Month: April, 2011

Knitted trophies by Rachel Denny

Artist and craft wonder Rachel Denny lives in Oregon and has recently risen to design fame for her playful knitted animal heads – a creative, animal-friendly take on the hunting trophy to which no one could really object.

She describes her work as “an exploration of the seductive beauty of our natural world and the imprint that human intervention has made on its flora and fauna”. She is particularly interested in the transformation undergone by natural forms within an man-made, urban backdrop, and the process of reevaluation caused by displacing nature.

“A deer in an urban backyard, a family of Peregrine falcons at my neighborhood park, a coyote skirting a parking lot… these all become a moment of wonder as they shake us out of our daily routines.”

She exhibits regularly in the US and you can see more of her stuff at

Ten minutes with Sanna Annukka

Image via huset

I have been a fan of Finnish-English graphic designer Sanna Annukka’s folk-inspired designs since I first spotted them in Bowie Style’s Print & Pattern. Drawing inspiration from her childhood, where she went on family trips to the arctic and camping in the Lapland wilderness, Sanna creates bold but intricate prints and designs rooted firmly in nature and in her Finnish heritage, and has collaborated with some top creatives including Keane, Marimekko, Fabrick and Vogue.

Sanna Annukka for Keane


I caught up with her last week.

Where do you live? On the south coast of England.

What is your house like? A three storey Victorian terrace house filled with an eclectic mix of Scandinavian design and travel mementos – like Mexican rugs and African masks…

What is your most treasured possession? A velvet wall hanging designed by Stig Lindberg in the 70s.

Spirits of the North print, £245

Where do you start when coming up with new designs? I have endless sketchbooks with written ideas and doodles. When the time comes, to create a new print for instance, I look through my sketch books and something will inspire or trigger a design.

What would you say has been the greatest challenge in going it alone? Self motivation is everything. When you are your own boss you have to learn to be disciplined and use your time wisely. Admittedly I do alternate between periods of procrastination and periods of productivity…

What are you most proud of? My current range of wooden products, particularly my ‘Soul Birds’ (below).


Soul birds – Small, £75; Large £95

Any up and coming projects? I’m currently developing and expanding my own brand of ‘Sanna Annukka’ products. I have had an online shop for some years now selling limited edition screen prints. The range has expanded from print on paper to printed wooden items and soon I will be creating my own range of textiles.

There is potentially another Marimekko collaboration in the pipeline too.


Sanna Annukka for Marimekko

I love your stuff for Marimekko… they have also done some really cool Converse this season. Are there any other designers on your radar right now? I don’t really follow current designers very much. I always look to my heroes of the past such as Rut Bryk, Stig Lindberg and Maija Isola.


Sanna Annukka for Marimekko

Do you read a kindle or a book? I read both. Kindles are excellent for the more ‘trashy’ novel that you know you won’t read again. All other types of book I prefer to have hard copies of.

I always buy a hard copy… I don’t like the kindle. What do you think lies in store for the future of the book? It is quite mind blowing how fast technology is progressing and how more and more stuff is becoming digital. It has its advantages and disadvantages. The upside – potentially less deforestation? The downside – I worry that if everything is stored on some kind of chip it may not survive the length of time.

I still trust hard copies of stuff more! I hope that’s the overall consensus for a lot of people. I don’t think the book can possibly die out entirely.


Sanna Annukka for M&S

And finally, what are you up to this summer? Designing an exciting product range that reflects my Finnish culture as well as infusing folklore and ancient traditions.

Shop and

New season at Graham & Green

I just got through some images of the new season collection at Graham & Green, available next month, and think it has some lovely pieces. I am especially excited to see the back of bone-enamelled chests and the small beginnings of Baz Luhrmann retro kitsch.

The animal nightlights melt my heart.

1001 Nights plates by Sentou

Bright, plastic, trip-tastic. €27 for four,


Jillian Tamaki for Penguin

I just came across these limited edition book designs by Canadian artist and cartoonist Jillian Tamaki, who has been commissioned to illustrate and embroider three covers for Penguin Classics: Black Beauty, The Secret Garden and Jane Austen’s Emma, released in the autumn.

Everything is hand stitched, including the logo and lettering, and I think they are so sweet… particularly as books need all the help they can get right now.

The Secret Garden is my favourite.