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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2 Responses to “TUFTED WALL”

  1. Love it. Especially the use of empty space to add emphasis and the natural look of the thread arrangements.


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