Thursday, 17 May 2012

Wallpaper Designs


Wallpaper Designs Biography
In 1959 Broadhurst established Australian (Hand Printed) Wallpapers Pty Ltd., which later became Florence Broadhurst Wallpapers Pty Ltd, advertised as "the only studio of its kind in the world".[1] Her brightly-coloured geometric and nature-inspired oversized designs were all hand printed. Technical advances made in her studio included printing onto metallic surfaces, the development of a washable, vinyl-coating finish and a drying rack system that allowed her wallpapers to be produced in large quantities.[1] By 1972, her wallpapers reportedly contained around 800 designs in eighty different colours,[1] while by the mid-1970s she monopolised the quality end of the Australian market and was exporting worldwide.[3]
Broadhurst's library of wooden silk-printing screens and film positives was sold to Wilson Fabrics and Wallcoverings in 1978, just one year after her death. However, the decline of wallpaper as a popular form of home furnishing in the 1980s saw the collection languish, and it was later re-sold to Signature Prints Pty Ltd. Signature Prints in turn was purchased by a conglomerate led by current CEO David Lennie in 1989. Lennie had previously run a small wallpaper company in Auckland, New Zealand and briefly met Florence Broadhurst before her death.
In the late 1990s, Chee Soon & Fitzgerald, a small but influential Sydney design store, held the wholesale and retail distribution rights for Broadhurst wallpaper. This led to some popularity in Sydney design circles but little media attention. In the early 2000s, Signature Prints made a conscious decision to promote Broadhurst's designs overseas, specifically in the UK. This effort, coupled with an international resurgence of interest in wallpaper, greatly increased the designer's profile and led to distribution deals being struck for both the UK and the US in 2003.
Five-hundred and thirty Broadhurst designs are in the company's collection but only a small proportion are printed by the company as wallpaper and fabric. The company retains strict control over the designs and insists printing take place in its inner-city Sydney factory. Some licences have been granted for other uses, such as high-end fashion pieces by designers Akira Isogawa, Nicky Zimmermann and Karen Walker. In late 2008, Cadrys Handwoven Rugs (based in Sydney, Australia) launched The Florence Broadhurst Rug Collection in Australia & the US featuring 10 designs with many more to follow, featuring Tibetan handspun wool, pure silk and other natural fibres. Their Florence Broadhurst Rug Collection was to be launched in Asia in 2009
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