Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at Sustomi? Local Artist Christina Graham introduces you to her newest print; Tropical Fronds and the design process behind it!
With the release of our newest Beeswax Wrap Pattern, we’re giving you a unique insight into our design process. At Sustomi we’re passionate about waste reduction and helping our community live waste free but, we also feel that Zero Waste should be stylish!

All our Beeswax Wraps are designed locally in Tasmania, most of them at our studio in Hobart.  Our customers love our unique designs and each one has a special story behind them.  Most of the patterns you see on your wraps are designed by Bronwyn, founder and director of Sustomi.

Recently we’ve been collaborating with local artists and artisans.  Our first collaboration was with Christina Graham.  A local Tasmanian artist, Christina and Bronwyn grew up together in Launceston.  Twenty-two years later they are still fast friends and now collaborating to create new fabric designs for Sustomi. 

Tropical Fronds: Freshly Waxed

THE IDEA

Christina is the artist behind our latest Sustomi print; Tropical Fronds.  This new print was inspired by a trip to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.  After attending the Brisbane Finders Keepers Market, Bronwyn and Christina made the most of a few days off and headed north to the Sunny Coast.  The sea air and morning walks among the rainforests inspired a new pattern for Sustomi.  Christina collected photos of the tropical leaves and ferns before they headed back to Tasmania. 

Tropical Fronds Work In Progress - Christina Graham

AT THE DRAWING BOARD

Christina paints primarily in watercolour, using a mix of dry and liquid paints to create the different colours and textures on paper.  The painting process for Tropical Fronds started with a light pencil outline of the leaf or frond.  The pencil provides an guide for where to place the paint.  Watercolour is a water based paint, that is recognisable by its transparency and softer tones.  For the Tropical Fronds pattern, Christina used a variety of greens, mixing some of the pigments together to create new colours.  Watercolour paint can be a very unforgiving medium, it’s impossible to erase from the paper and one small mistake isn’t going away. 

Tropical Fronds Design Work In Progress Christina Graham Tropical Fronds Design Work In Progress Christina Graham

Once the initial painting was complete, Christina scans and uploads the design to Photoshop.  From there it’s an intricate process to try and match the colours of the digital image to the original painting as accurately as possible. 

The final stage in the process of making a pattern is to create a design that repeats indefinitely.  In order to accomplish this the pattern needs to be dynamic and not obviously repeating.  The hardest part is lining up the edges so that they fit together seamlessly.  Once the digital pattern file is completed it’s sent out to be printed onto natural cotton fabric. 

THE FINAL PRODUCT

Tropical Fronds Freshly Waxed Design Tropical Fronds Freshly Waxed Design

Tropical Frond print is our newest limited edition print, it’s available for purchase online in our 2 Pack, Starter Pack and 4 Pack

You can find out more about Christina and her work here and on Instagram.

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