Design Essentials Chats to OLSA

Coming to Design Essentials later this month is OLSA, a range created by local textiles artist Sara Booth. She makes beautiful, practical products using wonderful fabrics that cannot be used for whole garments or large accessories. The fabrics used come from a huge variety of places: tailors, milliners, dressmakers and direct from fabric mills. We love OLSA’s unique textile pieces, which includes throws, prints and phone cases, and we can’t wait to have them in the shop and online soon.

We posed our usual collection of ‘Design Essentials chats to’ questions to Sara. Read on to find a bit more about her…

What inspires your work?

I am inspired by nature and all the intricate shapes, juxtapositions and colours there are in the natural world around us. I love where we live in North Essex and also the skylines and beaches of North Norfolk. It’s also pretty obvious I love the feel and fold of lovely fabrics. I love old books and libraries and typefaces.  I’m also inspired by personal and family events and memories and of course, by other artists. In summary, everything can be an inspiration.




Is there an element of art that you enjoy the most?

Different things on different days, sometimes it is simply working with colour and texture, or paper or fabric, getting lost in another material world. Then the unexpectedness of how things can turn out, either better than you thought or disappointing you. Printmaking is a bit like cooking, even if you have used the recipe before you can never be certain how a print will come out so the surprise and variety and experimentation are all very stimulating.

What has been the work that you are most proud of?

I am very pleased with the animal prints from the 18th century book, ‘The Cabinet of Beasts.’ With the textiles I love the cashmere and silk and suit-wool cushions (which I design and which are made up by a local skilled seamstress) – in both these cases part of the joy was finding first the book and then the material.


What is your most important artiststool? Is there something you cant live without in your studio?

I don’t have my own studio at the moment but go the Curwen Studio in Linton and Gainsborough’s House Print Studio in Sudbury – but for me silk screens and lino cutting tools are the most important implements for printing and needle and lots of different threads (preferably hand-dyed) for textile work.

Whats the best and worst thing about being an artist? 

I am a late starter and the best thing is learning new things and finding out new ways to use colour and shape all the time.   The worst thing for me is that I feel limited by my energy levels sometimes. I have a disease called SLE which limits my physical capacity at times and screen printing is very physical so I don’t always get as much done as I would like. You can cut lino sitting down which is an advantage!design-essentials-olsa-print-feather


Just to indulge me, your favourite Take That member?

I fail on this one! Can’t name one. My favourite music is classical, favourite composer WA Mozart.

Favourite drink

Tea, tea, tea – green or black, drunk without milk. Maybe tea should be the tool I can’t do without.



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