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Deirdre Dyson Paris Gallery Opens

We are delighted to announce that despite lockdown delays, Deirdre Dyson Paris is now open by appointment only.

Deirdre has a long association with Paris, launching her annual rug collection every year at Maison et Object, so it seemed natural to have a permanent display space there.

The wonderful gallery, in the historic Saint-Germain des Prés is a calm and inviting space, designed by celebrated Interior Designer Remi Tessier, working closely with Deirdre to tailor make a perfect interior in which to showcase her luxurious hand knotted rug designs.

Deirdre has chosen a selection of rug designs including a superb large-scale version of this year’s TRANSPARENT together with LIGHT FRAGMENTS and a stunning new working of partner versions of DAWN in alternating blue and red wool and silks.

Deirdre’s Parisian representative Julia will be on hand to guide clients through the designs and advise on design and colour choice.

To arrange your exclusive appointment please contact Julia@deirdredyson.com


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Staying INspired with…Stephenson Wright

Continuing our series catching up with industry friends, here Natalie and Juliette of Stephenson Wright interior design let us know how they’ve been managing their business during the Covid crisis, what’s kept them INspired during lockdown and how they are giving back in their local community.

Celebrated design duo Natalie and Juliette established their interior design practice Stephenson Wright in 2013.  Last year saw the opening of their Surrey-based showroom The Post House, the perfect location to collaborate with partner brands, showcase their distinctive style and newly launched luxury eco-conscious furniture collection.

WHERE ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING FROM AND HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO YOUR NORMAL WORKING ENVIRONMENT

Natalie – Our Studio is based in my much loved garden so I have been incredibly lucky to have had little change in that respect. I also have access to our private showroom space five minutes away for inspiration and have been visiting it weekly to go ‘live’ on Instagram.  We have started our FIVE series where we cover anything from ‘our favourite five ways to lay your dining table’ to ‘our five absolute musts when it comes to buying a sofa’.  We have so enjoyed keeping the inspiration flowing, connecting with our followers, clients and designers and getting past being camera shy!

The buzz of the team has been replaced by quietness and plenty of LBC to keep up with all the government announcements.

Juliette – I have always had a desk set up at home as I am often working into the evening (madly thats my creative time!).

I miss the Studio environment so much and not having everything easily to hand but fortunately Natalie is there so we have all bases covered.

As a partnership we are quite ‘joined at the hip’ so we talk all the time; part of being in a successful partnership is the ability to bounce ideas off each other, to sit and challenge the design aspects of our projects.

This is always going to be best done in person but we are managing well and the materials aspect can be done by Natalie as she is still Studio based.

WITH OBVIOUS RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE, HOW DO YOU CONTINUE TO SOURCE YOUR INSPIRATION?

Although we do source far and wide, most of our inspiration comes from talking to one another and using our imaginations to pull on ideas that we know have worked successfully and building upon them to adapt them to the particular brief in hand.

Pinterest and other digital mediums, as well as online webinars (which are excitingly going on left right and centre!) have been hugely inspirational and enjoyable to take time and absorb from the comfort of our desks.

Having the time to finally read the design books on our coffee tables & also the Japanese wisdom books that we gifted at a recent industry dinner party we hosted. Wabi Sabi by Beth Kempton & Ikagi by Hector Garcia– both are Japanologists who shares life lessons inspired by Japanese culture.

Beth has also written a book reflecting the current COVID 19 events called ‘We are in this together’ – Finding Hope and Opportunity in the depths of adversity’ which is available to download.

She is so inspiring to read and has really uplifted our spirits.

HAS THIS SITUATION MEANT YOU ARE USING OR ADOPTING TECHNOLOGIES MORE THAN BEFORE AND DO YOU THINK YOU WILL CARRY ON USING THEM IN THE SAME WAY WHEN ALL RESTRICTIONS ARE OVER?

Oh yes, the website has had a thorough overhaul, we have had more time to build our social media accounts and this week we have been working on our online video tutorials for budding interior designers or home owners looking to gain insight into ‘where to start’.

