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Deirdre Dyson has always brought her skills as a fine artist to bear on the beautiful colour palettes and compositions of her carpets.
March’s lockdown came at the time of year Deirdre usually focuses on her creative designs, so she was able to focus on her 2021 ‘Paper and Stone’ collection.
Deirdre’s themes have normally centred round the natural, but for this collection she focused on everyday materials like paper – including pieces that were crumpled, folded or torn. Deirdre elevated these every-day, sometimes discarded objects to create a collection of seven stunning hand knotted ‘Paper’ rug designs.
‘I’d often used overlapping or crumpled paper in my paintings,’ says Deirdre, ‘so it was fascinating using silk and wool instead and seeing a two-dimensional surface transformed into three dimensions, just by using the same colour in many different tones’.
UNFOLDED does just this, creating a three-dimensional effect with just seven shades. FOLD OUT is reminiscent of childhood with its playful paperdoll design, LOVE LETTER draws inspiration from a torn note with symbols of hugs and kisses, while NOTE PAPER and OFF CUTS make use of her craft cutting mat as a background.
The extra lockdown time also enabled Deirdre to design three vertical wall hangings that can be adapted for the floor, inspired by stonework and paving.
‘They represent the stones used in walls and floors and highlight the amazing decorative skills of those who work with the materials,’ says Deirdre. The result comprises artworks full of textural depth and light, made with large quantities of silk, like BLUE STONE, woven in silk with wool grouting, or DRY STONE featuring 13 natural stone hues.
View the new collection and watch Deirdre discuss her inspiration for this collection with Design Journalist Amy Moorea Wong
As a rule Deirdre Dyson avoids repeat patterns in her designs.A fine artist, she treats each new carpet as a canvas.Every design begins as a hand drawn and coloured sketch which naturally lends an organic and sometimes asymmetric feel to designs where form and colour are key.
Deirdre’s carpets have been described as ‘artworks for the floor’ and it is ultimately what they are.
This artistic approach lends itself to the age old manual processes used by our artisan weavers.Repeats can be left to the machines!
This approach has never been limiting – over the years Deirdre has continually explored ways to push the design process in different ways, using abstract forms, experimenting with pile height, complex colour grading and juxtaposing both geometric and figurative forms in wool and silk (or a mixture of both) However, some of Deirdre’s most interesting designs involve layering of motifs and colour to create a depth and 3D quality which gives yet another dimension to her unique rug designs.
We’re going to take a look at some of these designs and how the layering of motifs and/or colours add to the overall aesthetic of Deirdre’s bespoke creations.
Some of Deirdre’s most appealing and timeless designs are formed from organic shapes and colours intersecting – rugs like CONTACT, SLIDES and LIME JUICE to name but a few.
NAUTICAL is also a great example – the same colour is rendered in both wool and silk and creates a ‘lapping’ effect mimicking water.
Sticks are one of Deirdre’s simplest, but no less effective, motifs and have been used simply in designs such as SHIMMER, BLUE BARS and SCATTER however it’s when these sticks literally ‘fall’ on top of each other in designs such as the aptly named FALLING STICKS or ATTITUDE (pictured above) that Deirdre can really play with juxtaposed colours to create an added dimension to the designs.
Deirdre employs the same techniques to her ribbon designs – the satisfying tangle of ribbons in FALLING RIBBONS or the overlapped fluidity of CARNIVAL add a depth, form and lightness to these carpets.
DAWN (pictured) is a stunningly clever design, here Deirdre has used opposing grades of wool and silk in a simple linear pattern overlapping each other.
In UNRAVEL (below) the overlapping, opposing grades give the impression of depth, a carpet on a carpet or a floating ‘magic’ carpet which adds an amusing element to the design.
In WINDSWEPT (pictured) Deirdre has used another motif drawn from nature – leaves.
Deirdre has used leaves in several designs including FALLING LEAVES and SCATTERED LEAVES but employs them here in an entirely different way creating a brilliantly rendered deep ‘pile’ of autumn leaves which are literally tumbling on to the ground.
In this year’s OFF CUTS Deirdre employs the same technique with discarded paper offcuts which when ‘piled’ together appear as spindles or batons stacked together.
The colour selection is what makes this design, so much so that unusually the ‘off cuts’ themselves are hand knotted in wool rather than silk. The contrasting fibre unnecessary as the trompe l’oeil effect is successfully created by Deirdre using colour alone.
To discover the full range of Deirdre Dyson’s bespoke rug designs visit our Design Library.