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Deirdre Dyson’s inspiration for the LOOKING GLASS rug collection

Deirdre’s 2020 collection has just launched at Maison et Objet, Paris.

These hand knotted designs were inspired by Deirdre’s observations of colours and forms through glass, glass objects and water.  Nine new designs takes her carpets in an entirely different direction.

Read all about Deirdre’s inspiration for each carpet in the LOOKING GLASS Collection here in her own words:

Last summer I found myself mesmerised by everything I could see through glass and water, particularly on holiday where the sun made everything glitter.

I decided to try to make my designs seem ‘glassy’ even though I was working in wool!  If I failed, I might create something unexpected – I love the challenge of the unknown result and you only discover if you explore.

GLASS CUBES

I started with two little rectangular vases of different colour, photographed them and analysed the colours they created when they were overlapping each other.

I designed two simple geometric shapes representing the cubes and inserted the exact colours from my palette of wool poms to represent where the two colours overlapped which gives the illusion of looking through glass.

I finished the piece with wide silken borders to add the shine and glitter of glass.  I was hugely surprised and excited at the finished carpet which really looked glassy and also very three dimensional.  This encouraged me to explore several different ideas about glass.

SLIVERS

The next attempt led on from this overlapping idea.  I didn’t even need real glass, I just created four shapes, selected four colours and overlapped them creating the colour I imagined would occur if they existed.

What made this carpet successful was the grading I decided to do within each piece.  I had to select about 8 grades of each colour to grade from dark to light, and from the outside in, to give the illusion of seeing through the glass.

This was the first time that we had tried to grade within a random shape which was very difficult to specify for our craftspeople and a new challenge for them too.  Again they succeeded and have given me a new skill to work with in the future.

TRANSPARENT was designed from an existing vase with various shapes and colours in the glass.

I created my own shapes and colours and again looked for the overlapping colours that I knew would occur.  Because the inspiration was a vase I added some silk highlights to represent light against the outside of the vase.  Each of these highlights was a paler colour of the colour underneath.

LIGHT FRAGMENTS

I have a very simple water flask and thought of two different things that I could do with it.  One was to paint exactly what I could see inside through the water which were random abstract shapes and colours which looked distorted and bent through the water and also to add highlights again of paler colours and in silk as seen on the outside of the vase.

LOOKING THROUGH

The second idea was to paint what was behind the vase ie. boat rigging and blue cushions with reflections on a shiny table and then paint the distortions of these within the flask without drawing the outline of the flask.  I knew from exercises in my student days that without trying, the flask would slowly appear and it did, and it does in the carpet, although I made the colours within the flask a tiny bit paler to help it reveal itself.

 

FLOATING GLASS

Being on a boat made me think of all the bits of worn glass that we often find washed up on beaches so another idea was to include chinks of floating glass in a flowing, watery setting.

LIGHT BETWEEN

I had used a great deal of colour in the collection so finally decided to do some monochromatic grading with a path of light and two simple glassy bars in silk that you feel you can see through as they pass over the greys and light between.

This was an accidental idea caused by placing a plain glass bowl, which had a glass ball as its base, on top of a patterned glass plate.  This created a magnification which I decided to represent in silk with just a tiny lightening of the colour inside the area.

STAINED GLASS

On a visit to the Amalfi Cathedral and in one of the small rooms at the back behind all the magnificence of marble and gold was a small plain window high up with beautiful, simple pale colours.  The light behind it made it impossible to photograph but the colours stayed in my mind and I thought that in silk, it might make a lovely wall hanging for a windowless room.
Click here to view all Deirdre’s new designs online or contact us to arrange a viewing of the new collection at our Kings Road gallery.

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Botanical Inspirational – Edison’s visit to Chelsea Physic Garden

A perfect Autumn day provided the ideal opportunity for Edison to visit a hidden gem nearby, Chelsea Physic Garden.

Flowers, plants and botanicals have long been a source of inspiration for Deirdre’s rug designs from HAIRY SEDGE to RIBWORT PLANTAIN to FALLING LEAVES , WINDSWEPT and the award winning AUTUMN LEAVES and the wealth of plant life at Chelsea Physic Garden would prove hugely inspirational to any designer.

Chelsea Physic Garden is a fascinating place established in 1673 by Apothecaries, the oldest botanical garden in London and an oasis by the Thames which occupies a four-acre plot beside Chelsea Embankment.

