Sunday, 30 August 2015

Pick & Pick + End & End

Earlier this summer, as part of the new additions to our Aerial upholstery collection we launched four new pick & pick 'grounds'. These are single-cloths which co-ordinate with the background colours and textures in our patterned double-cloth fabrics. Quieter cousins to the double-cloths, the grounds are establishing themselves as beautiful versatile fabrics in their own right and we have a number of exciting projects in the pipeline.

The pick & pick technique is used with a plain weave structure and is created by alternating two weft colours or picks. (When a similar technique is used in the warp, alternating warp threads or ends the technique is called end & end.)

We often use these techniques to create mixed colours as in the upholstery grounds above. It is a lovely way to mix colour in a quite deliberate and graphic way - you get great depth of colour whilst always still reading the individual yarns in the mix.

We also often use pick & pick and end & end techniques to achieve a very graphic form of shading. In the Ziggurat blanket above which we make for Margaret Howell, you can see the way that the white and mushroom colour are knocked back in areas with the little charcoal end & end dots. In the overall design these shaded areas contrast crisply with the areas of more solid colour.

In the 2/8ths blankets we have used end & end against solid colour to achieve the visual break between the top 'boarder' of the blanket and the main body. You can see the point at which the two effects meet on the fold of the 2/8ths Storm Blue blanket in the stack above. It is a beautiful way to change the feel of the fabric - knocking back colour, adding darker or lighter areas in a graphic way - I think of it as a sort of woven cross-hatching.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Barbara Hepworth - Drawings

We went the other day to the Barbara Hepworth show at the Tate. There were lots of beautiful familiar pieces - I particularly loved the huge guarea wood pieces with their beautiful nut-like polished exteriors and their chalky lime-washed textured interiors.

Perhaps what struck me most though were the drawings - most of which I had never seen before. I found these studies of surgeons at work really extraordinary. They were made just after the war, when Hepworth had befriended the surgeon Norman Caponer who had treated Hepworth and Nicholson's daughter. 

I really love all the scratchy grainy textures in the drawings - for me they have much of the quality of the chalky textures in Hepworth's carving. 

There is a great article by Jonathan Jones from 2012 about the drawings in which he draws the comparison between these and the paintings of Piero della Francesca. You can read the article on the Guardian website here: