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I got the biggest surprise for Christmas when I opened a big box and found this, my own design, printed up on gorgeous heavy weight linen. My HB had made up a pretty believable story in order to get hold of the files to this design and I didn’t suspect for a moment that he was in cahoots with my S-I-L whose idea it was to get it printed.


It has got my thinking hard about future possibilities…


tiles inspiration 4

The Alhambra wouldn’t have lived up to expectations if there weren’t a few tiles to inspire some pattern designing.

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And as you can see I wasn’t disappointed in the least.

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Miles and miles of them. These are the survivors of a hard edit!

tiles inspiration 2

Endless colour and pattern inspiration. tiles inspiration 1

I have just begun to scratch the surface of the design inspiration they prompt.

© Claire Leggett 2016 design work

Here’s a little peek at some pattern WIP which has to remain a little bit secret 😉

©Claire Leggett Surface Pattern designer

A little winters pattern inspired by this book.

The Pattern Base book

Some things are worth waiting for and this is definitely one of the them – I am actually now able to hold The Pattern Base book in my excited little hands!

The Pattern Base book 1

The Pattern Base book is by Kristi O’Meara and edited by Audrey Victoria Keiffer – cofounders of the Chicago-based design studio and online archive The Patternbase.

The Pattern Base book 2

It is a curation of 378 pages, showcasing a collection of 681 designs from 150 contemporary textile, surface, fashion, and print designers from around the world.

The Pattern Base book 3

Illustrative, abstract, geometric, floral, digital and constructed textile patterns are all represented here and all the work is by up and coming designers.

The Pattern Base book 4

I submitted my surface pattern designs way back in 2012 when this was a kick-starter idea and I had no idea that I would be fortunate enough to get two double page spreads but there I am on pages 228 and 229 🙆

Claire Leggett_The Pattern Base book

I had been working on a group of paintings at the time featuring vintage china and cutlery and had developed some elements into these two pattens.

Claire Leggett_The Pattern Base book pattern design 2

These went onto be selected to represent in the Illustrative category  – brilliant!

Claire Leggett_The Pattern Base book pattern design

It’s not everyday you get into print so I’m having a solo studio party today! 😉🎉🍸

poppies rep
{December Reflections :: take a photograph every day in December as a way to pay attention to what’s around you and reflect on the year that’s closing.}

Day 4. Red. Poppies or Anemones – my favourite flower.

RGC-Xmas promo A4

And also the colour of the flyer for this coming Saturdays market at the Ruskin Glass Center.

Pastel pink book

Everyone once in a while I get a little bit obsessed with a colour. Seems to be this sticking-plaster pink. I was lucky enough to score this book for a fiver and it’s helped fuelled my pink infatuation and designing today. Can’t last though – tis soon the season to be red , green and white!



More Kaffe today! It seems there is a hunger out there for it as so many of you have *liked* the previous post or left a comment – thanks, I love them :). Who I am to deprive you of more of these wonderful things I had to share.


 Inside the American Museum in Britain are these gorgeous pieces which are the colour separations that the printer would have used to print the Kaffe Fassett fabric lengths.


They show the hand painted original design in repeat and then all the colours which would have made up the different colour ways.


I was très excited when I spotted them hanging up around the museum because I love this kind of behind the scene technical stuff.


Some of the photos are very yellow and full of reflection – sorry, there was not a lot of light or space.


And look at all those glorious colours! It’s hard to believe that in 20 years we have gone from hand painting every design idea and colour way to being able to put drawings into repeat and play with colours all at the touch of a mouse.


Back in the day I had a work placement in a company who sat me in a (large) cupboard (no windows and a lot of boxes) and had me paint in their drawings with specific colours  – all day for a week – or two –  I forget now, it seemed a long time.


A Google search shows they no longer trade so that’s all the retribution I’ll get for the cupboard ‘love’.



I could have poured over these for hours tracing which colour went where and plotting the pattern repeat.


I like to think the master’s hand had touched them all but I’m sure he will have had assistants help paint these in (just not in a cupboard I hope!)

Let me know if you loved them as much as I did 🙂

The other class I bought in January is Print Make Play by Alisa Burke

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When you aren’t in classes learning everyday, or working alongside another artists, it becomes really easy to get stuck in your own groove. This course has been great for refreshing my poor old memory of the vast array of printing techniques there are.


I let loose with a rubber and some sponge and an old credit card and made some shapes inspired by these Italian boathouses in Monterosso.


One of the shapes that snuck in there was inspired by the drain covering – but it wasn’t picturesque enough to show you!


You don’t know what you’re going to get when you experiment – printing especially dictates it’s out outcome. After a little PS’ing the shapes were becoming patterns.


The colour palette for this collection was easy – the watery greens of mosaic tiles and the changing tones of the sea.


The weather was full of Italian passion some days; changing rapidly when rain threatened   – but it made for sunny/moody photo’s like this one which I like.


I called the collection of patterns Boathouse because drain cover really doesn’t conjure the allure I’m after!

claire_leggett_boathouse designs


Over the last few weeks I have been using my Italian holiday photo’s for pattern inspiration.


Studying holiday photo’s is a great way to re-live a holiday.


First you examine why certain places, colours, paintings or cultural details inspire you to take the photo in the first place and then soon after the design prompt can be found again.


I looked up at a lot of ceilings during my week in Florence. Italians used to recline on a dais on the floor and so the ceiling was the most decorative feature of a room. Luckily for us we have iPhone reverse direction mode and so can photograph the ceiling without getting a crick in the neck!


These ceilings were from the Medici Palace and as soon as I looked up, I could see a repeat pattern calling out for development.


As I played around with drawings and tracings, I began to see which elements to keep.

claiRE_LEGGETT_Fra Angelico

The colouring came from generally soaking in all the colours I’d seen around me – I have quite a strong colour memory and often remember the colours of a place more than the details of names and places – not usually a useful quirk to have!


There was a lot of faded distemper, crumbling concrete, exposed brick, terracotta rendered house walls teamed with turquoise shutters or a painted door; the wall paintings are faded frescoes from Far Angelico’s painted cells.


I called this collection Soffito as it literally means a ceiling in Italian and doesn’t everything sound nicer in Italian!



I love me a new sketchbook – all that promise in its clean white sheets…


I don’t know why it’s so hard to disengage from A Plan and just sit and play with paint and see what comes – but it is.

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Circle Spiritoso meaning spirited

But it never fails to prompt unexpected loveliness – sometimes that takes time and sometimes it pops straight out – which is what happened with these designs.

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Pochettino Heart meaning rather little heart

I have wanted to design a ‘ditsy’ print for ages using a vintagesque colour palette.

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Trumpet Marziale meaning in a military style

Word to the wise… sketchbook play everyday 🙂

Edited to add: couldn’t think of names for these designs and then Mr L comes in and says because they look rhythmic that I should look at music terms for some ideas. Everything sounds good in French or Italian so one brainstorm later and we have names 🙂 He’s a genius x

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