Adam Jones likens establishing Quercus & Co. in 2012 to jumping off a cliff. “I had no designs, no clients, and no idea if anyone would like what I would do. I was, however, gripped by determination which has brought me to where I am today.”
Having clientele located around the globe is a testament to the widespread appeal of the cultural pattern influences which are reflected in the Company’s wallpaper and fabric collections.
Adam once said a basic pattern can be found to be the same in China, Europe, the Middle East – like colour, it’s relatively universal. This insight is illustrated by MILL (shown top left), which could be a woven basket design in Asia or an ornate metal grill in the Middle East. TAPESTRY (second row, left) could be a well worn Moroccan rug or part of a patchwork quilt from any number of regions in the world.
The Quercus & Co. creative style is guided by Adam’s interest in working with constructing an artwork. “The design creation process is definitely the most joyful part of what I do. The research I undertake feeds my endless fascination of the history of colour and pattern across the world. A fabulous art teacher at school taught us to spin and weave – we would literally start with raw sheep wool and finish with a woven fabric. Studying Textile Art at college I was interested in the same constructive process in terms of the printed surface. Now I work with ink and paper in the same way. The design process of painting on paper is an essential ingredient of what I’m becoming known for as a brand.”
For me, it is the presence of the artist’s hand in each Quercus & Co. design which is so captivating. The confidence to reproduce the watercolour effect as it appears in the original artwork and embrace its tendency to bleed and blotch. Celebrating these markings – and not seeing them as flaws – adds a wonderful textural element and increased depth to these designs. Originality and beauty captured in their rawness.
Interestingly, Adam initially studied as a textile artist yet has made a conscious decision to pursue digital printing of his wallpapers and fabrics. “I immediately dismissed digital printing because the process is as much a part of my creative style as the end result. However, it soon became apparent digital printing is no different. It’s essentially ink on paper as in any other form of printing. The scope is also much broader and allows me to be a lot more expressive in the painting process.”
“Digital output has the added advantage of allowing for ‘micro-batch printing’. All my wallpaper designs are printed in panels to custom fit the wall. Each panel is pattern matched and numbered reducing waste and cost to the client. So all Quercus & Co. wallpaper and fabric is printed to order with no minimum requirement.”
Adam has not limited his collection to wallpapers and fabrics. The range also includes a wonderful collection of original hand-painted wall hangings, wallpaper tiles, art prints and decals. I especially love the originality of his beautiful wall stamps.
Colour and design have always intersected in Adam’s varied careers as a teacher, colourist, decorative painter, and landscape designer. “Every job I have worked has helped with what I do now. All knowledge and experience is equal; from working on a cash register to organising a stock room.”
“The time I spent at college was a very conceptual period in art. Textile design was not the cool thing to do. I didn’t imagine starting my own pattern design company until many years later; although I definitely had a quiet burning ambition inside to do something. Our new Suketchi collection has been inspired by Japanese woodcut prints and my mind is now returning to the Middle East for the next series.” Cue the hand of the Artist.
- UK representation: George Spencer Designs
- Visit George Spencer Designs during Focus/17 at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, 17 to 22 September
Featured image: Tempest in Celeste from the Suketchi Collection.
Clockwise from top left: Mill in Ochre; No.6 in Indian Red; Bargello in Empire; Morph in Navy; Spanish Tile No.1 in Rosa; Starlit in Ao; Q in Indian Red; Facet in Midnight Blue; Kilim in Water Green; Tapestry in Emerald; and Heath Banksia in Copper.
All images supplied. Images © Quercus & Co.