Born in 1930, Marthe Armitage studied at Chelsea School of Art. Having small children didn’t leave time to pursue her love of art and it wasn’t until they were growing up that she took to printmaking. She had always had an abiding interest in repeat pattern. Inspired by the woodblock printing of the craftsmen in India, where she had lived with her husband, took the first step into printing wallpaper.
Her first attempts were hesitant but successful and, using the primitive place-and-stand-on method of the earliest forms of printing, she produced wall paper for her own house.
Upon the acquisition of a hundred-year-old off-set lithograph proofing press, speed of production and accuracy were both increased and, while producing more designs, she began to print and sell. Orders were infrequent and through word-of-mouth until Hamilton & Weston took on the sales and promotion of the wallpaper. From this Marthe Armitage Prints Ltd was born.
The advent of the internet and a resurgence of interest in hand-made, authentic products are both factors in its continued growth as well as her daughter, Jo Broadhurst, who has been running the business alongside her.
Marthe has felt a need to express subjects beyond the limitations that repeat pattern presents and her lino cuts are an answer to that need. She has seven prints in her range, all of them hand printed and framed by her grandson, Jacob Broadhurst.