I first discovered Mirta Tyrrell of Modern Botanic’s designs on Instagram several months ago. The inspiration for her surface pattern was clear immediately: the shapes and forms of plants, their flowers and seeds. She seems to be as thrilled about the patterns made by humble species, ones that many may overlook or class as weeds, as I am. As an amateur botanist the sight of her prints on both fabric and paper in my feed made me realise that I’d found a botanical kindred spirit. I was also thrilled to discover a little more about some of the plants Mirta finds near Lake Como in Italy, where she lives, by examining her photographs and checking to see whether those species grow here in England on the edge of the Fens.
Mirta has just finished designing and hand-printing her 2016 calendar. I’m thrilled that she has agreed to share the creative processes she used to make it here. Below is Mirta’s account:
I began by deciding on the design I would use for each month, I was keen to use some of my best known illustrations in the finished calendar but also adding some new ones.
And you know what? A couple of new blocks that I really loved didn’t make it to the calendar because I didn’t think they would fit with the rest. I worked so hard on the November block and at the end it didn’t make it, it was a difficult decision, but I’m happy I took it. So these ones are now available as art prints.
The calendar is printed on the best recycled paper I could afford, made locally in Italy by a small producer who I know and trust. I thought carefully about all the details of my production being right so I can offer a completely eco friendly and handmade option.
And do you know what its the best thing about it? At the end of each month you can cut off the bottom part and keep the printed illustration as an art print. Or gift it to somebody else.
So I decided to print 20 copies and they’re available in my shop now, I’ll do a second batch if anyone would like more. I really hope you will like it as much as I loved making it.
Mirta’s calendar is a feat of making – a labour of love and the result is absolutely beautiful. Not only that I am utterly blown away by her English and it has inspired me to improve my Italian a little.