Meet the Maker

Time With Polly Ruocco


We are extremely lucky to have been able to launch the &hobbs website with Polly Ruocco as our featured artist.

Selling a collection  of original drawings that she has created especial for you lot. So we thought we better introduce you all to her, and find out a little bit about who she is and what makes her tick.

I have personally worked along side Polly for a while now, and I have to say she's one inspirational individual! 

With so many skill sets, this girl can dream up beautiful environments at a drop of a hat. One of my favourite things about this lady is her ever growing collection of art work. So that is what I was desperate to share with the world!

So here she is in her own words, Mrs Polly Ruocco...

Tell us a little about you:

In a nut shell I am a freelance Visual Merchandiser and Stylist, which involves a broad spectrum of work; from dressing windows on Piccadilly High Street, to opening new stores for various retailers, to cutting patterns for my friend’s interior business, or one of my favourites…drawing! My job is varied to say the least which is brilliant as I have lots of different interests - so freelancing suits me perfectly. My experience of working with brands such as Cath Kidston and Anthropologie has given me the confidence to branch out and explore new creative ventures! 

My creativity began from a very early age and I have always been interested in beautiful objects and interiors, (however, my biggest downfall is packaging - if it is contained in a beautiful box the product is as good as sold)! My interest in design has always been there and I still love making things by hand - this is always the thing that satisfies me the most! I can remember as a little girl making dream catchers for my bedroom window and birthday cards for my friends. If I could make it I would! 

I went to Winchester School of Art where I studied Textile Art. The majority of my work referenced the process of weaving and referred to the element of time. The drawings which I have commissioned for &hobbs have been heavily influenced from my time at University and still explore these same notions. I have always been influenced by Scandinavian design and the simplicity of their aesthetic. As a result, my drawings take on this vibe to produce a clean, tranquil contemporary drawing for the home. This recent collaboration with &hobbs has enabled me to be inspired by some of their geometric designs, which can be found on their beautiful pieces of restored furniture.

What is your favourite space?

The Hambledon which is a store in Winchester. Not only does it have lovely products but the dressing of the store is laid back/relaxed but amazingly stylish.

The building itself is typically beautiful, high ceilings, sash windows, uneven floor boards and a gorgeous view of Winchester Cathedral!

Is there a particular space within your home that you love the most?

I don’t think my favourite space exists yet! My husband is in the Army you see, so we live in married quarters which are not exactly the most beautiful of interiors despite how much I try! However, I imagine my favourite space to be predominantly white with soft hues of grey and pink. Dressed with lots of luxurious, light coloured fabrics at the windows and lots of natural light streaming through! High ceilings and big ornate doors leading out to a beautiful garden would be my idea of heaven!  Maybe one day!  

What is an essential in your own home?

Order, simplicity, space and light. 

When a friend is moving in to a new place what would you give them as a moving in gift?

I tend to buy friends and family candles when they move into a new home. A gorgeous scent filling the room is one of my little niceties to making a home feel like a ‘home’. 

What are the key things you keep on you at all times?

I hate to say it but my mobile phone! It is such a handy little gadget! So good at making notes of an interesting place/book, keeping on top of your personal admin, and also brilliant for taking handy pics of beautiful objects, ideas or interiors! Cliche but true! 

My leather bound diary with propelling pencil - a necessity for all freelancers.

With your artwork being related to time, what do you think of when you think of time?

Precious and very valuable! 

What do you give the most time too?

My friends and family and of course my handsome bulldog Albert! These are the most important things in my life!

What would you do if you had a stopwatch and could stop time?

I would visit all the people you promise to see and perhaps even go travelling! Japan and India are on my ‘must visit’ list! 

Where is the best place to work on your collections?

At a table with lots of clear space, a comfortable chair and good natural light. A glass of fizzy water is often at my side.

What time of day do you find you work at your best?

Definitely in the morning once I have had breakfast and a cup of coffee. 

What does working in a creative industry mean to you?

Being a creative individual means that work is very important to me. I like to do things well and execute to a high level. I think working within a creative industry means there is no other way!

What do you find is the most rewarding part of creating your art work?

I think for me it is when people buy my drawings for their home. It is such a wonderful feeling to see something I have created being put into someone else's environment to then be part of their everyday life! The fact they are happy to see my work on a daily basis is such a wonderful compliment.

Whats next for you?

I think I will continue as I am, exploring new companies to work for whilst having the time to develop my own interests and projects. I’ve never been one for planning to far ahead!

Finally relating to your beautiful collection for & hobbs...

What was your aim when creating the collection?

To create a series of simple line drawings which echo the notions of weaving and the element of time, whilst being influenced and aware of the makers at &hobbs to form a cohesive collaboration project, which sits alongside the brands aesthetic.

Finally, what is your favourite &hobbs piece?

The pair of dining chairs with the ethically sourced leather! Love the geometric design and the modern, contemporary approach taken to revive a 1950s chair.

So there she is, now you can put a little bit of the lady behind these beautiful pieces of art work. I sure hope that you enjoy them as much as I do.