TUFTED WALL

13Jan13

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The photograph shows a tufted wall that I recently completed to present as part of the final project for an MA Design: Textiles that I’ve been studying at Bath School of Art.  The wall is made up of two semi circular shapes and is covered in  tufted wool fabric.  Tufting is a technique best remembered as the candlewick bedspread, updated here using radically different yarns and fabric.

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Traditionally, interior textiles are used as decorative accessories. I’m interested in what happens when textiles are produced on a large scale and installed in a public space.  Interactivity, softening of space, creating warmer more inviting spaces, are all notions that resonate with me and which I wish to explore when designing.

The aim of the architectural piece was to create a beguiling wall of soft threads, a surprising and tactile experience where perhaps you wouldn’t expect it.  The choice of wool was not only for technical reasons but also because of its earthy and grounding qualities and for its sound proofing capabilities.

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The ‘S’ shape of the wall was devised as I had originally planned to install the fabric on the curved wall of the University’s reception area at the Bath Spa University, Sion Hill campus.  The reception space became unavailable therefore a solution was to create a wall of my own.  I commissioned a carpenter, Steve Fallowfield, to construct the walls. Two curves could produce intimate areas in the convex spaces and my pouf designs could be displayed to give the impression of a reception or a ‘break-out’ area in a public space.

 

 

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A number of designs were trialled through smaller samples and maquettes.  Several panels were tufted on a larger scale depicting a diagonal graduation of colour. However, I disliked the final result and started again using a simple graduation of grey tones across the breadth of the walls with the aim of the threads changing from dark to light.

 

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Once I had completed all the panels the piece felt too dense.   From a distance the   tufted effect lacked impact despite the tonal changes.  The fabric needed space and so came the decision to pull rows of threads out to create added interest, movement and direction. Once threads were removed the piece gained some dynamism through the spaces left unworked.  If I was to make it again I would possibly work out a more exact design on a computer so that the  disappearing lines are more artfully plucked.  I also think that I would reconsider my choice of making the fabric in four seperate panels per wall.  I would experiment further with the best placement of the fabric joins.

Alongside the tufted wall I also presented a collection of fabrics for interior use – printed and tufted wools, laser-etched leather and digital prints that can be printed  on a number of different fabrics.

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For the wall in the espresso bar at Mercedes Benz HQ in Berlin Petra Blaisse returned to an idea that had proved too expensive for her work on the Dutch embassy in Berlin—lowly brush bristles. She was captivated by the material’s tactility and how clearly it improves a room’s acoustics. The white hairs are threaded into a gold-colored foil backing and arranged in a rounded pattern along the wall, giving the stark room the illusion of spaciousness. “The wall is not a wall anymore,” Blaisse says. “It’s just some kind of watery veil-like substance.” The synthetic hairs also obliquely reference the nearby collection of cars: a German manufacturer supplied Inside Outside with industrial brushes commonly used in the auto industry. “We tried to make it so refined that it wouldn’t remind anyone of technical things like car washes,” Blaisse says. “It looks very chic, but of course, it’s just a brush.” http://www.metropolismag.comDSC8252adjusted

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digital print displayed at Gloucester Cathedral

Ptolemy Mann digital print displayed at Gloucester Cathedral

This is a vibrant exhibition currently showing at Gloucester Cathedral, England until the end of the year. The show features two textile artists/designers concerned with colour and creating textiles that interact with architecture. The cathedral is a stunning location to exhibit. Ptolemy Mann‘s beautiful digital prints are hung the length of the pillars – the scale reminds me of medieval tapestries that you often see in churches, the jewel-like colours echo the dazzling colours of the stained glass windows around.

Stained glass reflections on the pillars echo the colours and patternd of Ptolemy Mann's prints

Stained glass reflections on the pillars echo the colours and patternd of Ptolemy Mann’s prints

Ptolemy Mann detail of digital print

Ptolemy Mann detail of digital print

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna Glasbrook‘s pieces are no less impactful. Stunning day-glo ribbons woven through mesh and perspex appear to twirl and twist in mid-air. Beautiful back-lit fabrics glow in a myriad of colours. All contrasting brilliantly with the grey stone architecture that they are placed within.

Anna Glasbrook design

Anna Glasbrook design

Anna Glasbrook design

Anna Glasbrook design

The cloister Gloucester Cathedral

The cloister Gloucester Cathedral


I have just returned from Amsterdam where I went to witness at first hand Claudy Jongstra’s felt wall.  It was fascinating to see in real life. I was interested in the way that the panels had been executed on the wall – with adhesive – and also to see how much the wall had clearly been touched by the public.  It was looking a little shabby but I didn’t mind that – it was obviously so enjoyed by the people that experience that amazing library.  It will help me greatly when I’m making my own fabric wall which is currently underway. Image


Anne Lindberg is an American artist [I presume] who creates beautiful thread installations.  The multicoloured threads intercept and redefine spaces while creating an optical illusion at the same time.


Sinus drapery at Clarion Hotel, Stockholm, 2007

Sinus – Soft Walls – Stockholm Furniture Fair 2005

Just discovered the work of this Swedish designer Johanna Lindgren who sometimes collaborates with Helen Hogburg. The pictures show their design called ‘Sinus’ which is space, soft wall, room divider with a sound absorbing function using industrial felt ribbons suspended on wires. It’s a visually appealing design but with practical properties. I’m enjoying the pattern of the felt ribbons and the transparency of the wall.  It’s also fun to look at.


Here is a video portrait of the Dutch textile/felt designer Claudy Jongstra.

Inspiring woman who dyes all her own felt using plants from her own farm , the wool

comes from her own flock of sheep.  She creates incredible large-scale felt wall coverings

for public and private spaces.




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