the sixties
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Well, everyone is in agreement that the 60's was a fabulous and exciting decade. For me it meant my first visit to New York, the birth of my son Matthew Rice, my travel scholarship to Australia and my move to Hammersmith by the river.
My New York visit was completely inspirational and exciting. I loved the museums, the architecture and the amazing shops. I took a collection of dress fabric designs to show and hopefully sell. I was introduced to a wonderful agent who sold some while I was there and continued to sell designs that I sent him, through the sixties. At home I was designing dress and furnishing fabrics, wallpapers, bed linen and tea towels.
2-077.jpg Matthew was born in 1962 and I had some time off for that important event. I also won a travel scholarship in 1962 and chose to go to Australia. It was a wonderful journey. I visited Hong Kong and Thailand on the way, San Fransisco and New York again, on the way back. I drew a lot in Australia. Architecture, flowers and the desert all inspired new designs. In 1963, I was given an exhibition in Manchester of Australian inspired work. The trip and the exhibition which followed, introduced me me to many new customers. Several furnishing manufacturers printed special fabrics for the show and I contnued to work for them during the 60's and 70's. Osman Fabrics was one of the most exciting new clients, they made bed linen and furnishings. They asked me to go to Florence to design a Renaissance inspired collection. The design Primavera was one of my favourite and most successful designs. Samuel Sherman produced some dress fabrics for the Australian exhibition and I designed dress fabrics for his 60's Dollyrocker range. I worked for him for several years until he went to live in America.
I was colour consultant to Marks and Spencers, Design Consultant to Fergusons and Heathcotes. Both design consultancies invoved design buying trips to France and Italy, I was on the Council of Industrial Design selection committee. I also visited many Art Colleges on course and degree assessments.
afm034.jpg The Tea Towel became a major part of my designing life in the mid sixties. I loved the fact that I was designing a picture on linen, although they were more decorative than pictorial. You will find a lot of Tea Towels designed throughout the decades featured on my website. Many of my furnishing designs at this time were directed towards the nursery; I had Matthew as a potential customer here. The slightly childish style in which I worked attracted a chidren's book publisher and I was asked to do a set of four children's books for Methuen and then more for Nelson. I aso wrote a book called Printed Textiles for the Oxford University Press, which was one of a series of Oxford Paper Backs, published as a guide for Art Students.
The designing of Tea Towels led me to the major part of my designing in the 70's. This was my work with The National Trust.