Claire Heffer + Countlan
It was serendipity that we found Claire, or rather, Claire found us. If you have been following the Countlan blog, perhaps you have noticed we’ve been blogging quite a bit about different applications of illustration for tableware.
Claire Heffer, a talented graphic design graduate from Central Saint Martins in London, contacted us about her illustration work and we were thrilled to make her acquaintance. We did a bit of brainstorming together and came up with another way to depict tableware: A Downton Abbey inspired spring table setting.
Claire: “I have an interest in the culture of dinners and banquets through different eras. The idea for this illustration came from a diagram of how to lay a perfect table that was inspired by the style of Downton Abbey, the British television series set in the 1910s/20s. The link I made to Downton was the regimental manner in which their tables and meals were organized. It is a style with many forks, knives, proper spacing and all the superfluous extras.”
01 SCALLOPED TABLE EDGE DIY PROJECT, Oh Happy Day
02 DIPPED CUTLERY DIY PROJECT, Jessica Demaio
03 HERITAGE WINE GLASS, Anthropologie
04 FILIGREE BUTTERFLY PLACE CARD, Celebrations Plus
05 ENGLISH ROSE DINNER PLACE, David Austin
06 TEACUP AND SAUCER SET, Oliver Bonas
07 CERAMIC CUPCAKE STAND, Whitney Smith Pottery
08 HYDRANGEAS CENTREPIECE, DIY PROJECT, Jenny Steffens
INTERVIEW: Claire Heffer, Illustrator
What Inspires Your Illustrations?
I draw quite a bit and take a lot of inspiration from magazines and blogs. It’s amazing how one little thing, like a colour or a pattern, will set the wheels in motion for an idea for a piece of art or a whole new project. Whenever I think of inspiration, I am always reminded of how Vladimir Nabokov was inspired to write Lolita after seeing a painting produced by an ape in a zoo in Paris, the painting depicted the bars on the ape’s cage.
How Did You Become an Illustrator?
My design career happened by accident; I needed to take an extra college course at Central Saint Martins, in London and randomly picked a graphic design course on the advice that graphic design could help a fashion career. I ended up dropping out of my textile course and continued my path in graphic design and illustration. I was very lucky to get into Central Saint Martins because there are thousands of applicants and only a few hundred spots.
What’s Up Next for You?
I started my website and Etsy store in September, so it’s still early days. At the moment there are three main projects in the shop. I have a typography poster collection based on famous quotes, a set of simple illustrations that I have drawn digitally, which are based on magazine covers, movie posters and (soon) album covers. The third set is a hand-drawn set of illustrations. These are solid shapes, mostly of natural things like birds and animals, drawn in a line a circle technique. I enjoy drawing these because you have no idea how a piece will turn out each drawing looks different every time.
I am also currently working on a series of line drawings of maps, which will be in the shop very soon; I have recently finished a map of the world and I am planning to complete a series of custom maps of states and cities. I am hoping to develop these into more complex drawings once I have honed the skills into drawing lines in the form of roads and avenues.