Prior to the lockdown we had just completed a ‘Design Discovery day’ at our Surrey showroom and had received such amazing feedback (an overview video of the day can be found on our website under events). Since then we have been building on the idea of sharing our love of interiors and our knowledge with some behind the scenes secrets.

We will also be giving tours of the showroom with all our tips on how to create a space that really works for you.

We had to adapt quickly – Zoom calls have been working successfully and may be something we are more inclined to do. What we have found though is there is really no substitute to sitting with a client and building a relaxed rapport plus being able to see paint colours and samples first hand.

We have also used Instagram Live to talk to fellow design industry friends and show a little more of our personalities and history which we have really enjoyed doing. This is certainly something we will continue.

NAME ONE THING YOU HAVE YOU LEARNT YOU CANNOT WORK WITHOUT AND ONE WORK RELATED THING THAT YOU HAVEN’T MISSED IN THE SLIGHTEST.

We both have a trusty Smythson A5 leather writing folder which we bought as our first Christmas present to each other on the first year we started our business in 2013.

They are still as smart now as they were when we bought them 7 years ago and we love the fact they are rather matchy matchy, a bit like our partnership!

We obsessively take them everywhere and it has become even more important than ever to be able to keep track of thoughts and ‘to-dos’ since we are away from our usual desk format where we can constantly remind each other of ‘have you done that yet’ across the table.

We have not missed travelling to meetings carrying multiple heavy sample boards with slabs of marble on the London underground!!

WHILST IN LOCKDOWN, IS THERE AN OBJECT THAT YOU HAVE RECONNECTED WITH OR HAVE APPRECIATED MORE FOR BEING AROUND YOU? (PLEASE SUPPLY A PICTURE OF THIS OBJECT IF POSSIBLE)

Juliette – My bike was gathering dust but its now my favourite thing to cycle along the river with my family.

I also have a piece of art exclaiming – ‘do what you love love what you do’ – it’s something I connect with every day and resonates with me.

We have more time to stop and ponder now rather than rushing all the time – the slower pace has been cathartic.

Natalie – My ceramic sculpted vase from Danish brand ‘Ferm Living’ has been rediscovered and is the perfect size for bringing indoors a small branch of Spring blossom from either my daily dog walk or my pretty pear tree.

We have also been rather inspired and getting quite green fingered at Stephenson Wright and have been creating and delivering 100 ‘Bags of Thanks’ full of vibrant Spring plants to the doors of local nominated NHS workers.

In the process of making this idea a reality we have also raised over £2,000 for the NHS.

The bags are funded and delivered by us with the help of our industry partners Savills alongside assistance from Airsea Packing, Fiona Stephenson Designs and Surrey Life magazine.

The bags also contain a face shield from lighting supplier Cameron Design House and a copy of the May edition of Surrey Life mag for a good read.

We also enclose a card from us and a drawing from Natalie’s daughter of the Spring blooms.

Each bag is incredibly rewarding to create and deliver as we hear all the stories of how each person is giving so much in these uncertain times.

We wanted to show our gratitude to our local community and give something back, no matter how small.


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Staying INspired with…Interior Designer Sarah Ward

We’ve  missed seeing our clients and industry friends so decided to check in and discover how they are managing their working lives and staying #INspired at this extraordinary time. 

First up is Sarah Ward of Interiors by Sarah Ward

Sarah is one of London’s top interior designers and really listens to her clients, taking time to learn how they wish to live, resulting in elegant yet comfortable interiors.

Sarah skilfully introduces vibrant colours and layers textures whilst always mindful of the practicalities necessary for day to day living.

One of our favourite recent projects is Cleopatra where boldly graphic, custom headboards and textured surfaces combine with bespoke cabinetry to create eye-catching results.

WHERE ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING FROM AND HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO YOUR NORMAL WORKING ENVIRONMENT?

I’m in sunny Suffolk.  Miles away in every way from London.  It is super-quiet on the coast and I have wonderful time for creative adventure (in my mind!)

WITH OBVIOUS RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE, HOW DO YOU CONTINUE TO SOURCE YOUR INSPIRATION?

There is still so much at our fingertips – books, magazines, Instagram and the webinar fest is a fantastic source of intel. And I think…a lot.

