The most gifted textile designer of her generation, Shirley Craven won a string of awards during the 1960s. This book celebrates her remarkable achievements at Hull Traders and documents her arresting hand screen-printed furnishing fabrics in full. Big bold abstracts were her speciality, striking in colour and breathtakingly original in style. A visionary small company with high ideals, Hull Traders made its mark initially with designs by artists Eduardo Paolozzi, Nigel Henderson and Ivon Hitchens. Under Craven's direction Hull Traders issued a string of ground-breaking textiles during the 1960s by forty artist-designers, recorded here in their entirety for the first time. Contributors included Althea McNish, John Drummond, Peter McCulloch, Doreen Dyall, Roger Limbrick, Cliff Holden, Richard Allen and Dorothy Carr. In 1966 Hull Traders branched out into furniture with the launch of Bernard Holdaway's revolutionary tom-tom range made of painted cardboard tubes - an icon of the Swinging Sixties, based entirely on circular forms, sold all over the world.
Drawing on pioneering new research by leading post-war design historian Lesley Jackson, this book traces the fascinating, hitherto untold story of Hull Traders and its unique creative alliance with Shirley Craven and Bernard Holdaway. Featuring stunning new photography and rare archive photographs, it captures the explosion of creativity during the 1960s and provides a visual feast of inspirational post-war pattern and form. This work accompanies a major touring exhibition curated by Lesley Jackson, opening at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, 3 October 2009 - 3 January 2010.