The garden includes over 5,000 different edible, useful and medicinal plants including numerous rare and endangered species.

Thanks to its warm micro climate, the garden features the largest outdoor fruiting olive tree in Britain and the world’s most northerly outdoor grapefruit tree. From pomegranates to ginkgoes, mulberries to eucalyptus, there are over 100 different species of tree in the Garden, many of which are rare in Britain.

The historic Glasshouses hold a collection of tropical and sub-tropical species, complemented by a Victorian Cool Fernery.

Enjoy some of Edison’s fabulous photographs of the plants on view in stunning autumnal light, particularly some fantastically sculptural succulents!


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CDQ Autumn Event Collaboration with Stephenson Wright and Jan Erika revealed

We are huge fans of Interior Designers Stephenson Wright whose combined attention to detail, eye for colour and refined aesthetic translate their clients needs and requirements into beautiful homes.

Juliette and Natalie recently expanded their portfolio to include bespoke furniture design and have created a capsule collection which launched at this year’s Decorex.

Some of these beautiful and functional pieces such as their Plink and Plonk occasional tables and Barrel stools, are uniquely customised by Artist Jan Erika.

Jan is a prolific artist whose bold graphic style works brilliantly with these classic contemporary Stephenson Wright designs.

We love to celebrate all things handmade and bespoke and the launch of Chelsea Design Quarters Designers page, a directory of local Interior Designers celebrated by the CDQ Autumn Event allowed us to showcase the exceptional talent of Stephenson Wright and Jan Erika with Deirdre’s bold and vibrant MANDARIN wool and silk rug.

Edison’s concept of double height banners making the most of the gallery’s atrium ran to 19m and Jan’s bold ‘Zebramane’ brushstrokes create an eye catching backdrop for Deirdre’s rug from this year’s PLUMAGE Collection and Jan’s customised tops for Stephenson Wright’s Plink and Plonk tables, their black scalloped bases reflecting the monochrome banners and black detailing in Deirdre’s rug design.

The CDQ Autumn Event culminates in the CDQ Raffle on Thursday 21st November with an exclusive event at Tom Faulkner.

By purchasing a ticket you support the invaluable work of homeless charity Glass Door and get the chance to win a selection of superb prizes donated by CDQ members such as a night at The Bath Priory on a revolutionary Ammique bed, a Martin Brudnizki Studio light donated by  Drummonds Bathrooms a Baby Soho Drum stool by George Smith, door knobs from Haute Deco , Stephenson Wright limited edition gin bottle customised by Jan, a Lily Cocktail table by  Tom Faulkner Tickets can be purchased here

 


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YOUR CHANCE TO WIN! ENTER THE CDQ RAFFLE & SUPPORT GLASS DOOR

The Chelsea Design Quarter Autumn raffle supporting the essential work of local homeless charity Glass Door is now live!
A full list of fabulous prizes donated by CDQ members such as a gift pack from Deirdre Dyson including a signed framed artwork by Jan Erika (pictured) can be found here
We’ll soon soon be revealing a special collaboration with interior design duo StephensonWright and Jan Erika to coincide with the event.
Tickets are £10 each and can be purchased in any CDQ showroom or online with all proceeds going to Glass Door.

The draw itself will take place at a party on the evening of 21st November at the Tom Faulkner showroom.
If you would like to attend on the 21st, you must RSVP with your raffle ticket number/s to: chelseadesginquarter@gmail.com.
Places will be allocated in order of tickets sold.

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The Platner Chair – A Modern Classic

A classic design is something that every time you look at it, you accept it as it is and you see no way of improving it

Warren Platner

Some of our favourite imagery from this year’s PLUMAGE Rug Collection photo shoot has to be these exquisite shots of Deirdre’s GOLDEN PHEASANT rug, styled by Louisa Grey and photographed by Michael Sinclair.

Elle Decoration described the above image as ‘Studio 54-esque‘ with the vintage brass desk sourced by Louisa and the iconic Platner armchair upholstered in dusky pink, picking up one of the vibrant wool grades in the carpet design.

The chair was originally designed for Knoll by Warren Platner in 1966 and is still in production today.

