Rolfe & Wills Meet the maker: FEBRUARY February 05 2015
An interview with Rolfe & Wills
This month we're catching up with the creative talent behind Rolfe & Wills, Alice Rolfe, to find out what makes her tick. Alice spent 10 years studying Fine Art, Sculpture and Print in London, teaching and exhibiting before creating Rolfe & Wills. Alice's stunning designs play with both colour and shape to create a range which is bright and modern.
Tell us a bit about yourselves. Can you recall how and why you became a maker?
I’m Alice Rolfe of Rolfe & Wills. I’m not sure, but I think I’ve always been a maker… I grew up in the countryside with a sketch book and flask in my bag. I was very lucky to have the freedom to walk around fields and woods, and had the encouragement and guidance of artist friends of my parents. I just drew and painted what I saw which was trees, flowers, wildlife and the sea, it has had a huge influence on my current practice, but I didn’t know it until recently!
What are your main inspirations and influences for the work?
I am influenced by colour and shape. I have always been attracted to repetitive patterns – something you often find in nature. Screen printing is a fantastic process to discover unusual colour combinations. Happy accidents happen all the time – it’s very inspiring.
What is the process?
I’ll see a colour combination which stays with me, and maybe a plant, or interesting angle on a building and an idea will be formed. I tend to mock up the idea on my computer first and then print out the colour layers onto acetate, which I then expose onto a screen with photo emulsion. Once it’s dry it’s almost ready to print from.
Next it’s getting the right colours which can be tricky to begin with. Mixing the colour you had in your mind into a pot is not always possible, but when it’s close enough, I start printing. I print onto ethically produced organic cotton. I’m proud that my business is as ethical as I can make it. All my inks are soil association approved organic too.
What do you enjoy most about being a maker?
I am free to explore all my ideas. Although a lot of my time is spent at a computer running the business, I can put it aside any time to experiment with an idea I’ve had. I also run a studio in Bristol and rent it to some fantastic makers, so spending my days with them is very motivating and inspirational…
I feel so lucky that I have managed to make a job for myself which allows me to be creative.