HAS THIS SITUATION MEANT YOU ARE USING OR ADOPTING TECHNOLOGIES MORE THAN BEFORE AND DO YOU THINK YOU WILL CARRY ON USING THEM IN THE SAME WAY WHEN ALL RESTRICTIONS ARE OVER?

Well yes. I feel that my technical skills have improved massively.  ‘Zoom’ is the new us. Remote everything is accessible and working from home has never been easier.  We will definitely think about this (as far as is practical)

NAME ONE THING YOU HAVE YOU LEARNT YOU CANNOT WORK WITHOUT AND ONE WORK RELATED THING THAT YOU HAVEN’T MISSED IN THE SLIGHTEST.

The showrooms!  Apart from missing the physical inspiration it’s the lack of chat.

I haven’t missed meetings that I really don’t need to be at.

WHILST IN LOCKDOWN, IS THERE AN OBJECT THAT YOU HAVE RECONNECTED WITH OR HAVE APPRECIATED MORE FOR BEING AROUND YOU?

My garden.


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Bespoke Carpet Art for Walls

In recent years Deirdre Dyson has experimented more and more with hand knotted wall art and wall hangings, using the same principles of fine art which she applies to her carpet designs.

Common practice in Medieval times, hanging carpets and textiles has become an increasing contemporary trend and bespoke carpets accepted as artworks in their own right – equally enjoyed on the wall as the floor.

Easily transportable for renters wanting to inject personality into sparse apartments, wall hangings can instantly add colour and warmth to a large surface area with the additional advantage of the acoustic properties of dense pile against wall.

Wall panels create the perfect focal point.  This is a version of Deirdre’s visually striking GLASS CUBES design, recreated here as a runner and hung to draw the eye on this rough stone wall.

Clever lighting from above and the side emphasise the silk panels which juxtapose satisfyingly with the stone surroundings adding an unexpectedly luxurious feel and relieving what could otherwise be a cold, austere space.

For this lifestyle image from the current collection Stylist Louisa Grey took the full-size version of GLASS CUBES and used it as a backdrop on a pink painted brick wall.  Again, careful lighting highlights the vibrantly coloured silk panels and enhances the 3D quality of Deirdre’s design adding depth and interest to an otherwise dead space.

In this image Deirdre’s STAINED GLASS runner, hand knotted in 100% silk and inspired by a stained glass window in Amalfi Cathedral, is hung high to emphasise the highest point of this vaulted room, drawing the eye upwards.  Here also, there is the satisfying contrast of silk against stone.

Ironically, given its inspiration, the panel creates an alternative ‘window’ in this otherwise windowless dining space.

Deirdre’s LOOKING THROUGH is a really clever design.  The inspiration isn’t immediately obvious on the floor but when hung the rug creates an impact when the abstracted form of a water filled flask is revealed – as Deirdre says I knew from exercises in my student days that without trying, the flask would slowly appear and it did, and does in the [finished] carpet.

Any of  Deirdre Dyson’s rug designs can be redeployed as wall hangings – we generally recommend lowering the pile height to reduce weight and make hanging easier.

Practically, hanging solutions range from the unobtrusive (high strength Velcro) to making a feature with a hanging rail (such as the wrought iron rails used in the first two images) Framing is achievable for smaller panels where weight isn’t an issue such as 2019’s UNBOUND (pictured below).

The options are endless – as wonderful as Deirdre’s bespoke rugs are underfoot why not try them on the wall?


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Deirdre’s Design Inspiration – Water

Deirdre Dyson at work in her studio at home.

 

Continuing our exploration of inspiration and what keeps us #INspired, Deirdre draws inspiration for her designs from myriad sources but one recurring area of fascination is water – be it BULRUSHES reflected in a lake or lapping water on the shore in SEAWASH.

We thought exploring some of these rug designs would be fascinating – the source of inspiration being fundamentally the same, the designs themselves could not be more different.

BULRUSHES

BULRUSHES
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs BULRUSHES

One of Deirdre’s more figurative designs and one that has captured people’s imagination and become a classic and was inspired by Deirdre’s painting of the same name.

