inspiration comes from so many places, and I wanted to share one of the
(many!) favorite inspirations from my
recent trip to India.
While we were in Jaipur, we visited a rug factory. One of the rugs caught my eye and I just couldn't stop looking at it, so I took lots of closeup photos so I wouldn't forget the details. The more I looked, the more familiar it seemed, until finally it hit me like a ton of bricks! This traditional pattern, done in 1000 stitches per inch, must have been the inspiration for some of William Morris' designs!
As we discussed the similarities between his work and the traditional rugs we were reviewing, the story came out that he did indeed have a connection to India.
You may recall that I was in France earlier this year. I was thrilled to pick up a big thick pictorial encyclopedia of Morris' designs, at The Louvre Bookshop! Yes I carried that and a couple other textile thumper books back in my suitcase. So I've been studying Morris' work with greater depth over the last 10 months.
When we started our business, one of my favorite companies was Rose & Hubble, who did William Morris reproductions. Sadly, that company does not exist any longer.
Every year, at least one company comes out with a contemporary or repro version of Morris' classic designs. Most recently we've snapped up Claridge Manor by Yuko Hasegawa, and the William Collection from Kona Bay. Yummy! You can find these, and coordinates in our Art Deco & Nouveau, Steampunk & Victorian category.
We are still inspired by William, but what inspired William to begin with?
My fellow traveler Pam Holland told me about Morris' collaboration with Thomas Wardle, who was experimenting with Indian silks and natural dyes. They played around with Indian block printing, (which we played around with in Jaipur as well!) and then Morris stayed in Wardle's town two years working on colors and processes that would take his own experiments in tapestry, printing and wallpaper even further.
One of the places you can study his work up close, is the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. (My favorite museum in the world...which is saying something!) You can also visit the William Morris Gallery in northeast London.
If you are interested in learning more about historic textiles, William Morris is a great place to start! The topic is deep and broad, and you can spend the rest of your life wandering through museums looking for vintage textile designs, but once you get to know William you'll spot his work (and his inspirations!) in a heartbeat!
For more of my photos of India, visit my photo page.
We are accepting comfort quilts for Colorado Flood victims. You can drop them off or ship them to us at:
5455 Spine Rd, Suite E
Boulder CO 80301
We will have another distribution in early November. We are focusing on the evacuated community of Lyons, and also local teachers who lost their homes/possessions.
Please note if your group is making a memorial quilt for Sandy Hook Elementary, we would like to receive them by mid-November latest. This is for distribution on or near the one-year anniversary of December 13. We have a contact there who will distribute them to families in the school and community.