Friday 27 March 2015

Etsy shop find...a chat with Jane Ormes!

I can't even remember how long I've admired the work of Jane Ormes...
a good few years, let me tell you.
I'm really excited to be able to share her work with you today as part of the etsy interviews.
Jane is a designer and printmaker from Bristol and produces the most beautiful, 
whimsical artwork that she sells in her etsy shop in the form of gocco prints, 
wall art, brooches, pocket mirrors, etc...
She is also part of a collaborative called Fig, which is a shop in Bristol selling her own work alongside other craftspeople.
Jane is really well known and her handwriting style so distinctive, so I'm sure you're familiar with her work, but let's get comfy and get to know a little more about the super talented Jane Ormes...

(above image from

1. Can you tell us a bit about you and your background...

 I loved art at school , even if we did only ever draw onions and goats skulls.
I did an art foundation, and went onto Leicester Polytechnic to do Fashion and Textiles, where i specialised in Surface Pattern Design. 
I was lucky to be sponsored by the Design Council to show as a promising Graduate at Fabrex ( a large textile trade show ) and then started working freelance for a greeting card company . 
I had my children and then drifted back to work and moved into a shared studio . 
I rediscovered my love of screenprinting then and concentrated on producing prints that I wanted to hang in our new house with all its white walls! 

2. Where do you work? Describe your studio/work area...

At the moment I have a very small studio at home , but am just about to move into our loft extension to have about 4 times the space. 
I do my actual screen printing at Spike Print studio in central Bristol. 
It's great to be part of something bigger and to work alongside other printmakers who work in a variety of ways.
I've been lucky enough to have some amazing commissions; Marks and Spencer 
(I illustrated their easter packaging), Ikea, English Country Pottery, and I've just finished my first childrens book. 
I often work with an interior designer for the BBC, and my work has featured on DIY SOS several times. 

3. Can you give us an insight into your creative process?

I work primarily in collage. 
I make marks, textures and patterns and then cut and arrange them until I am happy with a composition. 
Quite often I'm inspired first by a phrase or sentence and the image comes second. 
Once I'm happy with my image I then create stencils for the screenprinting stage. 
Each colour must be separated out. 
It's sometimes the most laborious element of the process. 
Those stencils are then exposed onto a screen and the printing begins! 

(above image from

4. What are your top three blogs?

I'm not a huge blog reader to be honest. 
I dip into Print and Pattern every now and again. 

5. Do you have a favourite book from your childhood?

I've always loved Brian Wildsmith and have built up a collection of his books. 
One of my favourites is The Circus; and there's a a beautiful book of his featuring just fish, which inspired my degree show work. 

6. Who is your design hero/ heroes and how do you stay inspired?

I love Marimekko, Orla Kiely for pattern - I'm really excited by childrens books of the 60s with their flat and limited colours.
As a designer it's very important to keep looking, collecting, cataloging images, scraps of colour, drawing and keeping sketch books.
I don't think you ever switch off as a designer - inspiration can come when you least expect it! 

7. What are you currently passionate about/ fascinated by, 
and how is it influencing your work?

I am currently working on a big hospital commission which is based in it's very rural grounds and surroundings. 
It has been lovely to design images with specific plant life and flora and fauna and to research the hospitals history.
I am also finding much inspiration from Poldark, 
especially the actor that plays him (snort).

8. I literally cannot pick a favourite item for sale in your shop, there are sooo many gorgeous things… but I do really like your gocco prints. 
Do you have a favourite? 
And whats the most popular item?

I am lucky to have a little gocco printer and those prints have been very popular. 
I still like the birds I did first when I was experimenting with it; the quail, 
the bluebirds, etc..

9. What books/ magazines are currently on your coffee table?

I subscribe to Elle Decoration and Living Etc; 
I always buy interiors magazines when I'm abroad. 

10. How would you describe your work/ style?

I will always love retro illustrations and work that has pattern and texture within it. 
My screenprints are a combination of strong composition, texture and flat colour.
Hopefully they often raise a smile.

(above image from

11. Tell us about a typical day for you...

The children leave for school at 8, I tidy around for a bit then have a big bowl of tea 
(it has to be a bowl - no idea why!).
If it's a screenprinting day I'll get to the print studio as early as I can. 
Expose the images on to the screen, cut my paper, mix my inks and then start printing. 
I ve worked an 18 hour printing day a few times when there were nasty deadlines and I wouldn't recommend it as it's exhausting! 
If it's a design day I'll be working from home, listening to radio 6 
(my faves are Radcliffe and Maconie). 
Quite often one of my elderly cats will wander in and sit right on top of what I'm working on.

I'm also part of a cooperative and we have a shop on our local high street in North Bristol on the amazing Gloucester Rd,which is known for its large number of independent shops. 
I work there one day a week, serving customers, getting design work done and sorting out orders or wrapping work for galleries.

12. The best things in life? 
Can you list 5 things you couldn’t live without?

My family and friends ( technically 2 things but I m cheating ) 
Hand cream 
Beautiful pens to draw with

Thanks so much to Jane for taking the time to be part of the etsy interview.
You can follow her, and see more of Janes lovely work here...

(all images above, unless stated otherwise, are from Janes etsy shop and are copyright of Jane Ormes)

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