The pair encouraged local artists to submit original designs for screen printing on linen to sell as table mats.
At least 17 painters and sculptors took part in the project that by 1955 was supplying 13 different designs for sale through Heal’s of London. However, dogged by production issues, the scheme had folded by 1960.
Apart from two exhibitions (six mats were shown at the Redfern Gallery in 1986 and a larger selection at the Belgrave Gallery, St Ives, in 2006) these works have been largely unknown. The collection of both original designs and examples of the printed linens comes for sale ‘from an important St Ives artist’s estate’.
A screen-printed linen panel by Terry Frost (1915- 2003), who sometimes helped Mitchell with the printing of the textiles, is estimated at £400-600.