M2 is a creative collaboration between Laura and her mother-in-law (and renowned potter) Helen Martino. It began with Helen’s imaginative and expressive surface patterns and Laura’s keen eye for design and love of stationery, and has evolved into an innovative way to showcase the designs and creations of other disciplines in a way that is accessible to anyone.
Read on below to discover more about this exciting new brand and the craftsmanship that goes into making it.
Laura Martino started her career designing swimwear prints for Olympic teams for one of the sportswear global giants, and went on to have a hugely successful career in designing swimwear and lingerie for several brands. When COVID hit the UK she was made redundant and so, like many others, had to rethink where her life was going.
At the same time her mother-in-law Helen was also having to rethink how and where she showed her work, as galleries and open studios were being closed and she could no longer showcase her work in the traditional way.
So, after putting their heads together, they decided to combine their talents and passions.
How it's made
This journey began when Laura, having recently renovated her family home, commissioned Helen to create a multi-piece ceramic wall hanging to take centre-stage in her open plan kitchen/diner at the heart of the home. The resulting artwork was inspired by a modern Scandi design aesthetic and has timeless appeal.
The expressive surface pattern Helen created for this piece is what inspired Laura to create M2. She commissioned a friend and print designer to re-create the pattern as a repeat print, which she then had made into notebooks and wrapping paper.
After much searching, Laura found the ideal printing company for this new project right here in the UK – Calverts Coop. Specialising in the traditional technique of offset lithography, Calverts has been printing using this method since 1977.
Using this technique, the printed image is first transferred from a plate to a rubber ‘blanket’, and then from this onto paper using pressure. Inks are mixed individually to achieve accurate colour representation.
As the environment is so important to Designed and Created, ensuring the production was environmentally friendly was a key factor in choosing a printing company to work with. Calverts are committed to ‘green’ printing, having been officially certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and is ISO 14001 certified along with all their paper being fully recyclable.
In the future, Laura hopes to do more collaborations with other artists to see how other creative disciplines can inspire her designs.