Patternbank recently discovered the work of Amsterdam based artist Preta Wolzak. We asked her to share some information about herself and her latest projects. Wolzak studied Monumental Design at the Gerrit Rietveldacademie from 1986-1991. Since then she has worked on commission in applied arts: she has made illustrations for book covers, designed and made furniture, designed exhibitions, designed interiors for private people and companies. Since 2008 she has been making jewellery under the name Fortblink, and in 2013 she opened her creative store Old Fort On Dun on Oudeschans in Amsterdam. These images are from a selection of her recent collections Ma Petit Inuite, Everybody Needs A Hero and Arctic Charade, all of which share a common theme of the sometimes negative impact humans inflict on our planet causing pollution and the devastating effects of climate change. To see more and to read about her embroidery processes and the inspiration behind her work, visit Preta’s website here.

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Patternbank wanted to share our love for these stunning paintings by Markus Åkesson, with their dramatic scale and attention to detail in surface, pattern and texture; all things we love here at Patternbank, the almost photographic qualities seem to shift between reality and something imagined in a dream.

Markus Åkesson is a neofigurative painter on the international stage. His work has been shown in galleries and institutions in Paris, Berlin, Brussels, London, Vilnius and Stockholm. Living and working in Pukeberg in Nybro, Sweden, his home and studio are nestled in the woods where he is free to explore motives which relate man to nature and nature to the world unseen.

He is currently represented by Galerie Da-End in Paris and VIDA Museum outside of Borgholm on Öland, where his exhibition Insominia was on show.

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Patternbank brings you a snapshot of the strongest print designers seen at the recent  New Designers Graduate show.

The Patternbank team once again had the privilege of experiencing this years emerging talent at the New Designers Graduate show.  New Designers is the UK’s most important graduate design exhibition, full of innovation and fresh thinking. Week 1 of the graduate show focused on Textiles and surface pattern design courses and was the ultimate event to spot the next wave of creative talent to hit the industry. New Designers Week 2 is showing until this Sunday if you are in London.

Louise Towers – @louisetowers_design_

Leeds Art University


Emily james – @emilyrjamesdesigns

UWTSD: Swansea College of Art


Hannah McCloskey – @hannahclairedesign

Leeds Art University

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Patternbank are excited to share with you the work of embroidery artist Rana Balca Ülker. Living in Istanbul, Turkey, Rana graduated from the Fine Arts faculty of Fashion and Textiles at Yeditepe University.
Rana’s interest in fashion and embroidered textiles has continued throughout her work, combining her paintings into embroidered portraits that look deep into the expressions and feelings we portray to others. Rana likes to combine floral and foliage within powerful portraits, sometimes protecting the subject from view.

Other pieces are dissected features of eyes and some elements within the subjects are left blank, leaving the viewer wondering the feelings and emotions of the model. Follow her on Instagram for updates of her work and coming exhibitions of her work here.

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Patternbank fell in love with the colourful abstract paintings of Natalia Black, who lives and works in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Liverpool, England. Natalia gained a Degree in Fine Arts from the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia and later moved to Northern Ireland where she developed and established her career as an artist.

Many of her paintings are on canvas and wood but in recent years she has started experimenting with new technologies and has made a series of digital abstract paintings on metal. These beautiful intricate pieces are created by transforming the qualities of natural landscapes into their synthetic non-figurative versions.

Talking about her art, she comments: “Painting helps me to look beyond the obvious, it also urges me to:…. don’t stop playing, don’t stop learning, don’t stop looking, find that inner child … it let’s me have fun on my own. I also find it’s a nice way to make friends.”

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Patternbank are loving the loosely sketched artworks of Bristol-based illustrator Chris Gambrell. These beautifully stylised brushstrokes and unfinished pieces have a subtle but bold visual aesthetic that draws you in.

We asked Chris about his work & process, ‘Through illustration, I explore form and colour. I worked as a sculptor using stone as a medium which I think remains a huge influence for me when making images. My need to carve form and movement out of the page is still very present. This links closely to fashion and in particular the work of Commes Des Garcon and the sculptural forms created in haute couture. The palettes and textures created in fashion provide constant challenge and interest for me as an illustrator.’

‘My working process is and has always been working out of a sketchbook. Every idea is born within the pages of its blank spreads. I’m a keen observer of life around me and constantly sketch in crowds in cities and parks. My work is about play, and I am happy to be surprised by the results of using ink, stamps, paint and anything else I can lay my hands on.’

Check out more of Chris’s stunning work on his Instagram.

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Patternbank were excited to explore Orla Kiely’s iconic print archive last week, at the first ever exhibition of her work, products, and patterns. Orla Kiely is one of the UK and Ireland’s most successful designers. Her stylized graphic patterns are innovative, influential and instantly recognisable. With a global audience in thrall to the rhythms and repeats of her designs, this exhibition explores the power of decoration to transform the way we feel. The Exhibition opens from the 25th May – 23rd Sept at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum. The Patternbank team were lucky enough to walk the show with Orla, and ask some questions at the launch event last Wednesday.

In your opinion what makes a timeless textile pattern?

