Q&A with Thornback & Peel

Juliet Thornback and Delia Peel, founders of Thornback & Peel

How would you describe yourselves? We are the founders of Thornback & Peel which we established in 2007 to create and sell beautiful, intricately screen-printed pieces for the home. We still design everything ourselves in our London based studio.

We were introduced by a very clever friend who sensed that we shared a fascination for the slightly eccentric. Delia was working as a set designer at the Royal Court and Juliet as a florist, but at the time we met we were both looking to create a business by making something ourselves.  

Delia lived around the corner from Covent Garden flower market where Juliet had to go to source her flowers every other day. We would meet there (at crack of dawn) for a sausage sandwich and a cup of very strong tea to plan our collections. The business began in that café and on our kitchen tables. Eventually we graduated to a tiny studio space in Deptford with a desk as our print table and a few years later into the studio we’re in now in Bloomsbury.

Who are your greatest influences? We like to draw on British humour in our designs, updating classic ideas from old tales we loved as children. By playing with colour, form, and scale we produce prints with a little charm from the past. Sources for inspiration include anything from Mrs Beeton’s Household Management and Alice in Wonderland to 17th century microscope imagery of the natural world, and of course the British countryside.

What have been some of your best jobs/experiences at work and why?We love working collaboratively with other designers and brands. We are particularly proud of an exclusive design we did for Fortnum & Mason inspired by their wonderful beehives.

What would your superpower be?  The ability to be in two places at once.

Traditional vs contemporary style?  An eclectic mix of the both.

What would you consider your greatest achievement?  To produce the designs and product range we do with the lovely team we have is a privilege.

P.S. Last book you read?   Delia:  Child I by Steve Tasane (for my 12 year old daughter’s book club!) Juliet:  The Leopard by Tomasi de Lampedusa


For The Cheshire Magazine, December 2019

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