Today’s feature is about Morris & Essex! Morris & Essex products are all designed and printed by the mastermind Eliza Jane Curtis in her farmhouse studio in the small historic district of Limington, Maine. Her work is a combination of letterpress, linoleum cut block-printing and silkscreen, using both traditional screen printing techniques and a Gocco machine. It’s obvious Eliza takes extra special care when creating her gorgeous cards and patterned prints, because they are impeccably made! We love that her production process includes carving with her bare hands and that she takes advantage of all the wonderful possibilities of printmaking. For more fabulous designs, check out her Etsy site here!
Q: What inspired your design for the holiday collection?
A: Each of the cards has a different look, and my inspiration was pretty diverse for each of them. I was thinking of beautiful Nordic fair-isle knitting patterns while drawing the “Stars” card. “Folk Tales” is definitely inspired by traditional folk arts too. I happened to be staying in Barcelona
while working on some of the other designs, so I think some of that city’s gorgeous tile patterns and busy colors found their way into the designs.
What are you currently working on?
I’m sketching up some cute Valentine designs, and I’ve been working on lots of patterns. I’m silk screening some really bright, fun patterns on canvas for sewing into tote bags and zipper pouches. I’m hoping to have those up in my Etsy shop in time for Christmas.
What influences your style the most?
History. I have a big collection of old cards and magazines, craft books and junk from the past hundred years; a lot of them I got from my grandmother. That’s one of my favorite places to look for inspiration. And of course I’m also inspired by nature; I live in the country, and I spend lots of time taking pictures of flowers, leaves, seeds and stalks and vines and weeds, and those forms always find their way into my work.
What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
Christmas at my parents’ farmhouse in Maine; my cousin Lisa’s buttery, fresh homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast; a day spent cooking and lounging around with family and smells of food and pine needles filling the house; a sumptuous feast in the middle of the afternoon (especially my mother’s cranberry-orange relish and my father’s homemade fruit pies!) and then after dinner, a long afternoon walk in the snowy fields to work off a little of the food, with all the dogs running alongside and tumbling in the snow.
Best holiday memory?
Northern lights in the sky on Christmas night.
**A winner has been chosen! Thanks for participating!**