Caversham Textiles, taking fine art into fabric

The Caversham Press, a professional printmaking studio, was established in 1985 by Malcolm Christian at Caversham in the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, housed within an 1878 Wesleyan Methodist Chapel building. This acclaimed hub of creative energy, which has seen collaborations with so many of the country’s most talented artists, is now branching out into a new artistic enterprise, Caversham Textiles. Spearheaded by Malcolm’s daughter Sally Scott, this second generation evolution takes the printing equipment of The Caversham Press in a new direction: screenprinting innovative designs, many sourced from original Caversham Press prints, onto high quality cotton fabrics for the interior decorating market.

Sally, who grew up in a home surrounded by artists and vibrant creative stimulation, studied as a fashion designer and has several years’ experience in this field. In a collaborative project very similar to many that Malcolm facilitated over the years, the father and daughter team have combined Sally’s eye for fashion and desirable designs with Malcolm’s technical screenprinting expertise to produce a collection of superb quality, exquisite hand-printed fabrics. Design elements vary from historically popular images chosen from Caversham Press prints (including works by the late Gabi Nkosi, who ran The Caversham Press outreach programme in the 2000s), to newly created artworks by acclaimed artists from The Caversham Press stable past and present, such as current artist-in-residence, Vusi Zwane. Walter Oltmann, a friend of many years who babysat Sally and her brother when they were little, has donated three designs, and Sally created designs from two artworks given as artists’ gifts to the family – a sculpture from Peter Schutz and an oil painting from Robert Hodgins.

Sally and Malcolm were recently joined by Christiane Voith, a designer from Germany who has been in the country since 2006, working on reviving the ELC Arts and Craft Centre at Rorke’s Drift. One of the facets of the job was to re-establish the textile printing studio there and market the resulting fabrics, which Christiane achieved most successfully. When her contract at Rorke’s Drift came to an end she joined The Caversham Press as a senior consultant, bringing a wealth of administrative and marketing experience in addition to her extensive knowledge of fabric design and printing.

Caversham Textiles was launched in February this year at Design Indaba in Cape Town, International Design Capital 2014. In addition to its collection of fabrics, the studio will tailor-make bespoke designs according to the client’s requirements. There is also a select range of soft furnishings hand produced from the textiles, including slip covers, cushions, window blinds, pouffes, aprons and tea cosies.

Contact Sally on 083 305 2928/info@cavershamtextiles.com or Christiane on 076 186 5868/ sales@cavershamtextiles.com for details or visit www.cavershamtextiles.com

Newsflash: an open day to showcase the fabrics is being held at Caversham Textiles on Saturday 31 May from 10am to 4pm. All are welcome.

Caversham Textiles - Sally and Christiane

Sally Scott (left) and Christiane Voith.

caversham Textiles - Malcolm Christian and press

Malcolm Christian and the press.

Caversham Textiles - fabric selection (2)

The Caversham Press in the picturesque KZN Midlands, an acclaimed hub of creative energy, has branched out into a new artistic enterprise, Caversham Textiles. Photo: supplied.