The piece de resistance of Peters’ creations is a line of modern toile fabrics featuring places and landmarks specific to Cape Cod and the Islands’ coastal world. Formally known as Toile de Jouy and first made in the mid-1700’s in France, toile is traditionally single-color printed, usually on a white cotton ground, and typically depicts pastoral scenes. The printed fabric exemplifies all that is Rococo, an 18th century arts movement defined by ornate, lavish decoration and frivolous subject matter.
While Joan Peters is not the first artist to reinterpret the 250-year-old textile, her designs have an unmistakeable Cape Cod flair. Peters’ drawings are printed in hues like raspberry, sage green, mustard yellow, beige sand, periwinkle blue, and slate gray. Her palette is softer, as if Louis XV left his drapes out in the sun for a while. Each textile depicts ink drawings of everything from the iconic to the everyday.
Peters says, “We try to pick out familiar spots as well as the places people don’t really see.” The textiles are equal part tourist map, historical record, personal anecdote, and picturesque imagery. On her Boston Toile, you can amuse yourself for hours picking out any Bostonian’s favorite landmarks like the Citgo sign, Fenway Park, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Make Way for Ducklings statues in the Public Gardens and the giant Hood bottle that stands outside the Boston Children’s Museum.