The Garden Tea Towel – Water Colours Britain – Stuart Morris
When commissioned to create a tea towel in 1980, Stuart Morris had no inkling that this would lead to him spending the next four decades building a successful specialist textile design and print business. A business where creativity and innovation rule.
From an early age, Stuart Morris was driven by a desire to paint and create. He has produced all kinds of colourful and vivid work, from paintings to prints, often large-scale. Many of these works have featured in exhibitions in London and Scotland and overseas. Stuart also has a head for business and, for the past 39 years, has built up one of the UK’s leading specialists in designing and printing textiles. Called simply Stuart Morris, it supplies a diverse variety of products from its base in Hadleigh, near Ipswich, in south Suffolk. And the catalyst for this success? A tea towel.
He set up his first print studio in a former apple store in old malting in the Suffolk village of Stratford St Mary where he worked on creating hand-printed textiles and canvases.
Everything changed, however, when asked to design and print a tea towel of a church in the nearby village of Langham, just over the border in Essex. Its success led to other commissions, including a tea towel for Colchester Castle and another for a reader offer in the regional daily paper, the East Anglian Daily Times. The readers loved it and this, in turn, led to more tea towels for newspaper groups from Norfolk to Kent to Hampshire over the following years.
From cotton and canvas to Linen Union cotton-linen blend, Stuart Morris uses materials and water-based printing that are eco-friendly, part of its commitment to being ethical and sustainable.
Water Colours Britain: Meet the Artist – Diz Andrews
Diz was born in Suffolk, England. She has been drawing and painting since a teenager. Mainly working in gouache, often combined with pencil, pen and watercolour pencils to create her pieces.
Her work is influenced mainly by nature; flowers, English landscapes and native British animals.
Having studied illustration at Ipswich Art College, Diz joined Stuart Morris as an illustrator in 1993. During her time there, her hand-drawn illustrations have adorned many beautiful textiles and giftware for Museum Selection, English Heritage, The National Trust and more.
“I prefer gouache because for me it is the perfect medium, used thickly for an opaque, graphic quality or watered down to give a more watercolour feel. Also, unlike acrylics which dry very quickly, gouache can be forever worked into and overpainted as it is water-based. Plus as gouache is lightweight quick and easy to take anywhere, I have taken my paints on countless trips across the UK as you can see.”