One of London’s must-see exhibitions this year has to be the showcase of contemporary glass artist Dale Chihuly‘s installations and artworks at Kew Gardens.
Seattle based Chihuly, is world renowned for his epic works in glass, creating larger than life structures as well as more domestic scale vases and objects in myriad colours and textures using a mix of ancient techniques and modern innovation.
Here in the UK one of his best-known works is the vast blue and green Rotunda Chandelier at the V&A.
Chihuly’s breath taking and riotously colourful glass sculptures and forms create a joyous trail through the gardens, interplaying with trees and planting to create different vistas and dramatic vignettes.
The not to be missed stand-alone exhibition of Chihuly’s smaller works at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, features his working drawings and dramatic forms based on sea shells or vases with intricate surface work based on ancient native American techniques together with botanically inspired, gravity defying, stretched glass sculptures and organic forms.
Chihuly no longer blows the glass himself but orchestrates ever more dramatic and epic creations, describing himself as more ‘choreographer than dancer’.
One of his largest projects was a vast installation of glass work at Jerusalem’s Citadel in 2000, which is detailed in a short documentary as part of the Kew exhibition.
In the Temperate House gems abound with several chandeliers, dramatic works hidden in the foliage, alien-like spears shooting out of the planting and bulbous masses nestling in flower beds, boats and ponds.
Outside, highlights include an incredible selection of multi-coloured glass spheres in the Japanese Zen garden, vibrant glass rods shooting out of tulip and fruit tree-filled meadows and the startling forms of floral or celestial inspired sculptures.
Kew is the perfect setting for these exceptional pieces and this exhibition, which runs until late October 2019, is well worth your time.
As an entirely bespoke product, no two designs will ever be exactly the same, whether hand knotted or gun tufted, Deirdre’s carpets are made to last and the ancient processes involved in their manufacture take time.
Each year Deirdre creates a new themed rug collection, but these designs are just the starting point, Deirdre Dyson rugs are infinitely customisable – colours, size, composition and the design itself can all be altered to suit a client’s exact requirements.
Whether Deirdre’s colour choices are perfect for your scheme or if you want to create your custom version of a rug design, the process remains the same and the result is a luxurious, heirloom quality rug or carpet of your own.
THE CREATION OF A COLLECTION:
Deirdre’s carpets begin with a simple, hand coloured, pencil drawing.
Over the year’s Deirdre has sought inspiration in nature, the sky, sea and shoreline, stones, flowers, leaves and trees to the abstract – geometric and organic forms or the refraction of light.
Working with her Designer Nichola to digitise the design, together they refine it if necessary and add Deirdre’s carefully selected colours to precisely match her vision for that rug.
Colour is of course key. Deirdre selects from over 5,000 colour poms in wool and silk – her ‘paint box’.
This is a considered process, where the colours are observed in different lights and times of day to accurately reflect their relationship with each other and realise Deirdre’s concept perfectly.
Deirdre’s eye for colour is fundamental – as a Fine Artist she has both the innate skill and technical knowledge to find just the right juxtaposition of colours or the perfect tones to create an intricate colour grade (the subtle change of colour from dark to light as seen in rug designs such as EAGLE pictured below)
Digitally colour matching Deirdre’s pom selection is a highly skilled task, Nichola has worked with Deirdre for almost twenty years and no amount of technology can mimic her colour matching abilities, which again can take days to refine, dependant on the hours of daylight available and how the colours appear in different lights, both on screen and in print.
Nichola’s accurate digital versions of the rug designs are stored for future adaptation and exact colour-perfect print versions are approved by Deirdre (or a client) before manufacture.
Once the design is finished to Deirdre’s exacting standard, it is sent to our trusted weavers in Nepal or, if gun tufted in 100% wool, to our manufacturers in Yorkshire.
We have long standing relationships with both and Deirdre has a strong, personal rapport with each. Communicating new design ideas involves close discussions regarding the technical elements involved.
Gun tufting is by far the quicker option (though no less careful and considered) and generally the suggested method of production for commercial projects or areas with higher footfall.
Given the limitations of tufting however, not all designs are suitable for this type of manufacture.
As with hand knotting quality control is paramount, with colour meticulously matched and designs executed to millimetre perfection.
However, Deirdre Dyson is primarily known for her hand knotted rugs and has built her brand’s reputation on their luxurious quality.
The vast majority of bespoke rugs and all collection carpets are hand knotted by our weavers in Nepal using traditional techniques which are indigenous to the area and have been passed down through the generations.
Hand knotting creates a dense, luxurious pile but allows for the finest of detail and subtle colour transitions which are impossible to replicate by machine.
