A little bit of background story to Peak District Design
Si Homfray is an artist, designer, professional creative, adventurer and author.
He set up and runs Hammer Design and Peak District Design in Hathersage in the Peak District.
Peak District Design Gallery
A small friendly gallery displaying Si Homfray’s thoughtful, contemporary and colourful artworks. The shop offers various ranges of design led quality giftware, soft furnishings and ceramics.
The business Peak District Design and Si Homfray the individual are focused on quality products, sustainable local manufacturing and strong ideas that resonate with customers.
Peak District Design was set up, after a lifetime living in the Peak District, as an outlet for Si Homfray’s artistic expressions of the National Park. His many travels and varied physical activities in the Park combined with a curiosity to find new ways of presenting and sharing information are leading to themes around well being and the natural world and how our immersion works effectively to create personal growth and inner calm.
Si Homfray is driven by the need to constantly improve while ensuring accuracy and detail are correct. His work often starts with long lists of everything encountered, such as wildlife, flowers, leaves or local villages, and these indexes become the basis for pattern, and textures used in larger more literal representations, often displaying many levels of complexity, rhythm and colour.
Actively seeking conversations with gallery visitors, seizing every opportunity to listen, is helping ensure that the product development process stays relevant and fresh.
The few designs that make it from paper patterns, visuals and mock ups are then used for product manufacture.
Si is constantly questioning and looking at the detail of everything. Sketching, noting and storing patterns with librarian passion every day, he organizes and files project material for the future tirelessly, knowing that when the right questions are asked and the ideas tie together material can be more easily accessed and the work will hopefully yield something fresh from the energy of a new project.
Using this detailed process and being able to quickly liberate strong source material for design expansions, Si is planning on a long life to come exploring greater expressions on well being and the timeless themes of nature, the outdoors and our relationships with it.
A life changing event
On 15 May 2012 Si was involved in motorbike accident. He was catapulted over a car and down a ditch at 50mph and incredibly survived.
After a while in hospital, having banged his head, and broken nearly every bone to some degree or the other, there followed some facial surgery and eight months of rehabilitation.
Despite these injuries, and an initial lack of mobility, the principle emotion he had at the time was a sense of relief that he could now change his life.
Travel and rehabilitation
For rehabilitation, Si planned and underwent a solo adventure that involved him running 3,500 miles from the UK, across France and Italy, through the Balkans and on to Turkey.
“Being away on my own for the best part of two years was very important, an artistic as well as a physical endeavour. It gave me time and space to decide on a new vocation”.
Si left the UK in early 2013 and arrived back in Hathersage towards the end of 2014, where he started on the final venture for the rest of his life, and launched Peak District Design in 2016.
“I finally realised that I had always wanted to be an artist, but during my formative years I was repeatedly told that you can’t survive as an artist, that there’s no money it is, so it is a relief to discover otherwise.”
“I truly relish this artistic liberation and I think that finally after 35 years I no longer need to ask the question about success and money. If you’re passionate about what you do you will always find a way achieve your goal, no matter how long it takes.”
“I have been incredibly lucky to have the chance to re-start my life. The crash could have killed me or left me totally incapacitated, but I survived and I am making the most of every day and appreciating the beauty of this amazing place I am proud to call home.”
“Sometimes you just have to stop and look around you with fresh eyes. Find the detail in the simplest of things, the head of a flower, the pattern of the fields, the sound of the birds.”
Today, Si is at his happiest, both in terms of his work and his life, which he no longer needs to separate — he loves his work and, therefore, his life.
Si Homfray. October 2019.