Bloomsbury Style - Cressida Bell for Burford
Cressida Bell for Burford
The work of artist and textile designer Cressida Bell is characterised by a love of pattern and colour, and it was these qualities that attracted me to approach her with an idea for a series of designs for Burford Garden Company. The suggestion actually came via my friend Pippa Harris who is related to Cressida and is a fan of our store.
I am grateful to Pippa for the introduction because the process from the concept through design ideas to the finished product has been very interesting and stimulating, and I'm so delighted with the finished result.
I went up to meet Cressida in her wonderful artist's studio in Hackney. It is one of those glorious spaces, like libraries or ironmongers, where the space oozes a sense of possibility and creativity. A cave of potential!
Cressida's studio is situated in a pretty mews in Hackney which she bought in 2001 long before the area had become fashionable. The walls are covered from ceiling to floor with many designs that Cressida has created, both her own and work she has done collaboratively. Cressida hand prints her famous silk scarves on a huge press in the workshop. Her beautiful lampshades and fabrics were in evidence too.
It is well known that Cressida's forebears are rich in creativity; her grandmother was painter and interior designer Vanessa Bell and her father art historian and writer Quentin Bell, both artists and thinkers who were part of the famous Charleston set – more famously known as The Bloomsbury Group – from Sussex (if you have never visited Charleston house, may I urge you to do so).
So when I went to visit Cressida it was with a mixture of awe and excitement as I am a big fan of that period of creativity in the early 20th century. I was soon aware that in spite of her Charleston heritage Cressida has her own distinct style. We talked about Burford Garden Company and I recall I sent her a photo of a favourite vintage teacup cup. I wanted to celebrate Burford's plant heritage too, where our business started! The finished designs therefore centre around leaves, dots and swirls, a reference to nature but with a lovely fresh modern feel. I love the colour palette, which reminds me of early 1930s vintage books. I think they are a delight!
A glorious colourful display of Cressida's beautiful patterned lampshades at her Hackney studio (and available in store at Burford).