WHO ON EARTH ARE WE!

Where it all started....

30 years ago my folks, Malcolm and Ros Christian, moved back to KZN after a few years in Joburg. They had found this amazing little Methodist chapel just up the road from long time friends David and Michelle Walters who had a pottery at the, then still standing, Caversham Mill. My Dad started The Caversham Press the first private fine art printmaking studio in South Africa, working on a collaborative basis with Artists . The Chapel was converted into a studio and a double storey stone house was built adjoining it with the veranda bordering the gravestones. So this is how my brother, Terence, and I grew up. Surrounded by incredible creativity and a constant flow of artists through the house, and our lives - and when we looked out of the windows, a reminder of our mortality. This certainly gives one a unique perspective on life! Like most teenagers growing up in a small town, the one thing you want to do when you matriculate is to get out of town and head off to, what at that stage of your life appears to be, bigger and better things.... the bright lights. I went off to Durban and completed a BA Honours Degree in Fashion Design. I started working for a Fashion Designer towards the end of my final year and then moved into the manufacturing industry where I stayed for just over 8 years. In that time I had married and had my first precious boy and couldn't face the long, grueling hours and highly stressful clothing industry any more. I left and started a small company that produced handmade kiddies linen and decor and my Dad and I attempted some fabric printing because I could never find the prints I wanted. Well that fizzled out when my second bouncing boy came along. Once kids come into your life there is a major shift in your perspective and my husband and I started talking about moving back up to the Midlands, a far better life for kids than the city air and urban living. So after some serious discussion we came to the decision to make the move and at the beginning of January 2013 we trekked back up the hill to the fresh air of Caversham.

How it came about....

I was here to help out with The Press but my Dad wanted me to do something I was passionate about. Our initial endeavours into fabric printing had re-ignited an existing desire to print beautiful fabrics and so we decided that would be the direction to go! What on earth could we do with our fabrics that would make them appealing and different from what is so readily available out there? Well, we do have a significant resource of thousands of prints from which we could draw inspiration and there was a wonderful synergy there, keeping the traditional printmaking going but in a new way. Our journey began at the beginning of 2012 and Caversham Textiles came to life after months of hard work and experimentation and we launched at Design Indaba 2014. Throughout the initial phases we were fortunate enough to have Christiane Voith working with us.  Sadly however she had to return to Germany at the end of 2014. 

Where we are today....

Caversham Textiles has now become very much a family business. My Dad, being a Master Printer, has an incredibly valuable and extensive knowledge of traditional print techniques and processes. And his ingenuity for overcoming obstacles is simply amazing.... something that my brother seems to have.  My Dad still helps with the printing and his perfectionist nature ensures that our hand printed fabrics are 99,9% perfect - it is sometimes hard to believe that they have been printed by hand. Terence, my brother, built the studio and the main structure for our printing table. My Mom takes care of all our admin and she and I decide on the colours, designs and product development. She too is a perfectionist and has made up countless samples and products in our start up phase. But we wouldn't have textiles without designs and this is where I come in. Taking an element from a print or an image provided by an artist and transforming that into a beautiful design. Being a family business we are all involved in various other areas as well.... and we are trying to get my talented husband, Dale, to help us out with the sales...

It is such a huge privilege to be able to work with family and create products that seem to constantly blow people away. And we still get on despite being in business together....and that is a real bonus!

We would not be where we are now without our small team of wonderful individuals who help us achieve our goal of printing and producing these high quality fabrics and products. 

The End.... well not quite, that's it for now with more amazing things to come...