March 21, 2019
Next up, Vicky's Question & Answer session, below:
What was growing up in Dorset like, and how has this influenced your career path?
I grew up in the West Dorset countryside on a smallholding in a stunning location. I love animals and was lucky enough to have many pets and sheep!
I have very happy memories of dog walks, exploring in the Dorset hills with my parents and grandparents, and strolling along the coast, stopping now and then to collect interesting shells on the beach.
Having been given a camera when I was 14, I started to photograph local scenery and took up photography lessons at school.
Looking back, this was when I discovered my true passion for photographing landscapes and flowers. I didn’t realise it at the time, but this was actually the start of my design journey.
Tell us more about your love of photography? What was your first camera?
After being given a film camera, I learnt how to process prints in the darkroom. Next, I moved on to digital photography and discovered how to use software to edit and enhance images. I found this fascinating and loved the creative process of turning images into artwork. I experimented with different subjects, from capturing ink and fruit dropping into water, to landscape, architecture and pattern.
When did you start working with your mum, Maggie, and why?
After leaving sixth form, I began working with my mum in a small shop, selling homewares and gifts. I really enjoyed this and realised that, like mum, I had a passion for interiors and fabrics.
Business flourished and we moved to a larger store where we were able to sell high-end furniture, lighting and fabrics.
Why did you decide to create your own range of fabrics?
This was a natural progression. Having successfully run the high street shop and sold other designers’ fabrics, since we’re both so passionate about fabrics, we wanted to launch our own collection.
Are you a good team? Do you have defined roles?
I think we make a great team - we work very hard and also have good fun working together. Having the same taste is a huge bonus.
We have a super studio in Dorset where we both make lampshades from our fabrics, as well as home accessories.
I also concentrate on editing photographs and artwork ready to print, along with the web design and photographing products.
Mum paints beautiful designs for our fabrics, does the bookwork, answers customer queries, and a host of other jobs.
We both decide on colour tones for the collections and final designs.
Tell us a little about the process of bringing a design to fruition?
Some designs are hand-painted. Others, such as our Cow Parsley design, start as photographs and are then edited on the computer, before I scale them and put them into repeat. Once we are happy with the designs, they are sent to the printers for colour matching and sampling.
How does your background in photography help when creating designs for Meg Morton?
My photography background is invaluable in our work as fabric designers since it’s essential to have a good eye for detail, scale and colour. I’ve become a bit of a dab-hand at Photoshop, too.
Where do you mainly draw inspiration from?
Initial design ideas are mainly inspired by the Dorset countryside and coast, and also travels in France.
However, my imagination is fired by anything from architecture to metalwork, nature, wildlife and florals.
How do you feel when you see your fabrics and wallpapers in homes throughout the UK and abroad?
I’m immensely proud to see our fabrics in customers’ homes, whether that’s curtains, blinds, cushions, lampshades, wallpaper or accessories. It gives me a great sense of achievement and encourages me to come up with more designs.
Where is your own home and who do you share it with?
I share my cosy home in the hilltop town of Shaftesbury, North Dorset, with my husband, Richard, and our Jack Russell, Daisy, who thinks she is in charge! I love decorating and have just transformed our bedroom with our lovely Dragonfly wallpaper in Millstone on White, teamed with lampshades in our Dorset Stripe fabric. The next project is curtains in Dorset Stripe.
You have a rich heritage in textiles. How do you feel about the connection with your ancestors and the past?
I feel very blessed to come from such a rich background with a grandfather who was a textile technologist, and the family of my grandmother, Meg Morton, who were textile and carpet innovators, manufacturers and designers. I’m really keen to learn more about our past. I love the fact that mum and I are carrying on the family tradition - that’s very special.
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