I have always been delighted by the V&A Museums textile and tile collections so made a beeline for these on my visit to find inspiration for my textile practice.
Reviewing my drawings and photographs after my visit I was captured by the ‘personality’ that emerged for some of the motifs of lions, lambs, deer, phoenix and griffins that I had recorded. Setting aside a cerebral urge to investigate symbolism in medieval tiling and textiles, I decided to explore this observation further in a more light-hearted way.
This piece emerged following a design session manipulating line drawings with some simple computer software; the result put me in mind of both Andy Warhol and Central Asia carpets, thus design and technique were signposted.
The Shyrdaks felt carpet techniques from central Asia is an area I have explored before in my work. I love the bold patterned effect you can achieve and the fact that with the ‘sister’ method (cutting the same design in several same sized piecing and swapping the pieces around) nothing is wasted.
Traditionally the stitching used in the carpets is purely structural and is usually covered by braiding which is attached where the pieces meet. Here I have chosen to make my stitching a visible part of the work. I have used an adapted blanket stitch to both secure the pieces together and to provide a decorative effect.
I am pleased with the resulting piece and intend to explore this idea further with different motifs, scales and colours.
Inlaid and glazed earthenware
V&A collection reference number(s):