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Slow Wallpaper

An exhibition devoted to wallpaper designs is my kind of exhibition. 

W is for Wallpaper, at the Ruthin Craft Centre this September, is rather special for two reasons – most importantly, because of its focus on traditional hand screen and lino printing techniques, which many of the papers exhibited used. And secondly because it takes place in North Wales, one of my favourite places ever. I feel the excuse for a long weekend coming...

Meanwhile, a few highlights from the show. Above, Custhom design and fabricate some of the most innovative wallpapers around. I've written about their digital embroidery previously and their contribution to the exhibition is the Igneous paper, a luxurious looking design that resembles marble bursting with solidified gold. Made from carbon powder and hand-foiled, the non-repetitive design is named after the effect of crystalized igneous rocks, which are formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava. It's currently also on sale on the Custhom website for £159 a roll.

The exhibition features designs by Timorous Beasties, Sian Elin, Angie Lewin, Deborah Bowness, Kirath Ghundoo, Brigitte Zeiger,
Edward Bawden and William Morris among plenty more. Such as Daniel Heath, whose Heal's-stocked Perivale paper celebrates the art deco architecture of the Hoover Building.

Interesting wallpaper fact: in the early 18th century, a wallpaper tax was introduced that lasted until 1836, after which there was a boom in the popularity of papered walls, which suddenly became far more financially accessible to many.

I've already featured a couple of Eley Kishimoto's bold and bouncy wallpapers here before, but they're too good not to show again (above and two below).

Artist Hugh Dunford Wood painstakingly hand-printing one of his papers. Below, two more of his designs.

The designs are printed using lino blocks engraved by Huge in his studio, which overlooks the sea in Lyme Regis on the Dorset coast.

John Burgerman's innovative and kids' room-perfect colour-it-in-yourself design, 'Burgerdoodles'. 

Award-winning Tracy Kendall's extraordinary Another Colour wallpaper, above and below, is tantalisingly tactile. It looks beautiful – but what about the dusting?

A Claire Florey-Hitchcox woodblock, above. Claire, who graduated just last year and chose to take a step back from new technology, carves her designs onto woodblocks and then prints using her awe-inspiring 18th century Columbian printing press. You can see photos of it on her website.

Mini Moderns' graphic Gulls paper already feels like a classic.

W is for Wallpaper is on at the Ruthin Craft Centre, Denbighshire, North Wales from 26 September–22 November 2015. Admission free. #WisforWallpaper


  1. Beautiful designs. And hand printed? Wow. I like that lady turning the wallpaper into colors.

  2. Fabulous wallpapers, now this is what I call creativity! Would love these styles in my bedroom to pair with a velvet bed from Great work from the designers.

  3. I love Ruthin craft centre, we have a place nearby, let me know if you need a place to stay. I wonder if Hugh Dunford Wood needs an assistant...

    1. Lucky you, such a lovely part of the country. You never know, I might just take you up on that some time!

  4. wow ! All design look awesome , Wallcoverings is one of the best ways to freshen up a room by adding a shot of colour, texture or pattern. There are countless options depending on personal taste and the look you are trying to achieve:

  5. Simply It's Great ! I think interior design wallpaper give your room , kitchen, offices and many more places where you have to use wallpaper looks awesome and attractive that's way people use wallpaper in our home,office etc.

  6. A lovely choice of wallpapers here =) Mini Moderns and Burgerdoodles are wonderful, I'm definitely going to contact them for some samples, thanks!!