I think something that is well designed, there are lots of different styles and lots of different textiles that are timeless classics in their own right. It’s about the quality of the design work. Also the consideration of colour and not overworking the design.

Your designs take inspiration from the 50s & 60s, as well as Scandinavian modern design. What draws you to this era and design aesthetic?

I grew up in those times (the 60s & 70s) and when you’re a child you are absorbing. Things become comforting or familiar. My family had funny interior quirks. Lots of people say that my designs are comforting and remind them of their childhood. 

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Patternbank recently discovered the beautiful work of artist Tiffany Bozic and were interested to find out more about her work. Tiffany is a painter from Marin, California and has spent the majority of her life living with and observing the intricacies of nature. Her work on first glance is of detailed nature scenes but on closer inspection surreal metaphorical elements can be found, presenting a vision of life’s struggles and triumphs that are largely autobiographical. The subjects she paints are inspired both from extensive travels to wild places, and the research specimens at the California Academy of Sciences in San Franscisco. Over the years, Bozic has developed a complex process of masking and staining so the natural grain can collaborate with each composition using multiple layers of watered down acrylic paint on maple panels of wood. Check out her instagram here for updates on new work.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you work?

I travel to remote corners of the world, often with teams of scientists, then return to my studio to create detailed acrylic paintings on maple panels. I also host the Unlocked Art Lab at the CA Academy of Sciences. I have been showing in NYC for the past 10 years, but for this next chapter I’m switching gears to show on the west coast for a number of group shows this summer. I currently have a series of new paintings exploring the five elements of nature celebrating native PNW plants and animals, at Talon Gallery in Portland, OR. We are also publishing another monograph of my paintings this year with Gingko Press.

What creatively inspires you?

I try to spend as much time as I can outdoors, travel, my relationships to myself and those I cherish.  In other words, I’m inspired by love & curiosity.

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The Patternbank team were at the preview day of the Victoria & Albert’s new exhibition Fashioned from Nature last week. A great new exhibition that looks at how nature has influenced fashion design, textiles, manufacturing and pattern, throughout the last 400 years. Set over 2 floors, the first floor looks back in history and explores the evolution of how nature has impacted fashion. The upper floor is more of a present-day look at how new designers have used nature in the design process. It also showcases the environmental aspects of how designers now are looking at sustainability within fashion. We also picked up the book that accompanies the exhibition which is also worth a purchase here.

William Kilburn(1745-1818)

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Patternbank are loving the intricate illustrations of Russian artist Sasha Ignatiadou. Now Based in Germany, Sasha draws with a variety of techniques which include acrylic, watercolour, oils and digital art. Sasha explained ‘I choose simple subjects that I fill with complex ornaments and colour combinations.  The theme of Japan and Asia, in general, is very close to me, I like to combine all kinds of ornaments together and to bring to the illustration the echoes of the modern world of Fashion and trends. I am very inspired by the very process of creating an illustration and of course, by the world around me. You have to improve yourself all the time, to become better in each following illustration, but above all, you have to be able to see the beauty of the world.
See more of her work on her Instagram. 

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Patternbank love the intricate work of artist and collector Kate Kato, we got in touch to discover more about her work process and what inspires her to create these beautiful paper and fabric sculptures. Kate lives in the Welsh boarders just outside the small town of Ross on Wye, where her natural environment inspires her daily.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you work?

Using recycled paper, fabric and wire I try to capture the delicate detail and beauty of nature. Influenced by plants, insects and found objects, I create intricate, life-sized sculptures and arrange them into collections and dioramas. I have always been fascinated by the natural world and for me my work is very nostalgic, taking me back to my childhood and the curiosity that fuelled my creativity. My work aims to encourage curiosity and promote an awareness of the environment. I want to bring the small, hidden and overlooked details into the public eye and encourage people to consider their importance.

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Patternbank discovered the beautifully delicate and intricately stitched and cut work of Hillary Waters Fayle. We put a few questions to the artist to find out more about her and what inspires her work.
Can you give us a brief introduction about yourself?
I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY USA and I now live in Richmond VA, where I spend time making my own work, in addition to working as an artist assistant, and teaching part-time at Virginia Commonwealth University. I’m a fairly quiet person, and I dislike being the center of attention. It’s really important to me to be the best person I can be for the people and the world around me. I feel the best when I’m being really productive and I’m getting lots done and I’m able to be mentally present and engaged. I love to make lists, run, cook, spend time with people I love, and I love to read -although I don’t read as much as I’d like to. I also love to be outside, especially in the summer- the heat in Virginia is one of my favorite things about living here.

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For anyone inspired by the vibrant work of Frida Kahlo, prepare  yourself for a rare treat. The V&A have announced a special exhibition to showcase the eclectic wardrobe of one of the most influential female painters of the 20th century. This is the first exhibition outside of Mexico to display Kahlo’s clothing and personal possessions, including prosthetics, medicines, accessories, jewellery, photographs and letters. The exhibition runs from 16th June 2018-4th November 2018. Booking in advance is recommended and we’ll be first in the queue to explore her collection of fascinating belongings! Tickets are now on sale at the Victoria and Albert Museum here.

