The Shape Lady | Rose Thomas of Flagge Haus


Okay, here we go again. It’s squiggle time. This time courtesy of the amazing independent designer maker, Flagge Haus. Around a month ago I came across a world of wiggles and squiggles over on Instagram and it was love at first sight, a festival of shapes and even better, in jewellery form. Now, I’m normally draped in silver but something about the Flagge Haus necklaces had me at hello and I knew I had to have one – one of those graphic statement necklaces to match my all black attire and provide that wow factor that is sometimes needed. Hey, I also like to surprise people every now and then by wearing something totally different. 

There was actually a competition running at the time so I entered and hey presto, I won! I was going to ask for an interview in any case but now I can say that I have tried and tested the product and as you can see taken some shots. Wonderful, isn’t it? 

Flagge Haus is the brain child of Rose Thomas, a designer maker based in London bringing the essence of the 80s and early 90s back to jewellery design. Each piece is handmade from laser cut acrylic and most of the designs come in an array of vibrant colours. The WIGGLE design that I’m lucky enough to own started life as a hand drawn shape, taking inspiration from 90’s surface design, Charles and Ray Eames, Matisse, Josef Frank, Estrid Ericson and natural shapes found in exotic leaves, coral and seaweed. Read on to find out a little more background about Rose and what is next in the world of wiggles.

What is your design background? 
I have a degree in Graphic Design which is where my official Design education began, but really it started years before in the ‘making things’ cupboard in my childhood home. I’ve always enjoyed making things with my hands, and after I graduated I knew I didn’t want to work as a traditional Graphic designer in a studio. At that time there was a big revival in traditional print techniques, which really engaged my love of design and making. After doing a few internships and short courses I was asked to return to my University to help set-up a new print studio and from there I started working as a Print Tutor, teaching various printmaking techniques in Art Schools. A few years ago I did an MA in Design Critical Practice at Goldsmiths which opened my practice up to a broader idea of design and led me towards being a Designer Maker.

How do you collate inspiration for your pieces / collections? 

I am a big fan of Pinterest, I do love a bit of organisation and systems of collation, so a website where I can store all my visual inspiration into different categories is right up my street. I take notes of names of artists I come across through exhibitions and books and find images of their work on the internet to pin to specific boards. I also take my own photos to upload and I tend to keep most of my boards set to private whilst I’m still pinning, I like that there is a public and a personal realm on Pinterest.


You obviously have a love of shapes, especially squiggly ones, where does this come from? 

I really don’t know, I just find a great enjoyment from drawing random patterns, I always have. Being born in the 80s some of my earliest memories are my Mum and her friends wearing amazing patterned leggings and I remember really being drawn to all things pattern all through my childhood. The squiggly shapes are a fairly recent development, I find myself going into a bit of a trance when I’m drawing them, my hand seems to take over and my brain doesn’t really get involved- it’s a bit hypnotic and relaxing. I’ve filled whole books with those patterns over the last few months, I get so carried away and can’t stop! 

How do you find being a designer maker living in London? 

I think London is an amazing place to be a designer, with amazing collections of design objects in museums like the V&A and the Welcome Collection and major exhibitions of artists at galleries like the Tate and the Barbican a bus ride away there is always somewhere to find inspiration. I also love living in South London with it’s big and beautiful parks, I spend as much time in the park as I do in the city when I looking for inspiration. It is also tough though, studio space is expensive and the rapid rate of development means that artists and designers are continuously being moved on from their studios so they can be turned into apartments. I know so many people who have up and left London in search of more space in the past few years and I can really see the appeal. 

What are your plans for the future?

At the moment I’m slowly building up my jewellery designs, turning my squiggle patterns into new pieces one by one. I’m starting to think about what next and have some ideas for creating textiles from the squiggle patterns so that’ll probably be my next squiggly adventure.

Follow Rose on Instagram and Twitter to keep updated and look out for more necklaces to be added to my collection very soon.

All pink images my own (obviously), monochrome images provided by Rose Thomas. 
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