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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’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.