Meet the Creative Force Behind Calver Prints: Sophie Calver

In the enchanting world of design, there exists a realm where the personal becomes art, and inspiration is drawn from the profound tapestry of life. Today, we have the distinct pleasure of introducing you to Sophie Calver, the brilliant British designer and pattern-maker responsible for the captivating prints of Calver. 

Join us as we journey through her artistic process and discover the remarkable stories that breathe life into every Calver creation.

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Meet the Maker:
Calver

Interview with Sophie Calver.

Meet the Creative Force Behind Calver Prints: Sophie Calver

In the enchanting world of design, there exists a realm where the personal becomes art, and inspiration is drawn from the profound tapestry of life. Today, we have the distinct pleasure of introducing you to Sophie Calver, the brilliant British designer and pattern-maker responsible for the captivating prints of Calver. 

Join us as we journey through her artistic process and discover the remarkable stories that breathe life into every Calver creation.

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Image credit: Salam Zaied and Narchie Home

Tell us a little bit about your work…

 

My journey began after a visit to Hambledon Hill in Dorset.

It’s an old fort near where I grew up, it’s huge and mountainous and full of lovely foliage. Visiting during lockdown, I collected lots of flowers. I had planned to dry them, but I ended up drawing the flowers instead. My drawing accidentally turned into a repeat design, and suddenly I had designed my first print. And the rest… well, has led me to where I am today.

Where are you based?

 

I’m based in North London. Currently, I live in an eccentric old house packed to the rafters with artwork and antiques. It’s like a museum, full of inspiration and little design details. The house was set up as a guardianship scheme to help creatives find a place in the city. I’m incredibly lucky to have a studio space there that’s painted sunshine yellow, which brightens my mood every time I walk in. It’s messy and chaotic, which is just how I like it. I’m hoping to stay there as long as possible.

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Image credit: Salam Zaied and Narchie Home

What inspires you?

 

It would be hard to point to one thing in particular, but most often I find inspiration in the world around me; the moments and memories, the people and places that mean something to me. For example, my Windswept print was born from a gusty, thunderous walk home from visiting a close friend. The leaves were swirling around me, and although it was a bit of a stressful journey, the whole experience set off a very specific and magical feeling which I wanted to capture. 

All of my prints are like that to some degree; they’re inspired by the people and places I encounter, and I love finding the motifs and visual language that capture that very special place and time. The idea that those stories could go so far as to bring beauty to someone’s home is incredibly exciting.

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Image credit: Salam Zaied and Narchie Home

What is your creation process?  

 

It all starts with the idea that lives in my head. From there, the sketches come; lots and lots of rough ideas, all different motifs, all relating to each other in different ways. I don’t keep a sketchbook – I prefer to draw on anything and everything I can find. I’m looking for something that feels natural, that makes sense, but at the same time captures the unique essence of that initial inspiration, whether that’s a juxtaposition or a visual tension.

Often I use the lino format directly for this experimentation process, testing print after print until it’s just right. The best part is finally revealing the finished design on the fabric for the first time, discovering all the imperfections and personality that make that print unique – it’s addictive, and as soon as I ‘finish’ one print, I want to start the next.

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Image credit: Salam Zaied and Narchie Home

What makes you, your brand or products unique?

 

It’s a difficult question, but if nothing else, it’s down to the personal experiences that inspire my prints – after all, no one else can call them theirs. I try to put a lot of my personality and character into my prints.

At the same time, I think my process is important too. I don’t necessarily focus on how the design might look on a headboard or the like, but try to imagine my prints in places that might not be expected, whether that’s wallpaper in a fish and chip shop or adorning an artist’s outfit. I believe that those two elements give my designs a personality and liveliness that’s unique to Calver, wherever they appear.

What is your next project?

 

Designing a new collection of patterns, meeting and collaborating with other creatives, and sharing my designs with a larger audience.

I’d love to work with more interior designers and see Calver’s designs come to life on new and exciting projects. To see my patterns used in places that already inspire me, like my favourite venues and interiors across London, would be very special.

What is your biggest achievement?

 

I don’t think anyone realises how much work goes into a website! The photography, the writing… it transforms a hobby into something that’s so much more. It can’t be rushed, especially when you’re trying to create a digital platform that is true to you. So I’d probably say my website. That said, I’ve never done a fair before, so Country Living has taken up a huge amount of my time.

We’re not quite there yet, but fingers crossed!

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Image credit: Salam Zaied and Narchie Home

What are you looking forward to the most about exhibiting at the Christmas Fair?


Country Living will be Calver’s first-ever fair! I only started my brand a few years ago, and I’ve been wanting to do a fair for ages. I’ve heard lots of great things about Country Living’s Christmas Fair – I’m looking forward to sharing my patterns in a physical space, especially at Christmas, which is such a lovely time of year.

Your three top tips for crafters and makers…

 

Tip number 1: Work hard to find your ideas. We’re surrounded by the work of amazing people, and it’s easy to get caught in the bubble of Pinterest and social media…

That said, it’s so important to engage on social media. It’s the reality of being creative today, and, amazingly, people are so excited and passionate about discovering your process and getting to know the person behind the work. So it can’t be overlooked.

And thirdly, when it comes to balancing a day job too, as I do, I think it’s super important to spend some time in a way which is neither related to the 9-5 nor your craft. Going for a long walk or using your moments on your terms gives you a precious chance to gain important perspective on your work, both creatively and otherwise.

More information on Calver can be found here.

TW&WC-CountryLivingChristmasFair-2023-Winner-EditorsChoice

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