The art of hand knotting not only takes skill and patience, it involves age old techniques and tools which have remained unchanged over centuries.
Climate is crucial to the process, as heat and sunshine is essential; from fixing dyes to drying and stretching the finished carpet, therefore the Monsoon season from June to August prolongs production time.
Additionally, weavers observe religious holidays and don’t work during these periods (particularly in January and February) Ultimately these carpets are intrinsically linked with Nepalese traditions and the Nepalese way of life.
Deirdre Dyson is a long-time partner of Goodweave ensuring no child labour is involved in rug making and that the highest level of work practices and standards are maintained for weavers and their families.
All Deirdre’s chosen colours are colour matched exactly, amazingly this is all done by the highly skilled dye master by eye.
The dye master mixes scrupulously measured quantities of pigments to create accurate dyes. The hand carded Tibetan wool and Chinese silk is then turned by hand in vats of the dye until precisely the right shade is achieved.
The dyed yarn is then allowed to dry naturally. As it dries the heat of the sun fixes the dye which is then spun by hand to the correct ply and thickness.
Meanwhile, exact mapping of the design has taken place to create a template which hangs above the loom from which the weavers work.
This intricate graph carefully maps the position of every knot and colour change within the design, all painstakingly reproduced from Deirdre’s original and replicated by the weavers by eye.
The hand knotting process itself is incredible to watch, the speed and dexterity of our weavers is truly astonishing, especially where there are complex grades (such as SEA WASH pictured on the loom below) or intricately detailed carpets with fine lines (such as PLUMES)
The weaver’s create knots on the vertical ‘warp’ threads using a metal rod, an incredible 100 knots fit the area of a postage stamp which gives an indication of the intricacy involved.
Once a row is complete it is hammered tightly on to the row below and the yarn is cut to create a rough pile.
When weaving is complete, each carpet is carefully washed, stretched and dried in the open air then precisely trimmed by hand to the correct pile height.
The fascinating and intricate carving process then takes place, where specific design elements are carefully clipped around to create definition.
Finally, the carpet is bound around the edges with matching yarn and our leather Deirdre Dyson label is attached.
Once approved, the carpet is then ready for packing and shipping back to our gallery in London.
A standard size rug will take approximately 14-16 weeks to complete from artwork sign off – with the production time rising depending on size and complexity of design.
Each element in the creation of your rug involves skill and a level of precision which cannot be rushed, this is ultimately an artisan process assisted by technology but not necessarily expedited by it.
The crucial elements of rug design and making are slow and considered and stand out in our world of mass production and instant gratification, the wait is worth it and the result is of the highest quality and designed to last a lifetime.
Inspired by our recent World of Interiors feature, Edison explores the links between street art and style and interiors.
It’s evident by our latest feature in the World of Interiors rug promotion (featuring FLIGHT and HARLEQUIN below) that the cross over from street art and style into fashion and interiors is ever increasing.
Street influences can offer exciting and graphically enhanced motifs, patterns, colour and form that would otherwise have only been applied to the walls of a derelict building or any accessible public surface on which to paint.
Thanks to Banksy, the street style has become widely accepted for its creative contributions and output. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to see the urban ‘out’ creeping ‘in’ by way of graffiti inspired feature walls, whether for the home or the office.
Back in 2015 Ray-Ban collaborated with collectable street artist ‘Mr Brainwash’ applying his distinctive splattering of paint to their iconic frames.
But street style doesn’t have to mean complicated, political or overworked.
These modern creations by French artist ‘Remi Rough’ (below) and Portuguese Street artist Vhils (bottom) use clean lines and textures to form their sublime creations. Both artists sell through galleries internationally and have had their work commissioned for architectural projects worldwide.
2019 marks the centenary of the Bauhaus, one of the most significant movements in art and design of the 21st Century.
In 1919, Walter Gropius became the director of a new institution created from the merger of two art schools in Weimar. This new school, the Staatliches Bauhaus, was to be known simply as the Bauhaus. Even though Gropius was an architect and the term ‘Bauhaus’ literally translates as “construction house,” it did not solely concentrate on architecture, it was a school encompassing all elements of art and design.
Gropius aim was “to create a new guild of craftsmen, without the class distinctions which raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist.” Combining influences from modernism, the English Arts and Crafts movement, and Constructivism, Gropius promoted the idea that design was to serve the community and exist in its purist form, epitomised in the Bauhaus principle ‘Form follows function’.
The interdisciplinary nature of the Bauhaus realised the concept of “Gesamtkunstwerk,” or complete work of art, meaning the visual arts, graphic design product and furniture design as well as architecture combined to create a cohesive environment comprising simple, elegant geometric shapes, solid colours and minimalist spaces.
