Cressida, 55, is a dynamo of creativity. In her Hackney studio, her main work is producing a range of sheer, large silks, sold through her website and also at Charleston, the Bloomsbury Group’s country home in East Sussex, where her grandmother retreated in 1916 with artist Duncan Grant. “People have no idea what physical work printing is. It’s hard slog,” says Cressida.
All the Bells were and are artists. Raised in a farmhouse near Leeds by her father Quentin, a potter and academic, and her mother, Anne Olivier Bell, an art historian, Cressida was the youngest of three. Her elder brother, Julian, is a painter, and Virginia — now Nicholson — is a writer. “There were sculptures all over the garden and my father hand-sponged the bedroom I shared with Virginia.”