From London to Lauder for artist

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Ross Porchetta Campbell has had quite a journey from working in advertising in London to handcrafting linens in Lauder.
Mr Campbell began creating the linens around four or five years ago.
“I play around with lots of colours and textures,” he said.
Mr Campbell’s journey to Lauder began around ten years ago when he moved back to Australia.
He had been working in packaging and graphic design in the middle of London when he decided to move to Brisbane, he said.
“I moved back to Brisbane – my sister had a little boy, and I thought I want to be part of his life.” “I sold up in the UK, and went to Brisbane, and ran an icecream stall for four and a half years, and then met my partner in Brisbane,” Mr Campbell said.
His partner, Kevin Scott, taught at Dunstan High School for many years, he said.
Mr Scott grew up in Lauder, and when they both retired, they made it their home, setting up a bed and breakfast, which Mr Campbell had extensively decorated with his handmade fabrics.
Mr Campbell printed on linens and on wool, and had used the fabrics to upholster chairs and sofas, plus cushions, curtains, duvets, lampshades and teatowels.
“I started out with cardboard cutouts that I stenciled, but that was painstaking,” he said.
“It took days to do each colour so I gave up on that, and I got some screens made.
He now created designs with the help of a computer, and sent them off to be transferred to screens.
“They go very well, they’re great fun, I love doing them.
“I grew up in Malaya and Singapore, and I had Scottish parents, so then I went off and studied in the arts college in Brisbane, and then went away off to London, and lived there for 25 years, so that was great fun,” Mr Campbell said.
Mr Campbell was inspired by English textile designer, William Morris, a champion of the arts and crafts movement of Victorian England.
“I felt it suited this house, the old mud brick dwelling,” he said.
During the summer months, he and Mr Scott were busy with travellers at their bed and breakfast.
The first year he arrived, it was the height of the tourist season, he said.
“We were completely flooded with people, night after night after night,” he said.
The rail trail was a big factor in the popularity of the area, he said.
“I think the area is changing with this trail,” Mr Campbell said.
“It’s a nice lifestyle, none of these businesses make you a fortune, they are just seasonal.
“But what it is, is a complete lifestyle change, and a lot healthier one that I had before.”
In the winter he had time to create more fabrics in his printing workshop.
“We have long winters here, and once the b and b finishes in April, that’s when I create, I have more time in the winter,” Mr Campbell said.
“It’s a nice little thing to do, and they are all handmade, so they are really special,” he said.
The imperfections of hand printed cloth was part of the appeal for Mr Campbell.
“Its so beautiful, its the `hand done-ness’ that makes it into an artwork,” he said.