Having moved over the course of its existence from Weimar to Dessau and finally Berlin, the Bauhaus was closed by the Nazis in 1933 for producing ‘degenerate art’. Despite this suppression, the Bauhaus lived on and it’s ideologies spread as many of its staff and students fled Germany bringing the school’s idealistic concepts with them, influences that continue to have an impact on design today.
Despite being known as a minimalist discipline, The Bauhaus felt an understanding of colour was of paramount importance and colour theories taught as part of the school’s foundation course by artists Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Josef Albers formed the basis of contemporary colour theory. This included expanding the colour wheel, developing ideas of colour contrast, exploring the psychological effects of colour and their spiritual and transcendental nature.
Like any colourist, Deirdre Dyson’s designs inadvertently pay homage to the Bauhaus concepts and artists, with both the application of colour theory and form but some of Deirdre’s rug designs really do make a more obvious nod to the movement, none more so than ANGULUS with its stark geometry and solid colours.
Several of Deirdre’s designs or bespoke reworkings never make it to the loom, so for a bit of fun, we’ve trawled through the archive to find some other Deirdre Dyson designs which illustrate Bauhaus principles of form and colour, here’s what we’ve found.
Lady Deirdre Dyson was commissioned to create fourteen contemporary carpets – six hand knotted, free-standing rugs and eight gun tufted, fitted carpets together with a stair runner over four floors for this 18th Century listed Georgian townhouse.
The house, actually two adjoining properties, was restored and repurposed by Alexander Martin Architects (AMA) for use as private offices in Mayfair, London.
The brief required Deirdre to design a total of 350 square metres of highest quality wool and silk floor coverings for the entire property.
The incredible gun tufted 100% wool graded carpet created for the oak barley twist staircase.
Materials throughout the building were selected for their timeless quality, echoing those present in the original building. A palette of natural oak, stone and pale grey provides a backdrop for the bespoke Deirdre Dyson carpets used throughout.
The expanses of wool and silk used in the rug, carpet and runner designs sit perfectly with remaining original features and the stark modern interior application in the office spaces on the upper floors.
The central oak barley twist staircase is dramatically hugged top to bottom by a stair runner that creates a sense of movement with graded hues that flow from dark to light (pictured above)
A bespoke gun tufted, fitted version of TWILIGHT in one of the top floor office spaces.
Through her use of bold geometric designs, Lady Dyson developed a scheme to bring contrast and complimentary accent colours which define and enhance the individual rooms. A total of fifty separate colours were used across the project with some carpets having up to sixteen colours alone.
The carpets give each room a separate identity and interest but Dyson has connected the spaces using a similar colour palette, often through the use of colour grading, adding personality with dramatic bursts of colour, be it a bold blue or vivid terracotta. All working in tandem with remaining original features and the architect’s contemporary reworking of the building.
The scale of these carpets created challenges for both our weavers in Nepal (in some cases measuring up to 5m square) and the skilled tufters here in the UK as well as specialist fitters but a close, collaborative team effort realised Deirdre Dyson’s vision to stunning effect.
The project featured in an extensive editorial feature in Wallpaper* magazine, click here to read.
Deirdre is a huge fan of the Parisian paint brand Argile, and has used Argile paints in her interiors for several years.
As a colourist, the ‘trueness’ of a hue on a given surface is key to Deirdre , and this quality of colour is paramount to Argile.
Founded in 2006, Argile was born of the encounter between an entrepreneur and paint expert, Jean Frédéric Nothomb, and a colour specialist, Pierre Bonnefille. The idea was to offer a premium range of paint products to architects, decorators, set designers and all those who have an interest in decoration, whether professionals or private individuals.
Their philosophy is to draw inspiration from the colours of nature and their challenge to manufacture a range of the highest quality colours on an industrial scale, coupled with exceptional service.
Argile take inspiration from the sky, sea and landscape, Argile translates as ‘clay’ referring to organic nature of their colour inspiration as well as the raw materials of their paint.
Argile’s palette of 184 glorious colours work in harmony to create an exceptional finish.
Argile paints are now found in historic properties, such as the Louvre and the Grand Palais in Paris, as well as luxury hotels such as the Connaught in London and the Hoxton in Amsterdam, and in the interior design of countless traditional and contemporary homes.
When it came to designing our stand for this years’ Maison et Objet interiors exhibition, Argile’s colour chart was Deirdre’s first port of call, from which she selected the perfect backdrop for each of the eight new rug designs on display.
