Homegirl London’s interview: Georgia Bosson. Georgia creates clean, contemporary and colourful graphic designs. These patterns adorn everything from fabric to napkins, tablecloths, lampshades, quilts, cushions and stationery. Her colours are reminiscent of British beaches with soft greys and blue hues combined with hints of yellow and flashes of turquoise. All products are made in the UK using environmentally friendly materials. The sewing is undertaken by social enterprises or charities which helps pass on useful skills to other people. I caught up with Georgia Bosson to find out more.
Cushions and Quilt
Meet Georgia Bosson
Georgia tells me about her background – “I took a Foundation at Camberwell followed by BA (Hons) Embroidery at Manchester School of Art. I got my first design commissions almost straight out of university which was great experience for running my own business later. I’ve freelanced for rug designer Helen Yardley since 2011 which has taught me a great deal about running a successful design studio whilst retaining your creativity and excitement for your product.”
Making things was always something Georgia had done, she elaborates – “When I was young, I would make peg dolls and papier mache hot air balloons. When the time came to decide about my future an art foundation seemed like a good first step. Since then I have mostly acted on instinct, following on from an initial commission from architecture practice (Studio Weave) I gradually started to build a body of work prior to launching my product range in 2013. Having my own business was more about gaining control over my designs and making products to a high standard which is led me to start my own brand.”
Napkins and Tablecloth
One of the defining moments for Georgia was not getting into the Royal College of Art, she elaborates – “I wasn’t willing to give up on having a creative career so I decided that I would just have to do it on my own. There is no harsher critic than a customer as they simply will not buy if the product is wrong. I spent almost two years making, selling and learning at markets before I finally began to find my feet. This was about the same time that I would have been graduating so I like to think of those years as a self-initiated master’s degree! I funded the business myself whilst maintaining a part-time job which has been slow but worth it. My family and partner help out where they can but mostly it is just me doing everything. I might seek investment to jump to the next stage which will lead to some exciting changes.”
Being her own boss gives Georgia flexibility to work on creative projects. She tells me – “Last year I collaborated with Cecily Vessey on a Kickstarter campaign. It was to fund the production of twelve limited edition screen prints of Landmark Locations around the UK and successfully raised over £9000. The prints are now sold on our websites and in stockists around the country. It was brilliant to be able to collaborate so closely with another designer and have the support of working as a team rather than an individual as is so often the case in my business.”
Georgia Bosson Collection
Georgia describes her work– “I create clean, contemporary, colourful, graphic and tactile products which are all made in the UK. My debut collection was called Flux which was followed by Flotsam. My designs are available to buy in a variety of products including fabric, napkins, tablecloths, lampshades, quilts, cushions and wall prints. I feature soft greys and blues with hits of yellow and turquoise which is reminiscent of British beach colours. My pieces are designed to be mixed and matched to create layers of texture and colour in your home. Many of my products are made from linen which reduces the use of pesticides and water. Linen is faster growing and a more durable fibre than cotton. I also use organic wool in my quilts which creates a wonderfully soft springy texture and has a great smell!”
Upholstery Fabric and Cushions
The product range has evolved over time, Georgia explains – “When I was doing lots of markets it was crucial to have lower value items such as cards and notebooks. As the business, has moved forward I have begun to move into making high end interiors products from cushions to quilts and fabric by the metre. This shift has allowed me to use more experimental production methods such as the quilting which is applied over my screen-printed fabrics. It has also enabled me to start working on large scale interiors projects, more of which will be revealed this year.”
Tablecloth and Napkins
Flux Collection: “I created my first collection for Design Junction 2015. The unifying factor for the range was the colours which were based on a British pebbled beach. The pattern emphasis was drawn from the off-cuts of industrial felt die cutting which are known as skeletons. They come in all shapes and sizes, from the skinniest often used in musical instruments to felt that is harder than concrete and used on train pistons. I discovered this amazing waste material in 2012 and spent a long time with pieces of it stuck to my notice board prior to them finally working their way into my consciousness. The key print is the Crosses design which is available by the metre in two colourways – pale grey and peacock. The design is all about the interplay between the two layers of colour. Both colours are also available as quilts, the additional layer of stitch adding amazing depth and texture to the surface, reminiscent of the felt skeletons from which the print was first drawn.”
Flotsam Collection: “The focus here is about negative space with patterns taken from drawings made on the South Coast. The prints were created from the textures found on groynes and sea defenses at Wittering and Selsey. Key elements are the exploration of patchwork; bolsters featuring small areas of print build up a sense of place through pattern and colour whilst not overwhelming a space. I look forward to experimenting further with this design.”
Inspiration for Georgia’s work is varied, she reveals – “I have lots of routes into starting a new design or idea. Sometimes an idea will start with a drawing or photograph and other times it will stem from a material. My fascination with finding the pattern that surrounds the object carries through to when I am working on drawings, I will often trace and rework drawings finding ways to invert them and create pattern from the negative space. I also usually work between my sketchbook and print table, quickly cutting paper stencils of an idea to print onto fabric and get a sense of how it will work on a textile surface.”
Tablecloth and Napkins
Georgia’s favourite products are her quilts, she says – “The finished product is incredibly tactile and they can completely transform a space. All the quilts are made in Dorset from linen and organic wool. The linen is screen-printed in the UK and the actual quilting is an intricate and time consuming process with each one taking around seven hours. They are then delivered to my studio where the edges are bound and the edition numbers are stitched in.”
Cushions and Quilt
Sewing is undertaken by social enterprises or charities, Georgia says – “I’m currently working with Making for Change, a scheme which employs the inmates of HMP Downview. This gives inmates professional qualifications whilst taking on commercial projects enabling them to learn a new skill, develop self esteem and ultimately prepare them for life after their sentence. I really believe that if I’m going to make products then I want my supply chain to be environmentally friendly as possible both in terms of the material used and the people who were involved in its manufacture.”
Buy Georgia Bosson Products
You can buy all the products from the Georgia Bosson Website which can be shipped overseas. Product prices start from £3 for a screen-printed card and finish up around £450 for a beautiful screen-printed and quilted throw. These are made to order so the size can be customised as can the colour of the binding. Cushions start at £48 for a small screen printed 50 x 30cm one and work their way up to £120 for a large quilted cushion. Many of the products can be customised in terms of size and colour. Georgia also works on commissions for larger clients so do contact her if you have a project in mind. If you’re interested in screen-printing you can attend a workshop run by Georgia at her Bermondsey studio.
Author: Homegirl London. Thanks and Photographs: Georgia Bosson.