Today we catch up with Janet from Jupiter Red Textiles and find out what inspires her work.
I make handprinted Irish linen kitchen textiles. The patterns are developed from my original drawings and photographs. I also offer a range of personalised linens for weddings and anniversaries.
I hope my linens offer a more contemporary alternative to the traditional stiff damask table linen (you know the stuff you keep in a dark drawer and never use!). I think we should spoil ourselves more. Proper cloth napkins can be used for lazy informal lunches, or a cosy date night with your one and only. A simple durable linen apron or tea towel becomes better with each wash. This is not expensive, show-off linen, it’s just lovely soft unbleached 100% Northern Irish linen.
My designs are all inspired by nature. I’m a city girl from Belfast and I walk my dog everyday at the park. I draw from nature and also love taking photos on my walks. Usually it’s the simplest things that inspire me – counting magpies on my studio roof, the changing silhouettes of the trees through the seasons, the wild elderflower and cow parsley at the park.
I spent some time working at IKEA and their ethos is also inspiring – finding a good work/life balance, and making a home that is practical and beautiful for ourselves – rather than presenting a house to impress others.
Linen production is a huge part of Northern Ireland’s industrial heritage. I buy my linen cloth from a local mill in Kells. Their linens are beautiful quality and the staff are so knowledgeable and helpful. Our linen industry has changed and modernised but is still highly regarded. It’s nice to think that in a very small way I am continuing the linen tradition.
Also, over the past few years there has been a growing number of brilliant artisan markets and shops. The ND Craft Collective market in Holywood, and the Fine & Dandy market in the Crescent Arts Centre are my favourites. There are also some fantastic craft shops with owners who really understand and promote local craft – Studio Souk, Kiln and Loom, Linen and Latte, in Klover, to name but a few. If we all shop local, we are supporting these talented makers and also the independent shop owners.
“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs”
I think this is a good motto for both work and life in general!
Leaving a full time job to set up a small business is scary stuff but I have to say I am really enjoying it.
Jupiter Red products include tea towels, napkins, tote bags, aprons and lavender sachets. They are all 100% Irish linen and hand printed using non-toxic waterbased inks.
Find out more at www.jupiterred.co.uk