Linen union tea towel with raspberry pink jelly, £12.50. Pic: Thornback & Peel
Think the Mad Hatter's tea party held in Mr MacGregor's garden and you begin to get close to Thornback & Peel's signature look. Identifiable at twenty paces as theirs, the design duo's stunning hand-screen printed pieces intentionally stretch the idea of what is decorative - and it works, beautifully.
Please tell us a little about yourself and how Thornback & Peel was born.
We met in 2004 and recognised a mutual taste for the surreal bordering on grotesque. For a few years we made collections of handbags mixing up more conventional floral and geometric patterns with anatomical imagery - sets of teeth and sections of brains. In 2006 we joined Cockpit Arts and a year later Thornback & Peel became established - we began to focus more on products for the home and reined in the grotesque a little.
How would you describe your aesthetic/products to someone who'd never seen them?
Intricately drawn hand-screen printed pieces for the home and garden, our imagery is playful and sometimes surreal...we like to stretch the idea of what is decorative
Deckchair with scarlet goldfish in turquoise water, £125. Pic: Thornback & Peel
What inspires your designs?
An eclectic mixture of Victoriana, Mrs Beeton's household management, Mr Mc Gregor's garden, 17th century microscope imagery of the natural world, Norfolk and Devon.
Do you have a favourite design or product at the moment?
Thornback has just moved house and has become obsessed with ceramic rise and fall counterweighted ceiling lamps. Peel longs for a new pink sofa.
Where can people find Thornback & Peel products?
What would be your dream commission?
We have just had a lot of fun making a gazebo covered in beetles and bees for a private client.
We'd love to do something public for 2012 like upholster and wallpaper a tube carriage with Thornback & Peel pigeons or maybe a whole platform...
What next for Thornback & Peel?
We have just designed a range of table linen for The Conran Shop which has exercised our love of kitchen utensils from fish knives to whisks to pastry cutters. It will be in store at the end of May.
To check out the full beautifully quirky range, go to www.thornbackandpeel.co.uk