Share this page

Monday 25 May 2020

Found in the Orleans House Gallery Shop!

Learn more about the artists, makers and producers that are featured in our gallery shop. Frances Kiernan is this week’s focus, who produces handmade paper based products.

Frances Kiernan – Paper products, patterns and printmaking

Some time ago, Frances was supplying the Victoria & Albert Museum shop with tiny hand-made book cards covered in Japanese hand-stencilled and hand-silk-screened decorative papers, and was inspired to create her own patterned papers.

She had trained as a typographer and graphic designer, often creating patterns as a means of communication for specific clients, and drawing on the influences of geometric design. This area of interest remained strong, alongside a developing love affair with paper. Frances acquired notebooks, sketchbooks, journals everywhere she travelled.

Her own designs tend to be hand-drawn or computer-generated, but more recently she has been creating wood-engraved patterns taken from the block.

One of Frances’s favourite pattern designers is Enid Marx a young artist in the 1920s and 30s who worked for Curwen Press, producers of some of the most important books and graphics of the inter-war years.

Frances first learned how to make books at Wimbledon School of Art, where she also studied for an MA in Fine Art Printmaking, later becoming a short course tutor at Chelsea College of Art, running book-binding workshops. She still enjoys sharing her skills with children and adults in community outreach work.

These days Frances tends to spend most of her time on fine art printmaking, working towards exhibitions, but still produces a limited number of notebooks, miniature book greetings cards pocket and zig-zag sketchbooks for Orleans House Gallery shop and for various Christmas fairs.

A tremendous amount of work goes into each item. They are beautifully hand-finished, some with traditional Japanese stitching; others with cord or ribbon closures. The choice of papers – always exquisite – might be Japanese; one of Frances’s own… or a Mark Hearld design. We are thrilled to be able to offer our visitors such beautiful hand-made creations.