Opulent, tactile and strikingly beautiful, textile designer Clarissa Hulse’s nature-inspired silk homewares tick all the boxes when it comes to elegant country style. She details her journey to becoming one of Britain’s leading textile designers…
What made you want to become a designer?
I’ve always loved working with fabrics and studied textiles at university. After graduating, I started up a business, more by accident than design, selling fashion accessories. I decided to print some scarves to sell so I could raise a little money to pay for materials and the space I was renting. Before I knew it I had sold out and had orders in from Barney’s in New York and Liberty in London! I ran the business for 10 years but always wanted to branch out into interiors. I find it less fickle – people buy pieces for their homes that they really love and want to live with for years.
What’s your workspace like?
Big, light, airy and pretty messy! We have an office area, a design section and then a big print table for making samples. I use one of the walls to pin up my inspiration and create a huge mood board.
What inspires you?
My designs come from the natural world, so no matter how busy we are I make sure I take the time to visit the countryside, coast and the beautiful gardens of the UK.
What’s your favourite piece?
I am most proud of the hand-printed scarves that I made when I first started my business. Each piece was a one-off and a real work of art. Having orders from Barney’s and Liberty gave me the confidence to continue designing and creating collections in my signature style.
Describe your design process.
All my work is based on photographs of plants, which I take wherever the opportunity presents. I then work on the images back in the studio on the computer, put it into repeat and make silk screens. It’s great fun playing around with different prints and colours. I prefer working directly onto cloth; you get a completely different effect compared with digital printing. It’s much more tactile and painterly.
I would love to do a book! In the short term I’m really keen to develop my collection of kitchen textiles. I’m also launching a new collection of fabrics and wallpapers featuring my signature botanical motifs.
Sum up your creative style in three words.
Bold, colourful and botanical.