We asked award-winning Cotswold-based Sam Wilson where she finds inspiration for her designs
What’s the main inspiration for Sam Wilson designs?
I get inspiration from everywhere and always carry my sketch book and notepad as ideas will pop into my head at anytime. My most inspired moments are when I am walking, I take photographs of trees, plants, animals and landscapes. I am based in the Cotswolds so the countryside is a great inspiration but I am also spending time on the coast which I adore.
Where is the studio based and when did it go into business?
I have a studio at home where my main design work is done, I have the walls filled with my inspiration, colour charts and sketches. It’s great to get me head down there and just concentrate on the next design. I then meet with my team and we move forward getting the designs laid out onto our products. I started the business five years ago.
What is the initial form of the designs?
I start my designs with an initial sketch which I turn into a mixed media (pen and ink, paint) then I choose elements or a whole scene which I then turn into a lino print. Lino cut is a craft and I can lose myself for hours cutting away at a new design.
What range of products are the designs applied to?
We sell a great range of products on line and in our shops. I transfer my designs onto fabrics, stationery, pottery and Art. Once I have the finished fabric, my team of small manufacturers are able to make anything for the home from cushions to lampshades, tea towels to bags. I have a small framing department who frame each print with love and care. Our ceramics all come from a small pottery in Stoke on Trent.
What collections are available?
We currently have seven collections; Running Hare, Headlong Hare (an eye-catching yellow ochre design), Green Leaf, Pinks Stripe, Hedgerow, Owl & Fox and Through The Fields. We are just about to launch our Heathland collection which is the first time we have used my paintings and transferred them onto linens, instead of a linoprint. It was been really received which is wonderful. We have more coming for Autumn.
What are the latest Sam Wilson products?
I always try to bring along a new product each season – we recently brought out iPad covers and we’ve had to bring out facemasks due the situation we find ourselves in. Our newest and most exciting product are Wall Hangings, huge pieces of art transferred onto linen which hang as a statement piece in your home.
How are Sam Wilson fabrics produced?
I work with a small team of printers from Lancashire. I use both rotary printing and digital, for smaller runs and testing out designs digital works a treat. We work on cottons and linen unions.
How do you approach your art?
I usually start with a small piece of inspiration and it builds from there, when I have an idea I see other things on my walks which I think will work perfectly with it. So when I had the Hedgerow design, it started with the green interest of plants and wild flowers that surround the fields where I live and then I incorporated the birds and chicks in their nest.
What Awards has Sam Wilson Studio won?
In 2017 I won the Home Retailer Category of “Country Homes and Interiors, my Country Business Awards”. In 2019/2020 I won Best Artisan & Creative Business at The National Rural Business Awards.
Where can I find Sam Wilson Studio products?
We have three gorgeous stores in The Cotswolds, Bath, Chipping Campden and our showcase store in Stow-on-the-Wold. We sell online at www.samwilsonstudio.com and we are stocked by approximately 200 stockists, mainly in the UK and Europe, from small gift shops to Galleries, from Home Interior and Fabric stores to Royal Castles.