At The Monkey Puzzle Tree we often get asked about the stories behind our designs, so this week I thought I'd introduce you to lino print artist Alexis Snell.
Alexis designed some of our most popular prints including How the Leopard got his Spots velvet, and Passion flower wallpaper.
As well as designing beautiful fabrics and wallpapers with us, Alexis has launched a stunning picture book.
'The Bear in the Stars' is a timely fable about climate change and the transformative power of kindness.
Publishers Puffin have created a video showing Alexis at work in her studio in Otley. It's a wonderful rare insight into her private world and we recommend you giving it a watch!
I first worked with Alexis in 2016 when I commissioned her to design our logo. We enjoyed working together so much that we decided to create a fabric together.
How the Leopard got his Spots began as a series of pencil sketches on tracing paper:
A different piece of lino was carved for each colour, and the design built up by printing the lightest colour first, finishing with black.
Alexis printed the design by hand numerous times so that when they were pieced together, each leopard would be slightly different giving a real depth of character to the final pattern.
We chose a luxurious velvet to bring out the vibrancy of the colours and printed the fabric in a heritage mill in the North of England.
How the Leopard got his Spots velvet is suitable for domestic and commercial upholstery, curtains and blinds and is also available as cushions and lampshades and has been featured everywhere from Elle Decoration to the Evening Standard.
About The Monkey Puzzle Tree
From rich linens and velvets to a risqué lace voile, The Monkey Puzzle Tree collaborates with artists to create truly unique home textiles with a twist and a conscience.
Founded by Charlotte Raffo in 2017, the business pays a 20% royalty to their artists to help provide them with a passive income, and the unique designs are manufactured in the North of England, supporting traditional industries and maintaining high environmental standards.
Awarded ‘Highly Commended’ for Best British Product Design in the Brit List Awards 2020, Finalist in the Northern Design Awards 2020.