The striking sculptural form is created by curved steel rods on a semi-circular frame and is a classic of mid-Century modernist design, described by Platner as ‘decorative, gentle [and] graceful’

The construction is hugely complex and technically challenging – the bases are made of hundreds of rods, and for some versions, more than 1,000 welds are required in construction but the effect is simply stunning and has stood the test of time.

Platner was an American Architect and Interior Designer and designed up until his death in 2006.  One of his most famous interiors was the original Windows on the World restaurant on top of New York’s World Trade Center North Tower, which incorporated several different variations on this chair in the reception areas.

Described as looking like a ‘shiny sheaf of wheat’ in the original Knoll catalogue,  the structure adapted to love seat, stool and fully upholstered easy chair and ottoman versions which combined lightweight form with comfort.  The design was also adapted as tables with the same cylindrical base and even lamp stands in myriad different metals and finishes.

 

 


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BEHIND EVERY GREAT RUG, THERE HAS TO BE A GREAT COLOUR CHOICE

A hand knotted rug is a significant investment, the time, effort and skill involved in creating your custom rug or carpet cannot be rushed and depends on the highest-level artisan skills of our Nepalese weavers.

Hand knotting has always been Deirdre Dyson’s preferred method of rug manufacture and as a skilled artist, the choice and selection of colour is imperative.

The processes involved in creating a hand knotted rug cannot be rushed, starting with the initial design consultation and design work which takes as long as required to realise your perfect rug design and colourways.

BESPOKE involves a considered tailoring of a specific design to meet the requirements of each and every customer. Choosing the correct colours so that each carpet compliments rather than fights with your space is crucial.

The finished rug should feel that it belongs, just like the shawl for a dress or a style of shade for a lamp base, this element of the design process is probably the most important part of a carpets’ creative journey.

All of our hand knotted rugs are created from or inspired by one of Deirdre’s original rug designs in your preferred size and our hand knotted rugs are woven in 100% Tibetan wool and/or Chinese silk with the direct input of Deirdre and her experienced team.

With over 5,000 available colours, it can seem quite overwhelming when faced with such a selection. But our trained expert eyes are here to help, guide and assist you in your selection.

RED RATED

Take the colour red for example. We have many to choice from ranging from vibrant to muted, creamy to spicy, those that sit back or those that jump out; there are more variants of red than you could dare to imagine.

Selecting the right tone to match to your curtain fabric, a painting on the wall or not to fight too much with that grey sofa are some of the considerations we take into account when developing your bespoke carpet.

Our colour reference library is made up of ‘poms’ that are perfectly proportioned to take on our consultations and to use freely around the design studio at 554 Kings Road. An industry standard reference tool, our library is the equivalent of Pantone for the fashion world and is regularly updated and constantly expanding.

A selection of Deirdre’s designs incorporating a red colour palette clearly demonstrates the variations of effect on the finished piece. From the sublime grading of reds to blues in the DUSK design and the transition from reds to pinks in ROMANCE are studied, soft and fluid.

ROMANCE

Whereas RUBY and SHIMMER use contrast of reds to emphasis shape, direction and geometry.

RUBY

SHIMMER

Just as much work and consideration goes into every rug we make for our customers as goes into making our original examples which are on display at the Kings Road gallery.

HEIRLOOMS

Ultimately Deirdre Dyson’s rugs are heirlooms and designed to last.

Wool and silk are by nature robust materials and by following our care instructions these rugs can be enjoyed for generations.

When you buy a bespoke hand knotted rug you are purchasing a contemporary collectable, an artwork for the floor which transcends trends and changing fashions.

 


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Win an Original Deirdre Dyson Rug and Benefit GoodWeave

 

In just a few short weeks, the winners of GoodWeave’s rug raffle will be announced!  Have you entered yet?

In celebration of GoodWeave’s 25th anniversary, Deirdre Dyson has donated her GOLDEN STONE rug (top right) valued at £4,314 to their annual raffle.

Inspired by the seashores of The Pearl Islands of Panama, GOLDEN STONE is hand-knotted in Tibetan wool and Chinese silk in shades of cream, gold, brown and coral. It measures 1.70 x 2.35m. For just a £20 charitable donation, you have a chance to own this luxury GoodWeave certified rug.

While Deirdre Dyson‘s design is stunning, we think the back of this rug is just as beautiful. On the underside, you will find a numbered GoodWeave label, meaning that independent inspectors ensured the rug’s manufacturing process met the highest ethical standards of production.

