Sandra Hill stumbled across ‘Surface Pattern Design’ at a time in her life when she had a “really deep desire to be more creative”. Three years after this discovery she launched her textile design business ‘Simply Sandara’ at the Nanyuki Craft Fair.
To date Sandra has launched two collections: the ‘It’s a Breeze Collection’ and the ‘Mirage Collection’. Each collection is made up of five designs. The ‘It’s a Breeze Collection’ is based on plants that Sandra has come across. When she pulls out her yellow stripy notebook to make notes, I see leafy sketches interspersed between to-do lists.
The ‘Desert Sun’ design pictured above is part of the ‘Mirage Collection’. This collection was inspired by Lamu and Swahili culture. This design, in particular, was based on Swahili textile. When Sandra first started in textile design, she bought fabric paint from a craft shop at Muthaiga Mini Market and would craft lino-blocks on her dining room table after her children had gone to bed.
With time Sandra realised that in order to make her business commercially viable she would need to screen-print her fabrics. But Sandra still loves creating one-off prints and using the linocut method. This ‘Desert Sun’ design, printed here in saffron, started off as a hand-cut lino print.
Photograph courtesy of Simply Sandara.