Designer Desire: Lotta Jansdotter

Mosaic of Lotta Jansdotter designs | H is for Home

We bought a lovely new duvet set a couple of weeks ago that was designed by Lotta Jansdotter. We’d not heard of her before but have since searched for and found lots of examples of her work online.

She’s a Finland-born, USA-based surface pattern designer whose products can be found on fabrics, bed linen, soft furnishings, luggage, ceramics, paper goods… all manner of homewares.

Her designs are bright and modern with a Scandi twist.

There are lots of different outlets selling her goods including Amara, B&Q, DaWanda, Etsy, eBay and Target. She has published a number of books on sewing, craft and decorating projects.

Alternatively, if you like getting hands on, Jansdotter runs workshops a few times a year in diverse locations such as Jaipur, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Åland (the islands where she is from originally).

Lotta Jansdotter portrait

Image credits:

Ashley Wilde Group | Pinterest

Designer Desire: Tammis Keefe

Mosaic of Tammis Keefe designs | H is for Home

Today’s Designer Desire choice is someone we’ve written about in the past. Tammis Keefe (1913-1960) was a prolific, mid century designer whose output was primarily in the textile sphere. Handkerchiefs, scarves, place mats, cocktail napkins, tablecloths and tea towels can all be found sporting her playful illustrations. There are hundreds of different designs in existence.

Her work is highly collectable was included in a 2000 exhibition at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York entitled A Woman’s Hand: Designing Textiles in America, 1945-1969. She’s also included in the book, Collecting Handkerchiefs.

There are always examples of her work available for sale online – mainly from the USA – on eBay and Etsy. Seeing as they weigh next to nothing, overseas postage shouldn’t add too much to the price of the item.

Portrait of Tammis Keefecredit

Image credits:

Etsy | Flickr

Designer Desire: Jacqueline Groag

Mosaic of Jacqueline Groag designs | H is for Home

The day was sure to come when we were going to feature Jacqueline Groag in our Designer Desire series. We’ve blogged about her on numerous occasions in the past, so we won’t repeat ourselves here. Click here to read up and find out more about this wonderful textile designer!

These are just a taste of all the wonderful designs she produced in her lifetime. If we’ve piqued your interest in Jacqueline Groag there’s an entire book  available that’s dedicated to her work.

Jacqueline Groag

Image credits:

eBay | Pinterest | V & A

Tibor Reich exhibition

Tibor Reich tapestry | H is for Home

Last week, I made an all too rare visit to Manchester; I was meeting a friend at the Whitworth to view the Tibor Reich exhibition.

Tibor Reich exhibition room at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Tibor Reich mural at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Tigoware sketch by Tibor Reich displayed at the Whitworth

Tibor Reich Tigo-Ware 'Florence' and 'Espanola' vases | H is for Home

It was wonderful seeing his work ‘in the flesh’ so to speak, rather than in books or on the internet, to appreciate the scale. The ‘Florence’ Tigo-Ware vase on the left of the photo above is over a foot tall.

Examples of Tigo-Ware designed by Tibor Reich and produced by Denby Pottery in the 1950s | H is for Home

Tibor Reich designed ceramic tiles | H is for Home

His black & white sgraffito designs are very eye-catching and distinctive.

Ceramic ashtrays designed by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Apparently, he designed and produced these keyhole-shaped ashtrays as presents for friends one Christmas. I’ve never seen one on the open market, they’re absolutely beautiful!

Ceramic ashtray designed by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Tibor Reich pen & ink sketches | H is for Home

A lot of his ceramic work is concerned with the female form and visage – my friend and I wondered whether his wife Freda, who was pictured in many of the photographs in the exhibition, acted as his muse.

Colour sketches of women by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

A displat of tools and other objects used by Tibor Reich | H is for Home

Tibor Reich's sitting room which he designed himself | H is for Home

Reich may be best known for his textiles (his designs were on the seats of Concorde and the QE II), however his practice was multifaceted. Ceramics, fine art, photography… he even designed his own home including the ‘flaming onion’ fire in his sitting room, shown above.


A photo posted by TIBOR (@tiborreich) on

Tibor Reich: Art of Colour and Texture, shown above, was published earlier this month to accompany the exhibition. It can be purchased here (£35.00). The Tibor Reich exhibition runs until August 2016, so you still have lots of time to check it out – it’s well worth it! If you can’t get to Manchester, the University of Leeds (where he studied) have a huge archive of his textile work which can be viewed online.

