Somewhere on the Watledge road that meanders from my village of Amberley into Nailsworth, lived the Welsh poet, W.H Davies. Above his door is a carved inscription of his most famous poem.
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
Susie Hetherington is one those rare people who takes time to stop and stare. Even when she is juggling her three children and flourishing career as a textile designer, she notices the details of life.
Her patterns reflect the simple beauty of the natural world - the curve of the willow, the turn of the feather, the crispness of an autumn leaf, the ripeness of a peony flower. They aren’t twee or fussy, they truly evoke what she sees around her.
(Left to right, Tournebury in Midnight, Peony Bee in Slate, Daisy Daisy in Mustard)
Our association runs deep. As neighbours, she’s babysat my children, lent (still unreturned) books, baked cakes, provided a shoulder to cry on, bestowed wise words in difficult situations. She is most definitely a thick and thin friend.
And as a neighbour we have a shared vocabulary of our village - the commons and cows, the pushchair unfriendly, unforgiving hills, the carpet of wild flowers and far reaching sunsets. We have a real love of where we live. It infuses her work as much as it does mine.
Susie designs the beautifully printed wraps we use for our natural soaps. Her designs are the perfect foil and working with her is a joy. She gets Soap Folk. I don’t have to explain it. Over cups of tea, we talk about the verdancy of peppermint or the nostalgia of Rose Geraniums. She puts into design my love for the ingredients I use.
My hope is that for whoever receives one our wrapped soaps might take a moment to stop and stare, and enjoy Susie’s lovely work.
(Left to right, Lavender & Oatmilk, Peppermint, Rose Geranium)
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