In The Studio: Rosie Moss

Rosie Moss Textiles

Inspired by mid-century textiles and British vernacular art, Rosie Moss has created a series of Limited Edition cushions exclusively for Heal’s. We chat to her about her inspirations and design process.

What is the inspiration behind the cushion designs?

For the exclusives, I was asked to design a collection with a nautical theme and I was excited by the idea of creating a sense of narrative that ran through each of the patterns – so that they could be special one-off pieces, but also work well as a complete set.

Even though I live the furthest away from the sea as you can get in the UK, my family has a long history with the Merchant Navy. I used my Grandad’s old ship-in-a-bottle as a starting point.

I often look to British vernacular arts and crafts and like to celebrate the simplistic forms found in folk objects representative of home. I delight in the humanistic qualities of these objects, which I believe are often over-looked. I am particularly interested in utilitarian objects that have been transformed by adorning motifs or patterns; the patterns for me are the most interesting, as they are often applied to demonstrate the love and pride of the maker or to tell a story.



Tell us about your design process, how do you get started?

As well as print in textiles, all aspects of printmaking heavily influence me and I use techniques such as lino printing as part of the drawing process. Even at the initial drawing stage I like to think about how a design can be translated onto silk-screen and I often paint onto trace with Indian ink to experiment with textures and layering.

I do very little editing on the computer as I try to retain some of the imperfections of the drawings. Sometimes the tracing paper designs are used directly as positives for the screen stencils; keeping the steps between drawing and the final print to a minimum helps me to feel more of a connection to the fabric.


Everyone has a personal reaction to colour, are there any you instinctively avoid?

I think everyone has colours that they instinctively turn to time and time again. For me, it’s blues, deep navy and greys. I tend to wear a lot of these colours too. I like to introduce little pops of colour every now and then, perhaps as a colourful zip or straps for the bags that I make. This is when the tiny part of me that enjoys experimenting with colour, escapes. I don’t think there is any colour I dislike.

Rosie Moss Textile Designer

How did you get involved with the Limited Edition series at Heal’s?

Caroline Dulko, the soft furnishings buyer, contacted me while I was exhibiting at New Designers- ‘One Year On’. She had already been following me on Instagram and we arranged a meeting on the top floor of the Tottenham Court Road store. I remember being very nervous as collaborating with Heal’s is something that I have wanted to do for a long time – so many of my favourite designers have come through Heal’s and it’s an honour to be following in their footsteps.


Tell us about the first textile you designed.

I visited the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery with my school art class – they have a substantial collection of William De Morgan pottery there and for my coursework I created a large painted textile piece based on his tile designs.

Interestingly, an old sketchbook that accompanied it recently resurfaced. Taped to one of the pages was a replica tile that I must have bought from the museum gift shop of some painterly De Morgan hares. I couldn’t believe the similarity between the tile and my own Hare pattern. It now sits on my studio shelf as a reminder that we are all drawn to particular images, and sometimes they can stick in your mind and influence you years later!

Do you have a design hero that influences your work?

I particularly admire the work of Enid Marx. She was an early advocate for the revival and appreciation of British Folk Art and wonderful designer in her own right. She refused to pigeonhole herself too and worked across textiles, wallpaper, ceramics and book illustration.

I also love a lot of mid-century Scandinavian designers such as Marimekko and Stig Lindberg. I like the playfulness of these designers and the way that they often created prints and surface patterns that were never solely for adults, or just for children – but could be equally enjoyed by both.

Do you have any studio superstitions / design quirks?

I can’t say I’m particularly superstitious, but my studio is in a very old factory building and is also home to a mouse! I think he may live in the walls and he only comes out at night. When I see him, I take it as a sign that I am working a little too hard and I should probably go home. He has been quite well behaved…so far.



What 3 words would you use to describe your Limited Edition collection for Heal’s?

Illustrative, decorative, narrative.

Rosie Studio Studio

Rosie Moss cushions are available as a limited edition run of 24 online and in store at Heal’s.


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