The theme was introduced to give support and cohesion to the designs that we would create throughout the year almost like an invisible ideas hammock. It was a means of inspiration to refer to whilst on the creative journey, having a theme meant that across all of our techniques and products you could see the link thus meaning everything works better together as a collection. We weren’t trying to limit people to just one thing, but encourage people to embrace the essence of Japanese culture, history, design , food and fashion and try and channel it in to their studio practice.
Where do you start in creating a collection?
When embarking on a body of work with a theme in mind, it is important to start from an experimental perspective. At the start of the Japan year, we ran a series of exploratory workshops using various techniques to begin to accumulate a sense of the brief.
This included painting with willow sticks and ink with the Japanese landscape for inspiration and then following this, some short interactive drawing exercises. We then went on to explore food in several drawing workshops in which beautiful amalgamations of noodles, dried squid and citrus fruit appeared, among others.
I think these exercises helped to encourage people to think less literally about the theme and not see it as a restriction. It allowed people to approach the idea/playing stage from a different angle. From this completely unique compositions began to emerge which have since been on a fantastic journey of change and metamorphosis - resulting in beautiful surface pattern designs.
The drawing workshops then led on to lino printing in which sections of the drawings were isolated using viewfinders and scale was manipulated. The manipulations were translated onto lino where they became something else new again and began to take on their own persona. Sushi rolls became suns , cabbages became mountains and so on.
In exploring to begin with and being playful with the techniques we have let the process take the designs on a journey in contrast to having the concept and outcome dictate our processes.
The JAPAN collection is available in our shop and you can download a copy of our product catalogue here and come and say hello to us at...
10-12 September 2017
HOME stand H-A19