ABOUT ZUSETSU FUROSHIKI
My background is in children's book illustration. Over the course of 30 years I have worked for many of the top names in publishing, both here in the UK and around the world.
I've loved working as an illustrator, and when I established Zusetsu it wasn't long before we began to talk about creating our own first design.
When I began Zusetsu, my dream was to make a connection with the incredibly skillful artisans based in Kyoto.
I love how the city's artisan skills have been refined over many years to be the pinnacle of beauty, and how many of these skills have been passed down through generations.
I love the high quality of the furoshiki print and textiles that we stock instore, and as I learned more about the processes I was keen to design our first Zusetsu furoshiki.
The Inspiration: Kyoto in the Snow
It was January when I visited Kyoto to establish Zusetsu.
I learned to fold and tie furoshiki in the city and met with furoshiki companies.
One Sunday morning I stood in the Imperial Palace Gardens as tiny flakes of snow began to fall, breathing in the early sweet scent of the first plum blossoms. I wanted our first furoshiki to capture that moment.
Plum blossoms covered with snow have long been regarded as exquisitely beautiful in Kyoto.
The Heian-era diarist Sei Shonagon, lady to the Empress Teishi, describes them in her list of Elegant Things.
The early Heian Imperial anthology called the Kokinshu contains over a thousand poems. In this one you can see the kanji for Snowflower picked out in pink:
I have been so
Here, when I pluck a spray
Th' enduring snow
The Inspiration: the Cherry Orchard
Every Spring we walk across the Cotswold fields anticipating the blossom on our favourite small grove of cherry trees.
The white-flowering trees look like snow, especially as their petals scatter to the ground.
A Gift-wrapping for Special Presents
Yukki and I knew that furoshiki would look spectacular in a wedding setting, and so I began the design process, sketching our local cherry blossoms to scatter across a snow-white background.
Our finished design was screen-printed by hand in Kyoto, and looks stunning!
And our first Zusetsu design was named after Yukki - her name means Snowflower!
Owing to the success of our first Zusetsu Snowflower furoshiki, every year we look forward to creating a new design.
Our furoshiki are always made by skilled artisans in the city of Kyoto, and we are honoured to be able to work with them.
Snowflower in a wintry, snowflake blue came next.
We wanted a cheerful and bright design and fragrant Yuzu was the obvious answer!
It has glossy heart-shape leaves and flowers like little white stars.
I was thrilled to collect our Winter Crane furoshiki in Kyoto.
The design draws on the traditional origami pattern.
We made it in two Christmassy colourways: Crimson Red and Ice Blue.