Wallpaper display at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

In an adjoining room, there was an exhibition of vintage wallpaper (which runs until the 4th of September 2016). With the room’s huge, tall walls the long rolls were shown off to spectacular effect.

Wallpaper display at the Whitworth in Manchester | H is for Home

Although I loved most of the designs, it also made me realise how overpowering some of the patterns would be if all four walls in a room were papered. A small feature wall would suffice!

Vintage 'Promenade' wallpaper sample | H is for Home

There were display cabinets of wallpaper samples – here are two of my favourites.

Vintage wallpaper sample with birds pattern | H is for Home

Bookmarks: Jacqueline Groag: Textile and Pattern Design: Wiener Werkstatte to American Modern

'Bookmarks' blog post banner

cover of Jacqueline Groag: Textile and Pattern Design: Wiener Werkstatte to American Modern surrounded by antique wooden bobbins

It’s been a while since we did a Bookmarks blog – we have a trio of textile design books to review – the first being Jacqueline Groag: Textile and Pattern Design: Wiener Werkstatte to American Modern.

portrait of Jacqueline Groag

We did a very short taster blog post about Jacqueline Groag last year but we’re going to delve a bit deeper here and share many more examples of her fabulous work.

Jacqueline Groag design for David Whitehead and used at the Festival of Britain in 1951

Many of the plates in the book are taken from the vast collection (over 300 examples of post-war British design) of Jill A. Wiltse and H. Kirk Brown III who are customers of authors, Rayner & Chamberlain’s Target Gallery. As well as Groag they have extensive examples of the work of Robin & Lucienne Day, Marian Mahler, Evelyn & Jerome Ackerman and other post-war, mid century modern artists & designers.

Two Jacqueline Groag designs using urn motifs

The collection formed part of the exhibition Designing Women of Postwar Britain which toured the Fashion and Textile Museum London; Michigan State University; Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs and Textile Museum in Washington.

Jacqueline Groag design of columns and urns

Groag was a very versatile and prolific designer; her textile designs included dress fabrics, upholstery material and carpet. She designed on paper – wrapping paper, wallpaper, magazines and even playing cards; and from the 1950s, her designs were used in plastic laminates for use in furniture such as tabletops and cabinets.

Jacqueline Groag cover design for 'Design Magazine' width=

She’s been associated with may big companies and organisations. If you’ve ever taken public transport in the UK you’ll probably have seen her work. She designed for BOAC, London Transport and British Rail…

Jacqueline Groag design for Associated American Artists London Underground upholstery designed by Jacqueline Groag

…her designs were retailed by the likes of Liberty, John Lewis, David Whitehead Ltd

Jacqueline Groag design for David Whitehead inspired by her Festival of Britain design

…they were published within and on the covers of magazines such as The Ambassador and Interiors Magazine…

Jacqueline Groag design for "Ambassador" Magazine

…and she was commissioned by greetings card companies such as Oxfam, Hallmark and American Greetings.

Jacqueline Groag design for Oxfam Christmas cards Jacqueline Groag Jacqueline Groag hearts design for valentine card

Much of her work is very distinctive with many of her designs encompassing fine-lined grid patterns and simple, stylised human forms.

Jacqueline Groag bird design showing fine-lined grid patterns Jacqueline Groag design showing fine-lined grid patterns and simple, stylised human forms
Jacqueline Groag bird design showing fine-lined grid patterns Jacqueline Groag design showing fine-lined grid patterns and simple, stylised human forms

Her designs were inspired by colour and nature and also by Austrian folk art dolls the latter’s whose influence appears frequently in her work over the years.

Jacqueline Groag design inspired by Austrian folk art dolls Jacqueline Groag design inspired by Austrian folk art dolls

If we’ve sparked your interest there are a few more examples to be found in the V&A’s Jacqueline Groag archive.

Jacqueline Groag design inspired by Austrian folk art dolls

And if you happen to be in the vicinity, there’s currently an exhibition of her work taking place in Denver from 19 May to 22 Sept ’13.

Jacqueline Groag's monochrome 'Cleo' textile design

As well as from the publishers, the book is available online from Hive and Amazon.

[Many thanks to Antique Collectors’ Club for the review copy]