Textile designer Nancy Wallart is a ‘Provençal girl’ as she puts it, and has an inspiring textile design boutique, Impressions du Sud. Jeany visited her workshop last year, and we love her passion for this traditional art form.
In this article, she gives us an insight into her work and her world:
Block Printing and Batik
Block printing and batik are traditional textile processes that tell the story of heritage and transmission. I like it when textile tells stories. Artisan-made is the new way of consuming because it creates value, as handcrafted block-printed textiles have a different vibration. A magic one. It can talk if we listen … it’s a question of sounds, music and rhythms.
The challenge is to coordinate different prints and colors. What makes it fascinating is when everything falls into place. It is like a metaphor of composing with the different aspect of ourselves.
Working with clients, I first listen to their needs and motivations. Then we discuss patterns and colors. There is a wall of textile patterns and stripes and they choose what speaks to them. Then the fun begins of playing with different options until the client is happy. I prepare samples for them to test at home to see how it all vibes together with other elements of their decoration. Then we create the real magic…
Travelling opens you up to other rhythms and cultures, increases your creativity and empathy, and helps forge new opportunities. 2/3 of my clients are foreigners, as I was able to learn English during my time working in India (it is well connected with Great Britain, United States and Australia).
I love being able to share my passion for patterns and colour with interior designers and private clients, creating bespoke home and wall decor, curtains, etc… I also create special collections (limited-edition) for retailers like Alinea, Carrefour, and Bricorama (mainly textile wall decorations). Thankfully the forgotten craft of block-printing is once again becoming well-known and appreciated in France.
My Etsy shop offers one-of-a-kind private collections, cushions, table decor, blankets, beach kimonos, tote bags, home decor and women’s accessories. I was delighted when style guru Jeany bought some table covers and napkins.
Women’s Handicraft Enterprise
As I travelled and lived in India and Africa, I understood that to help women get more access to work from home is to give them possibilities to raise their children and therefore to be better adults.
When I create a collection for the mass-market, it doubles my joy as this also gives me the opportunity to work with women in an ESAT (not-for-profit org) from Marseille. 10% of my online sales from ‘Impressions du Sud‘ goes to 2 foundations of my choice: KIVA (micro-credit loans) and Humanium (education).
Block Printing Workshops
2 or 3 times a year I open my studio to hold block printing workshops. People enjoy learning about the craft by creating a wall panel for their home. There are also a number of informative videos on my Instagram IGTV Channel, and I’m preparing Zoom courses about the creative process and how to be more creative in our lives.
La vie est belle en Provence
I enjoy spending time in Cotignac, one of the most charming villages that I know of in Provence with an interesting melting-pot of tradition and modernity. Nature and calm is everywhere. I love the Notre-Dame de Grâces area, the history of the hotel d’ Huguette Caren in the 70’s, the open-air cinema festival Les Toiles du Sud in summer, the Christmas cribs competition each December and of course my yoga courses with Claudine! But I don’t like the boars while you’re driving. Modernity is what all the foreigners living here bring to this village.
“My 5 senses are heightened in Provence and ready to nourish my inspiration and my sensitivity.“Nancy Wallart, Impressions du Sud
We are so lucky to live in the south east of France! I am a Provence girl and love hiking in the Var hills. Inspired by the words of Jean Giono or Marcel Pagnol, I can feel this heritage while breathing in the perfume of the wild garrigue, admiring the vineyards, rays of sunshine and the colours of the landscape, bracing the mistral wind in Marseille or walking down the old city of Aix-en-Provence. I have moved a lot but each time I return to Provence.