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The Tale of the Prince and the Magic Carpet

The Prince and the Magic Carpet

This beautifully illustrated children’s book The Tale of the Prince and the Magic Carpet was written by James Dyson’s father Alec, whilst posted in India during the Second World War.

The Prince and the Magic Carpet

The book, published by Blackie & Son of London and Glasgow, was inspired by his surroundings and was written for and features his three children – a blonde James and his brother and sister.

The Prince and the Magic Carpet

Whilst discussing blog content, Alice (our Head of Contract Sales and Marketing) suggested exploring the origins of the magic carpet at which point Deirdre mentioned this book.

The Prince and the Magic Carpet

We thought it would be lovely to share some of its beautiful illustrations and background with you.

The Prince and the Magic Carpet

Only one tatty copy of the novel remains which James Dyson has now copied for his siblings and grandchildren to enjoy.  A lovely legacy given that Alec Dyson died when James was only 9 and a wonderful link to Deirdre’s passion for carpet design.

The Prince and the Magic Carpet


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Our Largest ever Hand-Knotted Commissions

We recently completed our largest ever bespoke hand-knotted carpet commissions, each measuring approx. 6.5 x 6m (over 38 square metres).

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets & Rugs
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets & Rugs

 

 

Both carpets were created for a private client for use in adjoining private offices by Deirdre who, inspired by the surroundings and detail in one of the upholstery fabrics, created a selection of concepts from which the two final designs were chosen.

Deirdre Dyson

Given the scale, Deirdre decided to make a dramatic statement with grading – creating a palette of 13 colours from muted cream to darkest brown for both designs and selecting an ox-blood red, also used in the upholstery, to highlight the ‘stitching’ and ‘branch’ motifs on the designs.

Swatches

Stitching

Stitching

The finished carpets are stunning and a testament to the incredible attention to detail and craftsmanship of our Nepalese weavers and an absolute masterclass in grading, an astonishing feat on this scale.

Stitching and Grading

Twilight

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Botanical Inspirational – A 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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Widder Hotel, Zurich

Widder Hotel, Zurich

Deirdre recently visited Zurich and stayed at the wonderful Widder Hotel in the Augustiner Quarter.

Its refurbishment  some years ago was lead by Swiss Designer Tilla Theus.

Widder Hotel, Zurich

The hotel prides itself on its design credentials and this extends to the flooring – Deirdre was immediately taken by the carpet treatment in the foyer and suites.

Widder Hotel, Zurich

The carpet melds almost seamlessly with the geometric terrazzo in the reception area.

Widder Hotel, Zurich

…and with the hardwood flooring in the bedrooms.

Widder Hotel, Zurich

This very clever design feature works so well with the Widder’s extraordinary collection of mid-century furniture and illustrates how perfectly this unique hotel mixes the classic and contemporary.


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Welcome!

Deirdre

At such an exciting time in the company’s development, my team and I saw this as the perfect opportunity to reveal more about Deirdre Dyson the company.

The journey from initial concept to finished carpet is a fascinating one and I want to use this blog to take you behind the scenes of the entire design process.

We also want to share what inspires both myself and my team here, highlight good art and design, give updates on the exciting refurbishment project for our showroom on 554 Kings Road and most importantly showcase our bespoke carpets in their new homes.

We’re really looking forward to updating this blog regularly and hope you enjoy it!

Deirdre Dyson


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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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The Lifecycle of a Hand-knotted Carpet or what happens while you are waiting 14-16 weeks

After we’ve helped you choose the right design in the right colours and size to suit your scheme, the finished artwork and exact colour palette is sent to Nepal.

It takes 14-16 weeks to produce a hand knotted carpet, which can seem a long time in our world of instant gratification.

These images show just why your bespoke rug takes such a long time to make and some of the age-old artisan processes used at each stage of its production.

Sorting Wool
Sorting the raw wool
Carding Wool
Carding the wool
Yarn making
Spinning the yarn
Raw Yarn
Bales of yarn ready for dyeing
Bales of Yarn
Bales of yarn ready for dyeing
Dyeing Yarn
Dyeing the yarn
Dyed yarn drying
Dyed yarn drying
Weavers at Work
Weaving
Weavers at Work
Weaving
Finished WINDOWS carpet on loom
Finished WINDOWS carpet on loom
Washing
Carpet being washed

Once it’s washed, dried and checked your carpet is shipped directly to our London showroom and the finished product is revealed!

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BESPOKE UNRAVEL & TWILIGHT CARPETS AT LUXE D’INTERIEUR, PARIS

Deirdre recently created two bespoke carpets for our Parisian showroom at luxury design space Luxe d’interieur and the resulting designs look amazing in situ!

 

Our Parisian Representative Agnes Guillard worked with Deirdre to shortlist designs that not only worked with the elegant partner brands displayed in the apartment-style setting but also suggested colours she felt would appeal to Parisian tastes.  They both agreed the designs would have to feature Deirdre’s signature colour grading.

Deirdre then re-imagined this year’s UNRAVEL for the ‘dining room’ using a palate of subtle creams, beiges and browns on a contrasting ground of cleverly graded greys across a broad tonal range and used the same background grading for TWILIGHT destined for the ‘sitting room’ area.

Having these carpets on display at Luxe d’intérieur allows clients to visualise the rugs in their own home and above all appreciate the quality of our wool and silk hand knotted designs.

The Luxe d’intérieur showroom is situated in 81 rue du rocher, Paris 8 – Metro Villers and is strictly by appointment only – to arrange a bespoke consultation with Agnes and view these designs click here.

 

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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.