In our series, Conversations In Colour, we talk to people who, like us, are inspired by and obsessed with colour. This month we catch up with Katherine Plumb, print designer and brand owner, who like us is a big fan of colour.
What is your earliest memory of colour?
"I remember at one point there was a lot of blue. The teddy bear I slept with every night was sky blue (and was appropriately called Blue Bear), my school uniform was a classic royal blue, and my sister had this horrible turquoise blue carpet in her bedroom."
What colours are you particularly attracted to and why?
"It’s definitely hard to narrow it down, but looking around my studio I suppose I’m always using greens, yellows, pinks, lavenders and blues - although none too strong or too pastel. I didn’t really use black for a long time, but now I like the way it makes other colours pop, and feel comfortable using it in a way where it doesn’t feel too harsh."
When did you start printing and designing patterns, and have you always wanted to create your own brand?
"I didn’t start screen printing until I studied textile design at Central Saint Martins - I’d heard of it at college and kind of new what it was, but didn’t really get the chance to explore it until then, and I totally fell in love with the process. I’ve loved working with textiles since I was around 10 years old and started sewing and knitting, but I didn’t properly start designing patterns until university. Everything before then was much more ‘art textile’ focused, totally different to what I do now! As for the brand, I would say yes and no? When I was at CSM I really didn’t like the idea of selling my work under someone else’s name, but then I didn’t actively plan to have my own brand… It was really just a by-product of me wanting to continue designing and printing after graduation, and not knowing what to do with everything I made."
Tell us about your designs, your process and who or what inspires you most?
"I would say it’s an evolving process when it comes to how I work… When I was screen printing all of the textiles myself, I would limit my designs to maybe 3 or 4 colours because it was too labour intensive to do more than that. I’d also do more basic, cut-out style prints because I usually made the artwork for the screens by hand - I kind of miss working this way, but I also love being able to make repeating patterns again! Now I’ll usually start with looking through some of my saved inspiration (lots of interiors old and new, old textiles/wallpapers and my favourite little book called ‘A dictionary of colour combinations’) and start sketching ideas on Procreate. Once I think I’ve got a good base for an idea, I’ll move it onto my computer and start playing around with it in repeat formats, and see where it goes from there? I think it really helps me to imagine the kind of space I can see my work in while I’m designing it too!"
Does your love of colour translate into other parts of your life? (clothing etc)
"I live in Stockholm now where there’s a LOT of black clothing, so while I’m definitely not the least colourful person walking around I also don’t dress super loudly - probably because I don’t really like drawing too much attention to myself! I do however like having colourful things at home, and obviously our apartment is full of prints (both mine and others) and covered in my textiles. I think it can be a good mood booster to have some colour at home, especially during a long, dark winter!"
Where can we see your collections?
"I’m really proud to be stocked in several countries across the globe! There’s a list of stockists on my website, and of course if you’re ever in Stockholm you can get in touch to come by the studio."
What’s coming up next for you?
"As someone who is admittedly not the most business-minded person, I have been pretty bad at planning things too far in advance. However, I do have some new products coming in later this year and am hoping to start working on a little off-shoot project for the brand next year… We also just bought a little summer house in the countryside, so I’m really excited to continue renovations there and hopefully be inspired to create new designs based on the aesthetic we’re going for there!"
Find Katherine here.
Shop her products here.
Shop her edit here.