The earth colours of ‘grivele’ worked perfectly with QUILLS and FEATHER BOUND, ‘gres’ provided the perfect backdrop to the magestic EAGLE , ‘bleu burlington’ brought out the turqouise feather tips in PLUMES and also provided a foil for the vibrancy of GOLDEN PHEASANT and BURLESQUE, whilst ‘ardoise bleue’ set off the stunning tones of MANDARIN and HARLEQUIN.
Deirdre’s new rug collection has received a wonderful reception at Maison & Objet Paris, where eight of nine new designs on display in Hall 8, stand A32 were showcased on a custom made, towering stand painted with Argile paint colours selected personally by Deirdre to complement each of the new carpet designs. Deirdre relishes the opportunity to be on the stand at Maison meet clients and discuss the designs and their inspiration.
Yet again Deirdre has pushed the boundaries of the art of hand knotting to create very distinctive designs using pops of colour (HARLEQUIN), intricate detail (PLUMES/FEATHER BOUND/QUILLS) or colour grading (GOLDEN PHEASANT, EAGLE) from the abstracted (MANDARIN) to the figurative (FLIGHT) creating a new collection that celebrates her instinctive eye for colour and cleverly plays with the shapes and forms of birds and their feathers to create unique designs.
Each design uses varying amounts of silk to mirror the shimmering nature of bird’s plumage and Deirdre’s chosen colour palette is shot with vibrant hues that give the organic forms a 3D quality.
Bordered rugs such as BURLESQUE and FEATHER BOUND are endlessly adaptable – for use under a dining table or bed whereas the bold Studio 54esque GOLDEN PHEASANT makes a statement all of its own as does the elegant scale of the exquisite EAGLE.
Last year’s HORIZONS Collection played with scale and Deirdre continues this trend with the largest carpet on display, EAGLE mirroring the wing span of its namesake, an impressive 3.4 metres wide.
As with all Deirdre’s designs these sample carpets are just the start, each design can be created in any colourway or size required and most designs can also be gun tufted in 100% wool should the client or space require it.
We can’t wait to reveal the new rug designs Deirdre Dyson has created for her 2019 PLUMAGE collection.
With an intuitive eye for colour, Deirdre cleverly combines the bright shades (violet blues, cherry red, slate blue, black) and abstract markings of a pretty male sea duck for her HARLEQUIN design.
EAGLE (pictured) is an impressive 3.4 metres wide, depicting the magnificent wing span of this majestic bird – the large scale allows Deirdre to include intricate feathery detail and create a spectacular three-dimensional effect through directional colour grading.
Other designs, such as the rich colour palette of GOLDEN PHEASANT, accurately reflects the beautiful tones of this quintessential British bird.
Deirdre’s practice as a fine artist allows her to expertly combine colours to create a beautiful composition that will enhance any surface and interior, as she skillfully captures the shimmer of the natural oils of a feather through the use of gorgeous silk against a luxurious wool background.
“In this collection I have delved deep into the feathers of pheasants and abstracted designs of ducks. I singled out some feathers and enfolded carpets with others. Together they make a varied collection of colourful drama and soft luxury. In creating them, our brilliant craftspeople have succeeded with the most difficult technical challenges I have ever set them.”
Be the first to see the new collection unveiled on 18 January 2019 at the prestigious Maison et Objet interiors exhibition in Paris, in Hall 8 ‘Forever Signature’, stand A32.
Read on for Edison’s festive advice using Deirdre’s STREAMER rug designs.
As reported in House Beautiful and according to John Lewis, this year’s biggest Christmas decoration trend is to go full-out rainbow. Yes, think Joseph and his hyper-technicoloured dream-coat, think Wizard of Oz in HD, think saturation spectrum overload.
This may be not be to everyone’s taste, but hey, Christmas is about having fun after all.
Our STREAMER design in either colourway, would be a great companion to your rainbow inspired room. Linking up larger pieces of furniture and accessories by using just a limited colour palette, will give your decorations more impact.
Pair the STREAMER carpet with a grey sofa such as this velvet beauty from Swoon, for deep seated luxury.
Just add some colour coordinated cushions to complete the look.
To get your tree looking its best, try decorating with this delightful box of glass baubles from John Lewis.
For additional visual warmth group some gold candlesticks (H&M Home) and add to them hand-drawn, coloured candles from Shearer.
When Christmas is over and those festive decorations are all packed and boxed away, your Streamer carpet can have all the attention back. Paired with an Onda curved glass coffee table from glassfurniture.co.uk will accentuate the curves of the flowing ribbons.
The red and grey version of STREAMER is featured in the sample sale.
Visit our website to take advantage of on-going sale offers, with an additional 5% taken off all sale prices from now until December 22nd, 2018.