When I began Shelf Appeal all those posts ago, I always wanted to make the blog header a changing thing. I wanted it to be the equivalent of a frontispiece in a book. A visual lead-in to the sort of things I like to blog about.
It has taken me a long time and a bit of dutch courage (would anyone want to contribute?) to get there.
The first illustration I have commissioned is by Emily Sutton. I came to her through St Judes, who have an eye and a half for tasty things. And then I saw a nice flock of her delicate, intricate textile birds in World of Interiors magazine. Those birds have long been on my want list and her illustrations and prints just get better and better.
Emily’s work is intimate in subject. She looks to the domestic and the ordinary, everyday. It is an aesthetic that looks back to Ravilious and Bawden and all those British mid-century artists. But her work carries its own contemporary story, too. A love of craft, toys, animals, pattern. A delight in subjects you might normally only catch sight of from the corner of your eye.
Emily, very obviously, has shelves of her own. I asked her what, at the moment, was on them:
“Currently in pride of place is an antique painted wooden dollhouse given to me by my boyfriend Mark Hearld, my growing collection of old Steiff animals (a squirrel, rabbit, lion and budgie), some primitive looking tiny fish decoys from the Knavesmire car boot sale in York, several handmade cards by my friends, a full set of lead racehorses with jockeys, and lots and lots of books.”
The process of getting this commission done couldn’t have been easier. Emily seemed to ‘get’ what I wanted from the start. I am more than delighted with the result. I hope you like it too.