Homegirl London pays homage to Deryn Relph. Deryn specialises in knitting using lambswool spun in a Yorkshire mill and cotton yarns. She makes home accessories – cushions, throws, lamp shades, hot water bottle covers, re-upholstered chairs and footstools. Her work is eccentric and eclectic with a mismatched style. The patterns feature geometric and organic shapes with a retro feel. The colour combinations are bright and often unexpected. The Deryn Relph mission is to create unique pieces which make people smile and are also kind to the environment. I caught up with Deryn to find out more.
Deryn Relph – Buttonbox Stool, Throws, Hot Water Bottle Cover
Meet Deryn Relph
Deryn was taught to knit by her grandmothers – “My Nan and Nanna taught me to knit, crochet and sew. They were from the ‘Make do and mend’ generation. A lot of that approach obviously rubbed off on me!” This hobby was put on the back burner when Deryn took an academic route at school in the form of a Zoology degree. She went onto work for the Environment Agency testing wastewater and as a school science technician.
Her passion for knitting and making was stirred when she wanted to work from home and do something creative which fitted in with family life. Deryn studied City & Guilds courses in Soft Furnishing and Upholstery and a Textile Design at Winchester School of Art specialising in Knitted Textiles. Her lucky break came in September 2012 when Deryn was awarded a bursary as part of the Art’s Council funded Hampshire based ‘Making It’ project. As a result of having this ‘workplace’ she became much more efficient and focused on her designs and it gave her the chance to develop a collection to launch her own venture.
Deryn Relph – Petals & Pixels Chair and Foot Stool
Being her own boss is important to Deryn – “There is nothing quite like the creative freedom of doing your own thing! I work hard and I wanted to be the one benefitting from that. Although taking on all the roles of running a business is quite daunting, I know that I have the final say. I suppose there’s a lot of personal pride involved too and all those ‘pinch me’ moments make the efforts worthwhile.”
View the Deryn Relph Collection
Deryn describes her design style as – “Quirky, eclectic, homespun, playful and eccentric – definitely mix and mismatch!” The patterns are graphic with bold geometrics inspired by the work of Rob Kesseler and Ernst Haeckel. Organic patterns feature natural shapes, structures and forms. Her love for colour and it’s effects on our emotions show in her work – “I grew up surrounded by bright colours and swirly patterns and there’s nothing like some carefully combined colours to enhance my mood!” Deryn greatly admires Tricia Guild – “I admire her use of colour and bold patterns and how she remains contemporary while retaining the signature identity and use of colour.”
Deryn Relph – Winnie Chair
Deryn’s collections include Petals & Pixels, Button Box, Waste Not and a Core Range.
Petals & Pixels: A bold mix of geometric and graphic organic patterns inspired by flower structures, petal patterns and the pixilation that results from translating an organic shape into a stitch pattern are brought together in a similarly inspired colour palette.
Deryn Relph – Petals & Pixels Cushions
>Buttonbox: Inspired by the collection of salvaged button, zips and buckles that belonged to Deryn’s Nanna – “I have fond memories of playing with them as a child and the garments they came from. The retro-vintage colours are combined to evoke playful and nostalgic happiness.”
Deryn Relph – Buttonbox Cushions
Waste Not: Kits, Pin Cushions and Flower Broaches made from offcuts.
Deryn Relph – Waste Not Products, Pin Cushions
Core Collection: Cushions, Hot Water Bottle Covers, Lamp Shades plus re-upholstered furniture.
Deryn Relph – Lamp Shade
Buy the Deryn Relph Products
You can buy Deryn Relph products from www.derynrelph.co.uk. Price guide: Hot Water Bottles £19.50, Cushions £52-£85, Lamp Shades £110-£160, Footstools £160 and Chairs £950- £1600. Deryn is happy to create something unique using her designs and fabrics for a client. She offers a bespoke combination of existing colours and patterns at no extra cost. Alternatively, she can source and design specifically to work with existing items. Furniture items can be offered from Deryn’s stock or can be a client’s own. For bespoke requests, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Homegirl London. Photography: Deryn Relph. Thanks: Deryn.