This rug features the naturally abstracted forms of bulrushes, their bending shafts reflected and refracted in lake water.

Deirdre uses a graded wool/silk mix background to recreate the skyline and lake water which merge on the horizon to create this perfectly framed design.  The finished rug is so captivating one client choose to hang it on a wall of their home.

BULRUSHES won both the International Wool Carpet & Rug Awards (Design Sector) 2017 and the International Design & Architecture Awards (Flooring, Carpet & Rugs) 2017.

 

SEAWASH

SEAWASH indigo
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs SEAWASH INDIGO

The success of Deirdre’s SEAWASH rug design is all in the grade – which required Deirdre’s exceptional eye for colour to achieve this seamless ebb and flow effect.

Originally Deirdre designed the carpet in two versions, INDIGO (above) and BEIGE (below) which have become favourite designs amongst clients, we have created both large scale carpets and runners from this endlessly versatile design.

SEAWASH beige
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs SEAWASH BEIGE

SEAWASH comes alive hand knotted in lustrous 100% silk (as in the versions above), providing the perfect watery, iridescent finish but has also been recreated several times using varying colourways in hand knotted and gun tufted 100% wool versions.

 

NAUTICAL

NAUTICAL
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs
NAUTICAL

In NAUTICAL Deirdre again treats her source inspiration completely differently – abstracting sea water into fluid but solid geometric shapes, creating a feeling of depth and movement by alternating the same colours in wool and silk.

Clients can of course change these colours from the original water based palate but fundamentally this ‘breaking down’ of the sea to its most basic elements is the key to this design.

 

LILYPOND

LILYPOND
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs LILYPOND

For LILYPOND Deirdre created a subtle, light to dark grade to give the impression of still pond water.

This circular grade, a challenge for our weavers, creates a sense of depth and bursts of colour are provided by the silk lilypads creating a 3D  effect.

 

SEASCAPE and SEA MIST

 

Both these designs are based on light (silk bars) reflected on sea water (a graded wool background)

SEASCAPE is an incredible 7m in width, reflecting the expansiveness of the sea and a chance for Deirdre to illustrate just how large hand knotted carpets can be.

SEASCAPE features shots of sunlight on the sea’s surface whilst SEA MIST uses stormier hues and was made on a more domestic scale but is no less effective.

SEASCAPE is currently available in it’s original 7 x 2.3m size and as a 1 x 2.9m runner in our sample sale.

ROMAN POND

ROMAN POND
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs
ROMAN POND

Whilst not strictly inspired by water itself, the first of Deirdre’s mosaic designs was inspired by mosaic lined Roman ponds, the intricacy of ROMAN POND poses a challenge to our weavers as the thin lines of wool ‘grouting’ around the ingots of silk are incredibly complex to achieve (and individually carve out) but the finished effect is stunning.

 

RIVULETS
The everyday source inspiration for this rug only adds to its allure  – RIVULETS mimics the trail of rain drops on a window pane – the simplest of inspiration led Deirdre to this wonderfully subtle graded design.

Finally this year’s LOOKING GLASS Collection was inspired by glass and glass objects including a water filled flask in LOOKING THROUGH, discarded pieces of sea worn glass in FLOATING GLASS and abstracted light and forms through glass and water in LIGHT FRAGMENTS.  See the full collection here.

Looking for inspiration for your home? Explore all of Deirdre Dyson’s entirely bespoke rug designs in our Design Library and imagine how you could make it your own.  Contact us with any enquiries.

 


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Deirdre Dyson and Bespoke Design in the COVID-19 Crisis: Life may have changed but the design process hasn’t

SLIVERS hand knotted in graded wool and silk from this year’s LOOKING GLASS Collection

Businesses of every type have had to change dramatically in the face of this unprecedented crisis, we wanted to reassure our current and prospective clients that we can still provide our bespoke rug designs remotely and deliver the highest quality carpets despite the upheaval we are all facing at this challenging time.

