The sister pattern to our insanely popular Courtly Check®, Parchment Check was designed to be a softer version of our signature black and white pattern. Initially, Courtly Check was a small decorative element used to separate other patterns and give your eye a rest. But it took off, and now it’s a customer favorite. We spoke with our creative director, Rebecca Proctor, about its origins.
Parchment Check was inspired by love letters. “I love handwritten notes, and one day I was cleaning out my closet and pulled out a suitcase belonging to my grandmother. Inside was a little bundle of letters that she and my grandfather had written back and forth during their courtship,” says Rebecca. “There was one letter that was especially dear. Unfortunately, my grandmother wasn’t around to give me the full story, but this incredibly special letter had been opened and folded back up so many times, it had a checkerboard pattern.” And that was the inspiration for Parchment Check—the soft colors of the aged paper, and contrast of light versus dark where the paper was folded to form the checks. We added the hints of green and sky blue as our own artistic take on it.
Something interesting to note is the way the pattern varies between our ceramic and enamelware pieces. For our ceramics, we do an on-glaze technique using China paint. We then drag colors through the checks and add a 22K gold lustre. When applied, the lustre looks bright red because the gold is suspended in oils so that it can be brushed onto the piece. When fired, the oils burn off, and it morphs into a rich, luxe gold. It’s always a surprise! Our enamelware glaze is made with ground glass mixed with minerals to get the colors, then that’s mixed with water and painted onto the steel surface. If you look at Parchment Check enamelware, it’s more of a butter yellow, while our Parchment Check ceramics have more beige undertones.
“I love how neutral and soft the color palette is and how it appeals to many different tastes,” says Rebecca. “It’s easy on your eyes, and it allows the food to be the star of the show. Because it’s so neutral and soft, any color pops on top of the surface.”
Looking for some ideas on patterns to combine with this classic? Rebecca suggests Parchment Check as a complement for Courtly Check. Or try it with Kings Corners or Morning Glory, two of our newest patterns. It’s so soft and feminine, but still bold. Use Parchment Check as a layering tool, too; it gives your eye a break and helps to create wonderful barriers.
“There are no rules! Have fun and try different things together…find your own interesting combinations—even if that means using only one pattern or mixing a bunch of them. That’s how we do it, and we know you’ll come up with stunning tablescapes of your very own,” says Rebecca.
Happy table setting!