Nature has always fascinated me. No matter how vivid the human imagination, nature always figures out how to trump it, creating fascinating, magical, otherworldly fauna and flora that are so extraordinary they could only be real.
Never was this truer than on the island of Borneo. One of mother nature’s last bastions of explosive joy, the lungs of South East Asia, an overwhelming cornucopia of nature’s most inventive creations. And one of the most inspiring places I have ever set eye upon.
Travelling there with my partner nearly two years ago sparked the inspiration behind my first collection. Each design is grounded in a particular experience and surroundings of that trip, from the manicured botanical gardens in the bay of Singapore to the depth of the coral reefs to the tree top rainforest walks.
Our adventures started in the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, seemingly picked straight out of Avatar with their manicured and precise nature so at odds with what we would discover later. This hyper-real place inspired the Monstera design, with it's oversaturated leaves and shimmering light reflecting surfaces.
We then headed to Borneo and the incredible Mulu National park, to the North of the island. One of the few remaining spaces free of the devastation of deforestation, is is a haven of natural beauty, with dramatic caves, incredible rivers and more extraordinary creepy crawlies than you can possibly imagine.
We expected to be entranced by the mammals - the monkeys, orangutans, wild cats, boars - Borneo is known for yet it was the insects, amphibians and reptiles that stole the show. From stick insects the length of your arm to fluffy white spiders, luminescent green tree snakes as long as you to shimmering beetles, the rainforest truly knows how to magic up an extraordinary creature. This incredible nature inspired the Cornucopia design. Mixing small creatures found in the depth of the forest and underwater with the shimmering flora from the rainforest floor.
We then headed further South to the town of Kuching, with its kitsch adoration of all things Cat and it's national parks nestled next to the coastline. This mixing of deep, messy loud jungle with the beautiful sea inspired me to create the Medusozoa design.
We finished our adventures in a more peaceful place. Rimba, a stunning island off the coast, with no roads, no cars, Simply deep jungle and a few huts. Watching the sun set over the shimmering sea, hearing the wind in the palm leaves inspired the Arecace design. Luscious and opulent and in shimmering metallics, it takes me back to evenings on tropical beaches, the light, the sounds, the feel of the soft breeze in your hair.
This adventure also cemented my belief that you cannot be fascinated by nature without respecting it, that you cannot escape into the magical worlds that nature creates without wanting to protect it.
Seeing first hand the deforestation that devastates these magical rainforests, the endless palm oil plantations that have corralled the native fauna and flora to minuscule paddocks, the rivers turned brown from the mud from logging reinforced my desire to create a truly sustainable business.
I couldn’t consciously encourage people to fill their homes in with magical textile treasures inspired by these places whilst knowing that those same treasures were actively causing harm.
If you also want to fill your home with pieces that celebrate Nature without causing harm then explore my collection of textile treats.