All proceeds benefit GoodWeave’s programmes for vulnerable and rescued children.

We  hope you enter to win GoodWeave’s charity raffle today! With every £20 ticket purchased, you improve your odds of winning and become a part of a beautiful story of freedom for children in Nepal, India, and Afghanistan. And remember, for every £80 worth of tickets you purchase, you’ll receive an extra one for free!

www.goodweave.org/raffle

 


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Edison’s musings on the iconic Fashion Photographer Guy Bourdin

As winter draws ever closer, it’s crazy to think how quickly the time has passed and that Maison 2020 is just around the corner.

It only seems like yesterday that we were on location at some fabulous properties, taking lifestyle images for Deirdre’s successful ‘Plumage Rug Collection’ styled by Louisa Grey.

In fact, that was a year ago and looking back at some of the wonderful photography by Michael Sinclair, I noticed a Guy Bourdin photograph pictured on one of the walls next to Deirdre’s QUILLS carpet.

How fitting, seeing that London Fashion Week is currently in full swing.

Considered as one of the important founders of contemporary photography, Bourdin’s images are highly charged and highly provocative; full of sensual and mysterious narrative but remaining colourful and often playful.

His advertising campaigns became synonymous with haute-couture whilst the product always came secondary to the image.

Even Madonna paid homage to Guy Bourdin in her 2003 ‘Hollywood’ music video, drawing direct inspiration from his most iconic images.


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Goodweave – taking practical steps to end Child Labour

“We want [companies] to think beyond the factory gate…GoodWeave’s unique offering is the combination of inspection and monitoring and community mobilisation throughout the supply chain… making this initiative a viable complement to those already underway, as well as a stand-alone best practice.” — Joost Kooijman, UNICEF

The GoodWeave label is as important to us as the Deirdre Dyson label on our carpets.

GoodWeave was born in an Indian jail cell in the early 1990s. After reuniting a trafficked child weaver with his mother, future Nobel Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi was outraged to see dozens more children with a labour broker.

Imprisoned overnight for causing a disturbance, he awoke with a simple idea: follow the money. If companies and consumers refuse to buy products tainted by child labour, producers can’t make them. Kailash reached out to allies and GoodWeave International was officially established in 1997. It was the first organisation to use product labeling to remediate a human rights issue.

Today, GoodWeave’s market-driven model includes company engagement, supply chain inspections, product certification, consumer awareness, victim rescue and remediation, and preventative efforts such as educational programmes in at-risk communities. GoodWeave reaches layers of the supply chain that were previously invisible — making child labour a thing of the past.

Kabul, Afghanistan, June 2nd, 2014, Ariana Rugs.

This is Goodweave’s unique market-based model:

Harness Market Forces in partnership with rug importers and high street brands to create demand for goods made without child labour. GoodWeave prevents children from toiling in labour by distinguishing products with the GoodWeave label.

Clean up Supply Chains by independently monitoring against the GoodWeave Standard, including all tiers of production from factory to individual home, and remediating all cases of child labour.

Create Educational Opportunities to stem the tide of child labour, ensuring that all children from vulnerable worker communities are attending school and learning.

Improve Conditions for All Workers by addressing a broad set of workers’ rights throughout the supply chain and offering skills training and other improvement programmes.

The Figures* involves are staggering:

  • 152 million child labourers worldwide
  • 72 million children performing hazardous work
  • 25 million people living in forced labour
  • 6.3 million children in forced labour

Child labour and global supply chains are getting increasing attention, yet practical solutions that respond to the priorities of both workers and businesses remain elusive. While many organisations work in this field, the collective effort is not yet reaching the most vulnerable at the very bottom of the supply chain, such as in sub-contracted sites and where homeworkers are found. GoodWeave addresses this gap.

*Data from “Global Estimates of Modern Slavery,” International Labour Organisation and Walk Free Foundation, 2017

Kabul, Afghanistan, June 2nd, 2014, Ariana Rugs.

Goodweave‘s impact to date:

  • 300+ companies
  • Thousands of children rescued
  • Tens of thousands enrolled in educational programmes
  • Overall reduction in incidence of child labour

Always look for GoodWeave certified products when you buy rugs, embellished goods, fashion jewellery and home textiles.

Win a Deirdre Dyson hand knotted rug in the 25th Anniversary Goodweave Charity Raffle, enter here.