Tuesday, 30 September 2014



I cant now remember how I stumbled across Peggy, it was sometime ago now, but she became an instant inspiration and I rapidly engrossed myself in what I could find out about how, which was very little then.  What I did find however, was that she lived a little further down the road from here and that her lino cuts were still kept close by in archive.  There was also the most beautiful HAND PRINTED book about her works, which once I had set my eyes on, just had to have….its more of an epitaph than a book - its huge, comes with all sorts of extra memorabilia and the prints are genuine…if you can still find a copy - you MUST have it.  Its call Peggy Angus Art For Life.  The author is local, Carolyn Trant.  I met her, she's a wonderfully eccentric artist and as a result was driven to making this book what it should be, whatever the cost…..thanks to a very very kind person I am now the proud owner of my own copy.

So, I went to see the archives and had a magical time sorting through boxes of goodies, all by myself and leafing through fragments of papers.  I absorbed all that I could mentally and like to think that its had a knock on effect in my own work.

Then, out of the blue I saw that there was an exhibition all about her…..at the Towner, in Eastbourne, just down the road!  I whizzed there as fast as I could  - such excitement.

A bit about the exhibition from the Towner website:
Born in 1904 in Chile, Angus moved to London with her family when she was a young child. At just 17, she won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art based on her accomplished illustrations. Fellow students included Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, Barnett Freedman and Percy Horton. In 1933 Peggy moved into Furlongs, on the Sussex Downs near Lewes, and her home became a meeting place and creative hub for Ravilious, John Piper and many others, who, as well as creating their own work, were invited to contribute to the interior decoration of the house itself. Throughout her life, she was an important mentor, teacher and collaborator for a great number of artists. The exhibition will include her early illustrations, portraits and landscape paintings, and her Modernist design work with wallpapers and tiles.

Its fascinating to see that its of interest to people again.  I really think that block printing as a form of art and creation is making a come back.  There is Blithfield who use Peggys designs on their fabrics (I know they do well) and there are one or two other new fabrics I have spotted recently that are based on block printed designs from Enid Marx, Guthrie, Barron and Larcher.  Its interesting that all the block printers I follow seem to be women. I don't know why, the printing method takes real strength and fortitude, but it also needs a light touch of hand for the carving and the placing of the block, but I will stop before I get accused of being sexist. (My husband is very good at printing by the way).

I don't think I was allowed to take pictures really, but there were just one or two I simply couldn't resist.

Here were my highlights.

The seat pads in the gallery had been cleverly made by Diana Kelly with Blithfield fabric.

Some of Peggys wonderful tile designs.  simple, but effective.

Just divine.

This is Furlongs, where Peggy lived.

Peggy at work in her studio

Thursday, 21 August 2014


If you say that aloud (lampshade shoot) it sort of rolls off the tongue - its rather fun to say, a bit like our little lampshade shoot was yesterday.  There is nothing more exciting than receiving a parcel - especially an enormous one filled with delicious block printed fabric lampshades.  It has been a while since I delivered my carefully curated collection of fabrics to the makers.  But worth the wait (it takes time because they are meticulously made by hand) as what a joy to behold these beauties are!  I trembled with excitement (its true!) as each one was unwrapped and popped on to our jaunty coloured bases.  Using one of my wallpapers as the backdrop it all just fell into place beautifully.  They are now for sale on our website, but it doesn't look like they are going to be in my ownership for long…..who said lampshades cant fly? Order now at  www.mollymahon.com

Thursday, 24 July 2014


So the other day Rollo and I went on a glorious Lavender walk.  No we hadn't popped over to Provence we were half an hour down the road in Sevenoaks…I never knew that there was this purple haze of lavender growing on acres of land around here.  We had a wonderful walk with Jod Mitchell who has taken on his family business (5th generation) at Foxbury Farm and is slowly converting what was once orchards (which have had their time and are no longer so viable) to fields of fascinating plants and herbs with which he is making delicious beauty products.

Well not only was the day a wonderful break from the norm, but Jod kindly offered some of his lavender for the lavender bags we are making.  So once the harvest was in we were able to go and help ourselves to all the lovely bits that the machine has missed.  They say many hands make light work….so we thought we would take the children too…..and actually…they were helpful enough!
Well done team Mahon; the car was soon consumed by the thick aroma and what with its soporific qualities... made for a very peaceful journey home!!

