Meet designer Teresa Moorhouse from Helsinki
Interview by Hanna Suominen, Mum's.
What is your first memory of design that you remember had affected you?
I don’t recall any first memory, more different atmospheres and feelings, and situations from my childhood; moments spent together around the dining table which has been decorated with beautiful mugs and decoration items.
I got to choose a new school bag for me when I went to the first grade, and I remember picking one of Marimekko’s blue and white striped shoulder bag which I wore a long time. I just wasn’t able to think it as a design memory until later my adult age.
Do you choose only design items for your home? Does your own hand print show in your home?
We have all sorts of items on our home; very old showcases and modern design all mixed up together. My own hand print shows as well e.g. in mugs, sheets, pillows and curtains.
When did you understand designing is your thing and took the pencil to design something? Or what tool did you use for your first design?
I had always been keen for clothes, styles and drawing.
As a teenager I searched flea markets (back then the flea markets weren’t as trendy as now-a-days) and I pieced together different ensembles and unusual materials. I started as a fashion designer. I studied in France and Finland and graduated as a designer. The textile as a material has always been very close to my heart. I got later interested in prints and how to express through drawings and prints. I feel I can piece together the material and image world with prints. This fascinates me. The ink pen has formed to be the most used tool for drawing.
You have been designing e.g. for Marimekko. Did some particular work make you known back-a- days?
I can’t say just one particular, my prints has always sold well. My Kaunis Kauris – print for Marimekko won Elle Deco award about the most beautiful print in year. This was personally a significant accomplishment for me.
What do you seen in your mind when you design? Do you see shapes, colors, inspiring images?
I seek feelings and memories from my mind when designing prints. I usually start from the outlines and then form the colors, composition and total ensemble.
Do you get inspiration from your surroundings spontaneously, or do you seek them from somewhere?
It depends; usually I build the final ensemble from my current inspirations at that moment, which can be memories, feelings, colors, and atmospheres whence I start to build new.
What kind of process the actual designing phase is for you? Do you work on some prints longer than other, or do the ideas come fast into the paper? Do you usually finish you work at once, or do you continue whenever the creative moments come?
For me, the designing process is a comprehensive process; I guess I subconsciously think things when I don’t directly work in them. Some prints I work longer than others but for me is actually really hard to separate them because every design work will push forward the future work etc.
It’s very rare that a work piece would form at once; I work on them almost always. It would be ideal to take break between the projects to get distance into work to be able to create new thoughts when returning to work.
You work together with MUM’s. How did you end up working together?
This is just fab! I had noticed the gorgeous rugs from MUM’s and I started to read about the story behind it; the ideology, ethical basis, values and the employment of women in the developing countries… Just great, there should be more of this!
I ventured to reach out to Outi and I suggested collaboration. We agreed, that I would make suggestions for new prints e.g. into rugs, and Outi gave me free hands. I'm looking forward really enthusiastically the new products I got to design for MUM’s.
Do you make decisions in your life often based on ethical values? Is this subject particularly important issue for you?
Yes, if there is a reasonable choice, of course I choose the ethical choice. I have kids and I want our planet to survive for the future generations as well. Just with small things you can affect.
What kind of products and materials with your prints is to be expected during the Spring?
There will be e.g. rugs and baskets, and as a material lovely thick wool.
There is an animal themed print and a nature spirited. Both for them I have drawn inspiration from the Finnish nature and images.
Are we going to see more of this collaboration with MUM’s?
Yes, definitely I hope so, Teresa said with big smile.