It’s fitting that this story should be the opener for the Devon issue. I am constantly surprised where circumstances can take you if you are willing to go along for the ride. On this occasion a friend was visiting from out of town, and on a rainy Saturday afternoon in London, what to do? A quick search online revealed some promising options.
One stood out because it took place in the Holy Trinity Church Marylebone. I recognized it because it’s one of Architect Sir John Soane’s buildings. That alone would be enough for me to get on board, but on this occasion there was an added bonus, an exhibition in the church by the organization London Made, a collection of artists working in various craft traditions.
It is here that I came across textile artist and designer Teresa Cole under her brand Teresa Green. I was immediately intrigued by the beauty of her whimsical and utilitarian designs. I contacted Teresa to see if I could arrange a visit and some weeks later, we were off on our Devon adventure.
Arriving at Teresa’s studio, we were greeted by a motley bunch of noisy neighbor dogs. All with tails wagging, it was soon clear they were not the guard dogs, more like the welcoming committee.
As Teresa prepared some tea and biscuits I took the opportunity to snoop around her studio a bit. As with many spaces where creative work happens, Teresa’s is filled with intriguing remnants of past projects and inspirations for future works. Collections of various objects and images, sketchbooks, inks, screens, and her collection of vintage shoes and bags that she adds to her product offering when she goes on the road to sell her wares.
Also evident is a strong interest in kitchenalia. Would obsession be too strong a word? In particular kitchen scales and elongated watering cans seem to be particular favorites. As Teresa tells it this was a passion introduced to her by both of her grandfathers. So there was no escaping it.
Teresa tells me that while she studied at the University of Loughborough, her plan was always to find a way to merge her artwork with everyday objects. So in 2001 she set up her own silk screen printing company and now lives and works as a textile artist in Devon. Her studio is in an old barn on a beautiful estate in Devon.
Like a true textile artist and craftsperson, Teresa has her uniform, wearing an apron every day in the style of a skirt elegantly wrapped around the waist.
So far Teresa has applied her art to tea towels, aprons, purses, bags, greeting cards and table linens. She sources all her fabrics from within the UK. Her textile art in linen and cotton all has a weighty feel to it with slight imperfections, which enhances the crafted character of her products. All her printing is done solely with safe water based inks.
Each of her illustrations tells a story. They are whimsical and delicate, each with a witty, dry sense of humor. The drawings seem to dance on the tea towels, and the tiny umbrellas on her purses seem poised ready to be opened at the sign of rain. Her signature red lipstick can be found in a portrait printed on a small purse. It has a tongue-in-cheek kind of feel. The color palette is bright and strong with most designs combining words and drawing.
Like a true textile artist and craftsperson, Teresa has her uniform, wearing an apron every day in the style of a skirt elegantly wrapped around the waist. The look is traditional, but with Teresa’s colors, patterns and details, the resulting look is very modern and practical. The look fits well with her truly English spirit — fun, quick-witted and always prepared for a change in weather.
After several teas and way too many biscuits, we said our farewells knowing that we would certainly cross paths again soon.
Special thanks to textile artist Teresa Cole for being our local ambassador — giving us great tips on local artisans, telling us where the most beautiful patches of farmland are and where to find best smoked sausages in Devon.
Planning a visit to Ide, Exeter? Here is the current weather and what to expect for the next few days.44°showers95% humiditywind: 9mph SWH 47 • L 4151°Thu55°Fri51°Sat53°Sun51°MonWeather from Yahoo!