In an ideal world, Deirdre Dyson’s Kings Road gallery provides the perfect backdrop to showcase Deirdre’s rug designs; physically see their quality, explore the range of colours and discuss design options face to face with our experienced team.  We love meeting prospective clients and showing them around the gallery.

We really relish the bespoke process which by its nature is slow and considered and enjoy getting to know our clients in one to one meetings and delighting them when a carpet arrives 14 -16 weeks later.

Every year Deirdre launches her new collection at Maison et Objet Paris which gives us the widest possible platform to showcase the exceptional quality of our carpets. 

With this international audience, in recent years Deirdre’s rug designs have had increasing global reach and outside of these extraordinary times we have been dealing regularly with clients worldwide (particularly in the United States, Europe and Asia)

In these cases the design process has been carried out entirely remotely with 100% success. 

Our Kings Road Gallery (L-R) OPTIC, CHEQUERED & SHADOWS

The Remote Design Process:

Clients will initially talk through their requirements with Edison or Chris then send photographs and  floorplans to agree on designs and size plus swatches or RAL colour codes which Deirdre and her Design Technician Nichola will use to select and/or colour match wool and silk colours.

Currently Design Technician Nichola is set up to work from home and both she and Deirdre have the technical capacity to work as closely as they always do. 

We then expedite the delivery of quality samples, colour tufts, digitally transfer artwork revisions and finally send a printed render of the finished design for sign off before production. 

As this is a global crisis, our normal manufacture time of 14 – 16 weeks will be extended however we will keep you advised of any changes which may impact the production time and delivery of your carpet.

We have many extremely happy clients, both retail and trade, who have been delighted with their finished carpets without ever having ‘met’ Deirdre or her team in person.

Though not physically ‘in’ the gallery we can still liaise with our clients and deliver everything you need to create your perfect version of one of Deirdre’s rug designs. 

We’ll miss this personal contact but are lucky in that we can still produce fabulous hand knotted rugs for any requirement without being at our gallery.

LAPIS, hand knotted in wool and silk, reduced by 50%

Ex-Display Carpets:

There are several ex-display rugs which are available to purchase now such as LAPIS above, the full sale listing is on our website please just email us with any enquiries on sales@deirdredyson.com

We will continue to maintain the highest levels of customer service and advice to all our clients whether at the enquiry or fulfilment stage but do look forward, as everyone else does, to this crisis passing and very quickly reverting to our normal face to face service when this worrying time comes to an end.

 

 


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FROM LOOM TO ROOM…Part Two

Part two of Edison’s blog post on behind the scene facts about the unique and timeless quality of your bespoke hand knotted rug.

Your Carpet could be an antique of the future.

Our carpets are made to the highest standards and are heirloom quality pieces that will be enjoyed and appreciated as much in the future as they are today. As a trained artist, Deirdre Dyson approaches every design as a work of art, each being able to compliment the breadth of different interior styles and trends. Hand knotted carpets also hold their value very well.

Deirdre Dyson LOOKING THROUGH (wall) and FLOATING GLASS  (floor) bespoke hand knotted wool and silk rugs. Copyright Deirdre Dyson Carpets Ltd

 

Quality materials make a quality product.

Quality is key. From Deirdre’s initial ideas and design sketches, to the materials employed and the skill of our weavers and London team, we make sure that only the best factors and considerations are invested into creating carpets for your home and interior space.

A design consultancy service is available at our London gallery which is located in the heart of the Chelsea Design Quarter. We are here to assist and guide you in making the right choice and using the best combinations of materials and colours (from 5,000 available colours).

The Tibetan wool used in our carpets are rich in natural oils, making them not only soft and naturally stain resistant but also very hardwearing. The superior Chinese silk that is incorporated into many of our designs is smooth, cooling and full of vibrancy.

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs

“Time is what we want most…and what we use best”.

Okay, so we’ve adapted the old saying by William Penn, but we think it describes our work ethic well, as every carpet creation requires time and consideration.

