the cushions, throws, fabrics and rugs come in either bold geometric prints or softer, more traditional, weaves. We talked to Claire to find out more about the brand.
You launched back in 2012 and have since seen everything from best newcomer at Top Drawer, to shoe collaborations with French Sole. What has the journey along the way been like?
The journey so far has been fantastic. CLAIRE GAUDION designs have become known for a contemporary use of colour and pattern across printed and woven textiles for interiors, and fashion. There have been many highlights for us, from seeing our work featured in Homes & Gardens, ELLE Decoration, COVER and FT How to Spend It among others, to showcasing our collections with The British European Design Group at Maison et Objet in Paris last September, which attracted new international stockists including ABC Home, New York.
Collaborating with other brands has become an exciting part of our design company. We have worked with some great design partners developing new products to expand our range, and this been an incredibly creative and innovative journey. Our partners include Mockbee & Co. (UK) for lampshades and wallpapers, Gemanco Design (Italy) for resin mosaic wall coverings and UV printed tiles and Rug-maker (UK) for our new rug collection.
What does an average day look like at the moment in the Claire Gaudion Studio?
An average day can be very varied, but is always busy. After orders and collaboration meetings, time is allocated for new design development work and handweaving samples in the studio, as well as liaising with our manufacturers.
We also assign time for our online presence and social media. We like to tell the story of our collections via our blog, and also feature a colour of the week. Depending on the time of year, we may also be working on forthcoming trade show presentations, and co-ordinating photoshoots etc.
Your textiles range from very geometric prints to soft weaves. What influences these designs?
The dramatic coastal landscape of my home island, Guernsey, and it’s unique light, changing tides and weather are a great influence on my designs. The layers of colour and pattern in my designs are an interpretation of the rhythm and tone in the natural landscape. My design process can be quite organic and experimental, trialing new design ideas by interlacing coloured threads and exploring weave structures at the loom, which in turn inspires my digital pattern designs, and vice versa.
I am also drawn to the work of Anni Albers and Gunta Stölzl, Jun Tomita, Reiko Sudo, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, among others.
As well as pattern, colour is an important part of your style. Where did this this passion for colour come from?
Where does my love of colour come from? I’m not sure… I have always loved colour… perhaps it comes from growing up on an island where the light and colours are continually changing, and so captured my attention. Colour and light are so integral to our everyday lives, and their affect on us is fascinating. Colour can transform a room. Colour is the first design element that we respond to so it’s a powerful part of the design process. The things and colours that we surround ourselves with affect the overall ambience of our homes, and how we feel.
What do you find invaluable about working with British manufacturers?
From the hand-crafted design stage through to our heritage and modern manufacturing, high-quality and longevity are key to our collections. Britain has a great range of mills and manufacturers and skilled craftspeople, so we are very fortunate to be able to achieve this locally. The production process forms part of the story of a product, as well as informs the design process. So we need to be able to work closely and transparently with our manufacturers, understand their capabilities and limitations, to determine how designs can be made possible.
Can you explain the weaving process in a nutshell?
Weaving is a process of patience, rhythm and methodic experimentation. Our weave structures use repeating sequences. Once a design has been created on paper the first step is winding a new warp (yarn which creates the length of the cloth) and then threading the loom. These are both time-consuming. The weft (which goes across the cloth) can be woven in. It’s a beautiful process where you can see the fabric coming to life as you weave.
We’ve recently seen your exciting new collection of rugs. What can we expect to see in 2016/17?
This year we will be launching new prints and woven designs at Decorex and Maison et Objet. Plus, we have some exciting new collaborations to launch, including a new furniture range with Galapagos, and a collaboration with London gallery, DEBUT Contemporary. Watch this space…!