I HEART WORK
Delia Peel, one half of design duo Thornback & Peel, (her partner is Juliet Thornback) talked to The Lifestyle Editor about why she loves to work.
Who: Delia Peel
Work: Textile Designer
Describe your work in 5 words?
Intricately drawn and lusciously hand-printed.
Why do you love what you do?
Designing as a partnership is really fun. There are the inevitable scuffles, but there is something about it being a combined responsibility that is liberating. We egg each other on! Printing has the sweet combination of instant results and old-fashioned craft.
Who or what inspires you?
Our inspirations are eclectic. Everything and anything, from what we had for breakfast, the counties of Norfolk and Devon, our gardens, to snorkeling in the Red sea. Classically though, it would be: Victoriana, Mrs Beeton’s Household Management, Mr McGregor’s garden, 17th century microscope imagery. The Jubilee and the Olympics have influenced our latest collection with a Purple Corgi, Pigeon & Bowler Hat (a nod to the old City of London and the artist Magritte), the Union Jack and Crown.
We’ve also found that we have become increasingly inspired by the stories we read our children – take Alice in Wonderland - it is the offbeat imagery that starts us off, the combination of flamingo croquet mallets and hedgehog balls that spark our imaginations, rather than Alice. It is something about the combination of things which create a story - pigeons, jellies and today it was armadillos and pineapples!
What is the best advice you have received?
Don’t ignore your gut feeling.
What can’t you work without?
A strong cup of tea in the morning.
What has been your best decision in your career so far?
To work together – a very clever friend introduced us, somehow knowing that we shared a fascination for the eccentric (and often grotesque, although this is edited for public consumption!) This has developed into a sometimes almost uncanny, shared taste in things. We come from quite different artistic backgrounds - a theatre designer and a florist, large scale, small scale - chalk and cheese!
What advice would you give to aspiring wannabees?
Get as much work experience as you can afford to do.
What do you have coming up next for your work?
We are opening a Jubilee pop-up shop from 29th-31st May at 7 Rugby St, London WC1N 3QT (off Lamb’s Conduit St). Come and visit and receive a free handkerchief with every purchase. http://www.thornbackandpeel.co.uk/events.html
If you could do another job what would you like to do and why?
I’d be a Botanist as I’m drawn to the growing. Juliet would be a Pathologist – as she’d be drawn to the grotesque! Also maybe some teaching. I do a half hour art workshop in my 5 year old daughter’s class at school every Friday morning, it is fast paced (to squeeze into the half hour), seriously messy and hilarious.
If you had an extra hour each day what would you do with it?
Go swimming in a lake or lie in the dunes and cloud watch. Day-dream!
Thank you Delia for talking to The Lifestyle Editor