Monday, May 7, 2012

"Forest of the Unicorn"

If the wine is sour; throw it out!
                    Michelangelo - The Agony and the Ecstasy

One of my favorite quotes from this movie, as it perfectly expresses the experience had by most artisans.  

Sometimes after quite a bit of work sometimes even years of work; you realize that it just isn't working, that something needs to change.  Grit your teeth and pick up the seam ripper and take out all of those stitches, discard the pattern and start afresh, or rework a print.

It has been the case with the "The Virtuous Unicorn" design.  The colors were too jarring, the expressions on the ladies faces became simpering when they were colored, the design just didn't flow.

Something had to change.  I wrestled with it, and then found inspiration in William Morris's fabric designs.  Trees and curly flora grew up, the ladies and most of the animals fled the newly grow woods leaving it to savage lions.

Please excuse my flights of fancy, I just finished rereading Jane Eyre.

To make plain: the print has changed.  It's no longer a hem print, but rather an all-over print.  I think it is lovely and I hope you all do to (and are not to disappointed by the absence of former elements).  I'd rather delay the line then release something that doesn't meet with expectations.

Off white background

For reference the unicorns will be a little bit less the 5 inches when printed.

In addition to the off-white version, I am also in the process of editing two other versions: Navy and Brown.

Here are swatches of the additional background colors.

Navy and Brown
I am very excited to see how the motifs pop against the darker backgrounds!


  1. It looks lovely! The ferns remind me a bit of the acanthus ornaments of ancient sculptures.
    I would have loved this as a border print, but all over looks reall nice, too. Only the rather large blank space between the picture parts looks a bit out of place in my honest opinion, I confess.

    1. Thank you, the acanthus comment is very encouraging!

      The original version of this, I had all of the blank spaces filled up with flora and fauna and it looked very busy and confused. I was quite sad to not be able to include all the animals I wanted to.

  2. I'd almost rather it be a border print with the tree motif making vertical lines up the fabric... as, of course, I'm picturing out the skirt might look.

    1. Hmm interesting idea. I tried that and the trees don't really make a pleasing line. I want to put together a print with stripes in it at some point though.

      I really think the all over print will work well once the example pieces are put together.

  3. I'm sorry that the other print didn't work out for you, but I like this idea much more.