The design process in adapting and creating designs for our clientele takes as long as it takes to make our customers dream a reality but generally from sign off, a carpet will go into production and be ready within 3-4 months (as a general guide to lead time). We use the latest design technologies available in the carpet industry and for every carpet we make, a full-sized graph of the design is produced and hung from the back of the loom, for guidance precision. These graphic sheets look like works of art in their own right and are protected to ensure that they can’t be copied or reproduced elsewhere. We take copyright infringement very seriously

 

Deirdre’s original sketch for GOLDEN PHEASANT

Digital version of Deirdre’s original design

The finished hand knotted version of GOLDEN PHEASANT.  Copyright Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs

The finished carpet, hand knotted in graded wool with silk

At Deirdre Dyson carpets limited, we want to share with you as much useful information as possible, so our website is full of valuable tools, tips and advice. Take a look at the current collection or browse our extensive catalogue in the design library section. We’ve made finding a suitable design very easy. Our price calculator will help you cost up a design as well as offer some useful information on sizing. Please remember that nothing is set in stone as all of the designs available are bespoke and can be adapted which may affect the sqm price.

Why not take a closer look at the production process on our video links and find more information about Deirdre herself and what we’re generally up to by visiting the profile and blog pages which are regularly updated.

Deirdre Dyson EAGLE hand knotted graded wool and silk rug. Copyright Deirdre Dyson Carpets Ltd.

 

 

 

 

 


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FROM LOOM TO ROOM…Part One

A two-part blog post where Edison reveals some fascinating facts about our hand knotted rugs, their history and production…

The history and production of carpets goes back centuries and there are countless facts, tales and accounts of the evolution of carpets from past times to the present day.

At Deirdre Dyson Carpets Limited, we pride ourselves on supporting the ancient technique of hand knotting on the loom, using only natural wool and silk.  This combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern design, guarantees the livelihood of our Tibetan makers (the majority being women) and supports their local communities, whilst guaranteeing our customers a unique, quality product that is both timeless and exclusively theirs.

Historically, carpets were not used on the floor but were used as textile coverings for walls and tables and only became associated with floor treatments in European interiors from the 15th century onwards. The term “carpet” is widely used interchangeably with the term “rug” although nowadays we typically refer to smaller, free standing pieces as rugs. But who say’s rugs should only ever be small?!?

Deirdre Dyson bespoke large scale version of ATTITUDE for a Chelsea penthouse. Copyright Deirdre Dyson Carpets Ltd
Deirdre Dyson bespoke large scale version of SCATTER. Copyright Deirdre Dyson Carpets Ltd

Behind every Deirdre Dyson carpet lies a story and here are a few interesting facts and snippets of information that you may not be aware of but might be interested to know more about.

Take a look from behind.

The best way to appreciate the skill of making a quality hand knotted carpet is to take a look at the back, an area of the carpet so many of us rarely focus on. It’s from here that you really understand just how many knots it takes to make a rug, and the particular time and skill required when changing or grading colours across a large area. It reminds us of just how unique each bespoke carpet is; each one being entirely handmade and finished.

On the back of every Deirdre Dyson carpet, you’ll also find the ‘Goodweave’ label, with a unique code to ensure your carpet was made ethically and in line with Goodweave standards. Additionally, through our Goodweave membership, a percentage of our profits go back into local community projects such as schooling and education for the young. By purchasing our carpets, you are directly supporting the Nepalese carpet industry and communities in a positive way.

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Label
Each Deirdre Dyson hand knotted rug has its own unique, numbered GOODWEAVE label

Custom made is best.

With the environment on everyone’s minds and lips, a bespoke carpet offers one of the best solutions for interior decoration.

Being custom made, we’re creating a carpet that is tailored to your needs in size, shape, design and colour and therefore you will most likely want to treasure it for a long time. Custom made also decreases unnecessary waste, as every rug is created on a ‘made to order’ basis. Our carpets are knotted in the traditional method just like antique carpets but are created with contemporary style and superior materials that are made to last.

 

A large scale version of Deirdre Dyson’s PINNACLE hand knotted rug. Copyright Deirdre Dyson Carpets Ltd.

 

A version of Deirdre Dyson’s DAWN hand knotted graded wool and graded silk rug. Photograph Simone Bossi. Copyright Alexander Martin Architects.

Learn more in part two of this blog post.

 


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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 take 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.