Thursday 13 May 2010

Introducing... Snowden Flood

Not only does Snowden Flood have the coolest name of anyone in the entire universe, but she is also one of the best interior accessories designers around. Her vibrant artwork graces mugs, glasses, aprons, cushions, plates, and of course tea towels! We had a chat with the lovely lady herself and she kindly answered a few of our questions...

Tell us a bit about yourself... Who are you and what do you do?
I'm a designer and I design interiors accessories which I manufacture in the UK. I also have another side to my business designing and making bespoke products, accessories and components for interior designers and architects and their high-end projects. I'm a single mother to a pesky young boy so I work from home so that I can alternate my business with the laundry, cooking, Lego building and school runs!

Have you always designed products? If you weren’t a designer, what would you be doing?
My degree and masters were in Fine Art and Sculpture but I was a mature student. I left school at 14 (expelled I'm afraid!) and have done all sorts of jobs. I'm happiest when I'm doing something creative that involves some problem solving!

What’s been your favourite design project and why?
That's a hard one! The two British Museum projects I worked on were very engaging because they were both very different. One, plates and mugs with a stylised design of the central roof rotunda and the other was a set of glassware inspired by Tree of Life patterning from their collections. I've also been involved with various design projects for a palace in the Middle East over the past few years and they are always extremely challenging in terms of the scale and the quality issues.

What other projects are you currently involved with?
I have a couple that I'm working on right now. I'm producing an exclusive range for the Tate Modern to celebrate their 10th anniversary. I'm working on a set of products for the gorgeous Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, a range of mugs for Dorchester Hotels, and then for my other business, a load of embroidered velvet crests for the backs of dining chairs for a banqueting hall. I'm trying to produce a new collection also but I sometimes struggle to find the time for that along with everything else!

We really like your range of sport-related mugs. Do you have a preferred sport?
Thanks! I like them too. Well I hate to watch sport, I like to participate. When I lived in NY I ran lots of races and that evolved into triathlon when I moved back here. Nowadays I don't have enough time for the training because of my son, so I just run and cycle and do a weekly swimming class at crystal palace with a great coach who makes you swim crazy distances doing impossibly difficult strokes like butterfly which I can barely do!

A lot of your work depicts iconic architecture. Do you have a favourite building / style of architecture?
Yes it's true that some of my products depict landmarks. But actually that stems much more from an interest with the history and tradition of heirlooms and souvenirs than from my interest in architecture per se. So my work is really about looking at familiar and sometimes overlooked sights in a way that celebrates them (as opposed to being about my love of urban architecture). But since you've asked here's a little list of some buildings and styles I like: Grand Central station, Brooklyn bridge, little sheds and houses in people’s back yards, ghost towns of the west USA, adobe houses of New Mexico, British Arts & Crafts architecture, Pierre Chareau House of Glass, Chrysler building, this could go on and on!

We read that you collect graphic novels – do you have a favourite?
I read lots of 'real' books too but I do love graphic novels! I don't have a favourite but I love the work of Joann Sfarr, his subject matter is incredibly varied combined with wonderful drawings and a staggering imagination. I like his series The Rabbi's Cat. Other artists I like are Chris Ware (Jimmy Corrigan) Art Spiegelman (Maus), Joe Sacco (Palestine)...

What was the last song/piece of music you listened to?
Well I listen to 6 music when I'm working but I don't always know what I'm listening to because it's just there in the background. I always listen to Guy Garveys finest hour on 6 music because it's the closest to the broad range of things I like. Last song I listened to was by The National because I'm listening to their new album on Spotify while writing this.

Tea and cake vs champagne and nibbles? If you had to choose, which one would you prefer and where?
You know what I'd really like best? A NY brunch with a Bloody Mary! I don't drink much of either champagne or tea but I got hooked on a cocktail brunch on a sunday during my 10 years living in NYC. Huevos rancheros with homefries and my bloody mary and I'll be in heaven :-)

And finally, who does the washing up in your household (and do they dry the dishes with your tea towels)?
I do the washing up with occasional help from my son (he recently begged me to be allowed to wash up - I should have taped it to replay when he is a teenager!). But for the most part, it's really always me. Luckily I have a nice range of tea-towels to brighten up the job eh? I have my Motorway, Beach Huts and Cable Cars tea-towels in my kitchen on rotation.

We don't know about you, but we're now dying to know why Snowden was expelled; we're in awe! If you want to find out a bit more about Snowden, why not pop along to