Design + DIY

Behind the Print: Eat Your Asparagus

Printfresh founder Amy has always loved European Majolica pottery and all of the fanciful and conversational forms it often takes. The artichoke and asparagus ceramics are especially fun and inspiring to her. This is why we’re especially excited to introduce you to our newest print, Eat Your Asparagus
July 2021
Behind the Print: Eat Your Asparagus
Behind the Print: Eat Your Asparagus

If you’ve ever seen Majolica pottery, it’s one of those things that once you become aware of it, you’ll see it everywhere when you are antiquing or at flea markets. The fun shapes and jewel-tone colors make Majolica extremely satisfying to collect. Popular retailers like One Kings Lane are inspired by the hue and shapes to this day. 

The bold trend of lettuce-shaped ceramics was inspired by Sceaux ware from 1750’s France. Tin-glazed earthenware was carefully shaped and painted, often depicting natural fruits and flowers.

This design, like all of our prints, began as gouache paintings. Once we were happy with the painting, we laid them out digitally in this robust design, before sending them to our manufacturing partners to be hand silk-screened onto organic cotton.

Asparagus History and Symbolism

While our print was inspired by French pottery, it is interesting to understand the power and symbolism of asparagus across many cultures. 

The asparagus plant was depicted in an Egyptian frieze created as far back as five thousand years ago. Queen Nefertiti, a famed Egyptian royal was believed to have enjoyed the vegetable. Archaeologists found traces of asparagus on dishware when excavating the Pyramid of Sakkara, along with other coveted foods such as figs and melons.

Artichoke and Cabbage

Although the name of this print is Eat Your Asparagus, you also see some cabbage and artichokes in the mix. Including these vegetables was also inspired by Majolica pottery. 

With their soft centers and thick protective leaves, artichokes are said to symbolize hope, peace, and prosperity. They are also said to represent love, as the center of the artichoke is called the heart.

In Chinese culture, the cabbage is the symbol of prosperity and wealth. They say, when you pull a leaf from a cabbage there is another one to peel which is a metaphor for abundance.

Birds of a Feather…

Finally, you will also see a bird perched on some of the vegetables. The birds in this print are not so much specific varieties, but a general depiction of a delicate songbird. 

Inspired by vintage ceramics that feature dainty birds in place of handles or as extra decoration, these small, cheerful birds remind us of the chickadees, buntings, and finches that serenade us as we garden.

Rich Shades of Green and Purple

Amy says, “I love lettuce plates, and green vegetable ceramics so green had to be a big part of the palette, and I love the purple in there as it’s like the color of cabbage and is a purple that we love for pajamas.”  

While rich purple is a flattering feminine color for many it can be harder to wear in clothes outside of the house. At home, we have the luxury of being as fancy as we like, so we jumped at the chance to incorporate it into this pajama print.

Shop the Print

No matter what style of pajamas you like, you can easily add a pair featuring this bold print to your rotation. Eat Your Asparagus is available in a Long Sleep Set, Short Sleep Set, Sleep Shirt, and Robe. With the rich colors and richer symbols, what might you manifest for yourself when you wear these pajamas?

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