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Meet the maker: Part 3 - Snowtap

Alice Ryan meets three people with an eye on a home-made Christmas. Today, Snowtap.

From foraged flowers and foliage to animals sketched from David Attenborough documentaries, the natural world features heavily in Snowtap’s designs. The duo - Susy Snow and Gracie Tapner, hence the brand name - have just released a collection of the prettiest Christmas decorations: a constellation of hanging stars, each capturing a piece of botanical printmaking within glossy, fairy light-reflecting resin. Each print is original and one of a kind.

“The seasons play a major role in inspiring our printmaking work, mainly due to what we can forage for, as we use real leaves, herbs and flowers which change throughout the year,” explains Susy.

“We’re also inspired by ANY David Attenborough documentary! We often sketch out ideas while watching, and it's why you can find some very unusual animals being featured in our work,” adds Gracie, indicating their new ‘arty octopus’ T-shirt.

Meet the Makers: Snowtap (22216559)
Meet the Makers: Snowtap (22216559)

Susy and Gracie became “best mates” at the University of Westminster back in 2011, where both studied Illustration and Visual Communication. But it wasn’t until 2016 they considered working together. “While having a catch up coffee in King’s Cross, chatting about the grinds of working in ‘the industry’, we joked about the idea of running a studio together and working for ourselves,” explains Susy.

“When the name Snowtap came up, we looked at each other with a look that said ‘We could do this. . .’, then fell about laughing! Less than a month later, we took the plunge and launched Snowtap with a website and two Father's Day card designs.”

Now both based in Newmarket, Gracie’s hometown, the friends work out of each other’s houses as well as favourite local cafes, producing everything from greeting cards, loved for their cute pictures and clever puns, to coasters, art prints, textiles and custom-made commissions.

Meet the Makers: Snowtap (22216562)
Meet the Makers: Snowtap (22216562)
Meet the Makers: Snowtap (22216557)
Meet the Makers: Snowtap (22216557)

“Together we create everything in Snowtap, often working together, or having the other person finish off what the other started,” says Gracie. “We have different skill sets from our previous jobs, so while Susy is doing the graphic design work, I’ll be illustrating.”

Describing their style as “whimsical and often quite random; our Christmas chameleons cards spring to mind”, they work mostly in watercolour and gouache, line drawing, printmaking and collage.

Selling their wares at Cambridge’s All Saints’ Garden Art & Craft Market and The Makers’ Shelf on Newmarket’s Old Station Road - where you’ll find their Christmas stars on sale now - Susy and Gracie admit that starting their own business hasn’t been all plain sailing, with 90-hour weeks often the norm. But there is, they add, an enormous sense of reward, too: “Watching people flick through our cards at the markets and chuckling to themselves is an unbeatable feeling!”

Visit snowtap.co.uk and follow @snowtap on social for more.

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