She says of inspiration: “When I start a design, I sort through the images in my photos, art books, or my sketches, and pull out single concepts and lines. Often, I sketch out a composition with pencil on graph paper (even though my designs don’t have much to do with the grid lines!) or I paint quick strokes on big sheets of paper with black sumi-e ink. Eventually, I finish the design with lines and vectors on the computer (which is definitely the least sexy part of the process!)."So how do the designs go from Nancy's drawings to your walls? She gives an overview of the process: "The finished design, in exact repeat, proper scale and separated by color, is printed on vellum paper, then burned onto screens. Each color has its own screen. The hand-screened quality is very evident in our wallpaper, especially when you look at the paper up close. Overall, the paper has a very rich, warm appeal to it, which is often lacking in machine manufactured wallpaper. Once clean, FSC-certified ground paper is rolled onto the clean tables, the screen is locked into the notches set up along the side of the table, and the screener uses a squeegee-type tool to pull the color through the screen. This process is repeated along the length of the paper and once it dries, the second color is applied in the same way.”
There you have it! Of course, Nancy uses all low-impact, water-based inks and never any toxic vinyl for her Mod Green Pod wallpapers, so this isn't quite the same method as all wallpapers are made, but we sure enjoyed the visual tour! We also loved her method of inspiration gathering. Is that similar to how you gather inspiration for your own artistic endeavors? Let us know. And thanks to Nancy for a peek inside the wallpaper industry!
(Photos: provided by Nancy Mims)