 THANK YOU SO MUCH MITCHELL & PEACH www.mitchellandpeach.com

Tuesday, 22 July 2014


Sometimes it feels like you have seen it all, there couldn't possibly be anything else out there that might inspire you than you already know about…and then as if by magic you are grabbed by the collar, shaken around a bit, set on a new path and full of fresh energy and inspiration once again.  This is what happened to me the other day. I was having a girls day out with my sisters…..to be honest I was much more excited about having lunch at Kit Kemps latest hotel than I was at stopping by the Tate, but I knew a bit about Matisse, I had studied his paintings at school.  I had loved them then, enjoyed the bright colours and beautiful composition of his paintings, but when I packed up on leaving university so too did I pack away all my posters, box up my books, head to London and really start a new chapter of my life.  So it was to my great surprise that I realised that all this time I had missed one seriously exciting chapter of his life - his 'cut out' period and wow how relevant to what I am doing now……I never dreamt back at uni that I would be a block printer, so perhaps there was no need to see his cut outs, but now…….it just all makes sense.
The exhibition is wonderful, a little crowded, you cant stand back and admire a picture, you have to mussel in and see it up close, but thats fine because then you can see where the scissors cut, the pins were stuck and where something must have been stuck and peeled, stuck and peeled until he reached the perfect composition as he did so cleverly in his paintings.  The colours are frighteningly current and wonderfully exciting….no more modern cubes or grey palettes around here.
My heart sped up, my eyes dashed about and my energy levels soared as I soaked up all that he has created in these last years……its all about blocks of colour - wonderful - its all about hand crafted, one off pieces, fantastic - love that…..its joyful and fun and thats rather how I felt once I had seen it, ad lunch at the Ham Yard Hotel (more to come on that later), visited the New Craftsman, caught up with the sisters, settled down on the train with my book - finished my book - oh such a happy ending! and arrived home back to the nest and the brood, all washed and smiling and ready for bed……

Some images from the exhibition - I have sourced these from Google Images:

Thursday, 3 July 2014


…I mean how lovely is this house?  It belongs to Jemma Kidd - the lucky girl... and has been beautifully put together by Penny Morrison who has a gorgeous line of fabrics and papers.  I have had these pictures sitting on my 'desktop' for sometime, but they need to be shared.  What I love is the clever balance of ethnic influences while keeping a quintessentially English feel - exactly what I am aiming to do with my fabrics. Credit goes to http://www.elledecor.com/celebrity-style/homes/jemma-kidd#slide-1

Here are some of the images:

Certainly something to aspire to….

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


It was a total treat and I set off with a slightly guilty backward glance at my desk which is currently weighed down by bills, forms that need filling, emails unanswered and so much other paper work that I can barely find my computer….I have now pushed it all aside so that I could post, with sheer delight, one or two images from my lovely morning at Walnuts Farm.

A morning tour followed by lunch was the agenda and I was rather pleased that the tour wasn't a 'look this way, look that way, watch out you'll miss this'…but more of a 'take your time and soak up our lovely surroundings'…  Walnuts is first and foremost a home and a way of life, belonging to Bella and Nick and their two daughters.  They were literally opening their doors to their life and what a lovely one it is too.  Beautiful surroundings, a productive garden, duck, geese and fowl, a few lambs a couple of pigs; not too much, but just enough to keep them really busy and I should think really satisfied.

We dined on delicious cake and coffee and then lashings of pea and garlic soup for lunch - completely yum and immensely wholesome - the whole morning was.  It really was the dream come true, idyllic, inspiring, but I think to Bella and Nick an ongoing challenge, extremely hard work and I shouldn't think they sit around much like we did today as there must be a constant TO DO list - a bit like I have at my desk, so here are the pics - I am getting back to work!

Saturday, 22 March 2014


Emma Bridgewater is currently everywhere, well in my mind she is anyway.  I am reading her new book Toast & Marmalade downstairs and an earlier book written about her by Steve Jenkins in my bedroom - not only that, but she was in almost every Sunday supplement last weekend and then when I was up at Chelsea Harbour there was her new wallpaper and fabric collection being promoted by Sanderson…..I hadn't really been especially interested in her before, but now she is my latest guru and I feel that the method of spongeware is so close to block printing that she fits nicely into my category of 'Gurus'.

I LOVE her new range of fabrics and papers - I wonder why she never did it before - it makes sense and works remarkably well.  Here are some images of the new collection, all based around the English dresser and classic English home.

Classically English, comfortable colours with a  touch of fun - just what I aim for….so she has now become an inspiration and next time we visit the in-laws I will certainly make a trip to her factory in Stoke on Trent. 
Spotting her collection at Sanderson fell in timely with my own visit to a showroom there.  I rather timidly took my fabrics in hope that the lady would be desperate to stock them.  She was kind, full of advice and flattering about my fabrics, but not throwing offers of 'I must have this'….I left feeling rather sheepish and down in the dumps about it all, but passing Sanderson lifted my spirits and immediately I felt renewed and inspired again.  This sponge ware approach is similar to printing with a block and with the finish often being in one colour I feel that Emma is kindly lending the way to making this style fashionable just at the time I am starting to show the world what I have done.  So lets hope there is a subconscious placing of style into peoples mind and that they soon come clammering at my door for hand printed designs that are classically English, comfortable colours with a touch of fun…. !?!?

Sunday, 16 March 2014


Maybe it was the coming out of the darkness into this beautiful Spring light that we have been so blessed with over the last few days, but I suddenly saw my home in a new light today.  By home I mean where I was born, where I was married, where I grew up…where I have known for 38 years now and where very little has changed in this time.  This is a comfort, a feeling of safety, a very good thing.  I took a stroll with my little boys this morning and couldn't resist documenting the short journey around the gardens.

How lucky I have been to have had this as a constant in my life.  And then having felt inspired the journey took me inside and I realised where so much of my inspiration comes from….its all around me, always has been, my mothers creations (the arty stuff), my fathers creations (the stuffed animals!!), all the ephemera that they can't bare to be parted with!  I could barely put my camera down.  Here is that visual journey….