Featured in a previous blog of top picks from Clerkenwell were some quaint crochet cushions, created by skilled designer Rose Sharp Jones. WIN were initially drawn to her stall upon spying a range of beautifully patterned notebooks and we bonded over a mutual love of stationary (it borders on obsessive for us!) We soon noticed the cute knitted details on her stools and chairs and the aforementioned cushions, and business cards just had to be exchanged! Here we find out a little more about the creator behind this charming collection…
Firstly, where did your love for textiles and handmade items initially stem from? Is your background fairly creative?
I always loved to draw and make things when I was a child, and learnt to knit when I was 8. I studied art throughout school and after leaving I did a foundation course where I specialised in textiles, going on to do a BA and MA course in Textile Design.
And what inspired you to set up your own business?
After finishing my MA course I realised I wanted to be involved in the whole process – designing and making fabrics, and products from them.
Which are the most gratifying aspects of your work?
I really enjoy the making process, developing new ideas and pieces through experimentation with yarns, stitches and different techniques. I also enjoy working on commission pieces with clients and seeing them happy with the end product.
Do you work from home? And how do you balance running a business with day to day life?
I work from a studio space in east London that I share with other designers. It can be hard to keep a good work/life balance, having a separate studio space away from home has definitely helped me to do so. I also find that having defined tasks for the day/week ahead and lots of to-do lists help!
You also teach a range of knit and crochet classes – what does a typical lesson with you entail and where could we sign up?
At the moment I teach a beginners crochet class where we start with the complete basics and learn a range of stitches. I also run another workshop where I teach further techniques to make crocheted squares that can be used to make a blanket or cushion. I teach these lessons at the yarn shop Sharp Works in south London. I also teach private knit and crochet lessons which tend to be quite varied as they depend on what the client wishes to learn. These can be arranged by contacting me.
How do you approach new designs – what is your process and how do you see each piece through to completion?
I normally start with drawing, and then a research period to develop design ideas further. After this I begin swatch experiments to try out different stitches, yarns and colours. Once I’ve decided upon these I then write patterns for the pieces I need and begin making them, making adjustments to the pattern or design if required.
What are your favourite pieces to make and why?
I wouldn’t say that I have a favourite piece to make, although I do enjoy working with the furniture pieces, finding techniques and yarns that are suitable for the piece in question, taking inspiration from the furniture piece itself and developing fabrics that are appropriate for use.
Your work includes furniture, cushions, mittens, hats, bags and you’ve just launched a stationary collection too! Do you see your ranges expanding further? Where would you like to be in five years’ time?
At present I’m not planning on introducing any additional types of products, just some new designs for existing ones! I will be introducing a range of knitted cushions later this year, as well as a couple of new furniture pieces.
I do enjoy designing across a range of products though, so I’m sure the range will expand at some point!
Have you ever collaborated with other designers, or is this something you would be interested in doing?
I have discussed collaborative projects with other designers in the past and would definitely like to work on such a project at some point.
Finally, where can we find you on a weekend off, what are your favourite ways to spend time?
Enjoying having a break, meeting up with friends and family, going to exhibitions and other events and travelling whenever possible!