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Patternbank are loving Jess Phoenix’s crafted illustrations. We recently got in touch with her to find out more info about her creative process and how she became an illustrator.

I was born in Massachusetts and attended the Rhode Island School of Design for Illustration. In 2007, I moved to Seattle, WA and began working as an illustrator/designer for a gift & publishing company, which in many ways has been my dream job. However, a few years ago, I began to realize that I had put all of my creative effort and satisfaction into that job, and I was not creating anything for myself. I began working nights and weekends to try and make something for me. I didn’t know what it would look like, but I just knew I wanted to use a lot of color. I had a lot of false starts and stops, but I ultimately feel fortunate that I only toiled for about a year before I “discovered” my floral work. 

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Patternbank recently discovered the work of Martyn Thompson, a photographer who began his career in Fashion, designing clothes. We asked him a few questions to discover more about his work process and what inspires him as a designer.

A brief introduction

I am a photographer and designer and run my design practice, Martyn Thompson Studio, in Soho NYC. My career began hand painting fabrics and designing clothes. Many of my friends also designed and I started to photograph eveyones work which led to me becoming a fashion photographer. Beginning in Sydney, I moved to Paris and later London, where my work broadened into a lifestyle context, working with interiors, travel and food. I love to experiment and over the last decade I founded Martyn Thompson Studio, a design practice where we use my photos as the base to create textiles and wallpaper, homewares and limited edition art.


Tell us about your work & process – any upcoming exhibitions?

Through playing with different ways of reproducing my photographs I discovered the digitalized jacquard loom and the possibitliy to making a photo into a tapestry. This led to creating large scale patterns and weaving them into yardage – now used in both a home and fashion context. When making new patterns we always begin with a photo, or a series of photos – experimenting with these images, printing them in different ways, flipping, reversing and reorienting them, joining different bits together – until eventually a collection emerges. We’ve done a number of installations of this work in the last few years – at the London Design Festival and at the Future Perfect in NYC … and later this year we are exhibiting in Australia.

What creatively inspires you?

In my photos I work mainly with daylight … Light is great source of inspriation to me. It informs the color and creates shape and patterns that are always changing. I am attracted to natural forms … curvaceous shapes… especially flowers. Thank you Martyn we look forward to seeing more of your work in the future. To see more of Martyn’s collection go to Martyn Thompson Studio and Instagram @martynthompsonstudio. Mural in last image by Dove Drury Hornbuckle

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If you are at Paris Fashion week this week don’t miss the ‘Merci en Rose’ exhibition at the fabulous concept store Merci. The exhibition runs until 10th March, where you can float around an inflated bubble and view delicious rose tinted fashion. Experience the rest of Merci with a vintage pop up store, eclectic homeware and lifestyle products, men’s and women’s fashion plus 3 restaurants. Merci is located in the historic district of Haut-Marais and was founded in March 2009 by Bernard and Marie-France Cohen, founders of BONPOINT the children’s fashion label.

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Patternbank are loving the work of Husmann/Tschaeni (Michael Husmann Tschaeni & Mira Tschaeni)- an artist couple that are based in Switzerland and both studied at the College of Art in Lucerne. They have exhibited between New Delhi, Los Angeles and Melbourne. They work backward, painting in layers on the reverse of acrylic glass, using different materials, such as enamel, oil colour, watercolour, crayon, glitter, and spray. It is like if two completely different, somewhat incompatible picture languages collided when they started working together. But somehow they manage to create pictures, stories, and installations together, without having to change their own individual styles. Enjoy more of their work here & on their Instagram.

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The Patternbank team are once again loving Lisa Krannichfeld’s mixed media artworks that incorporate watercolour and intense pattern plays. We featured Lisa back in 2015 but spotted some of her powerful new work recently.
Lisa was born and raised in Little Rock, AR in an interesting cultural mix of a Chinese family living in the American South. Her experiences growing up in these two intermixing cultures and their traditions have greatly influenced her work, which primarily focuses on the woman as its subject. Her expressive portraits refute the traditional portrayal of women being passive subjects to gaze upon, evident in their disinterested, and at times defiant expressions. Breaking traditions further, Lisa often uses traditional Chinese ink and watercolour materials in a nontraditional uncontrolled, free-flowing way often mixed with unconventional materials. See more of her stunning work on her website lisakrannichfeld.com or check out her work at The Other Art Fair in Los Angeles March 15-18.

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Astrocyte took place at the Design Exchange’s EDIT: Expo for Design, Innovation, and Technology from September 28 to October 8, 2017. The 10 day festival presented to thousands of visitors the ground-breaking innovations that take the UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals to heart, sparking conversations about the future of design. Astrocyte is part of the larger scope of work of the Living Architecture Systems: a research cluster that combines art, architecture, engineering, and science into experiential test-beds, hoping to address questions about the future of built environments – Can architecture integrate living functions? Could future buildings think, and care? And how can we design living architecture that enhances the ways in which we interact with the environment and with each other? To find out more about Astrocyte and its creator, artist and architect Philip Beesley visit Philip Beesley Architect Inc.

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