Inspired by Spitalfields’ place at the heart of textile design in the past, Town House has brought together three contemporary designers and makers for this year’s Shoreditch Design Triangle. Each of them uses a different medium, but they are all re-interpreting textile pattern, use and design in their work to stunning effect.
Mary Norden takes the Japanese tradition of repairing and reusing textiles and re-works carefully selected pieces of vintage fabric, patching and stitching them together to create stunningly bold abstract images. The layers of fabric and stitching she creates are matched by the layers of history of the individual fabrics and Mary provides a brief narrative of all the fabrics used for each piece including their age and original use.
Janet Tristram and Cameron Short also work with fabric and are the artist craftsmen behind Bonfield Block-Printers in Dorset. Every piece, whether it’s a coat, print or textile design is imbued with an idea stemming from their love of the sea, rural life and folklore. For their stunning coats they use ideas from historical clothing and costume, but combine this with a strong narrative and visual element in the printed linings. Their fabrics combine the rhythms of natural and rural life with the repetition that is the essence of printed textiles and their hand stitched cushions, created by using a patchworks of block printed fabric, are works of art.
Layers of narrative are also a strong element in Katrin Moye’s ceramics. For Edit 19 Town House has commissioned a collection of her work using Spitalfields’ silk designs as the inspiration for their surface decoration. Katrin is attracted to the sinuous leaves, flora and decorative elements which are a core part of the Spitalfields silk weavers’ designs and she echoes the hand of the maker that is ever present in all of these pre-machine age pieces. Katrin slowly pours a white slip from a jug over the dark chocolate-brown, earthenware body to make the ground for her hand painted decorations. The slip has a way of dripping and pooling, interacting with the dark clay underneath to form a lively, contrasting surface for the delicate painted decorations.