Behind the scenes of the popular tablecloth STILL LIFE

Join us for a look behind the scenes in the design of STILL LIFE, which dresses the table in simple garb to celebrate the life that unfolds around it. Designer Cecilie Manz talks about the creation of the stringent geometric pattern that is featured in full on the tablecloth and now also in smaller sections on place mats and table runners.
Cecilie Manz.
Cecilie Manz.

"I often look near before I look far. Much lies hidden right at your feet, in your own everyday life. STILL LIFE has a simple and geometric expression based on what I would choose if I were to give myself the gift of a quality tablecloth. Something made to last. Something classic. Sometimes it doesn't take much, but what's there has to be just right, of course. You need to apply yourself.

First I drew the patterns as lines on paper, many lines. Fairly soon I discovered that a tablecloth too has to be drawn on a 1:1 scale, like everything else I design. I drew ink lines on metres and metres of calico. The computer only came in during the final stage. The pattern itself is a repetition of lines based on a small number of rules: alternatively vertical and horizontal and in varying density.
Working on two planes only was a calm, pleasant task.

The name, 'Still Life', refers to the situation that will invariably emerge on and around the tablecloth: the table is laid, people gather, a mood arises. This tableau is a recurring image in still-life paintings. To me, it seemed obvious to celebrate the life that unfolds around a well-laid table.
I always work from the inside out: function, quality, simplicity, the right choice of materials and a good gut feeling. Both STILL LIFE and RAIN made sense to me in that precise execution and with exactly those lines. It was also really interesting to see how the place mats and the table runner found their own sections of the pattern report of the tablecloth, which is several metres long. I designed a simple template, and the placing of it seemed intuitively obvious.

I like to work in a long perspective, spinning one long tale with simplicity at its core. And I appreciate things that age well and develop a beautiful patina."