My initial inspiration for this project came from a kimono in the Japanese collection. I was drawn to the fabric not just because of the rich red colour but also I was intrigued by the complex pattern which appears both as a flowers or cubes depending on how it is viewed. With the encouragement of the course tutors I experimented, sketching the pattern and its component parts, drawing the shapes freehand in order to understand how it repeats and tessellates. I spent time cutting and folding paper and created a 3D diamond shaped ‘flower’ by fixing the six petals together.
I envisaged making a series of the shapes to create a 3 dimensional pattern. The separate pieces could be moved and in turn the pattern created would alter according to the light, in doing so echoing the way the pattern on the original object alters as it is viewed.
I tried different methods, first extruding clay through a six pointed star shape I had made. However the extruded clay shapes lacked the edges and angles that I had had hoped to achieve. I started to investigate hand building techniques, trialling sizes and eventually developed a method of constructing the six sided shape. I finally selected a size that would work well if the separate pieces were placed in larger or smaller groups. I chose to keep the forms free from decoration, opting instead for simple white underglaze, which enhances the shadows and in turn generates more tonal light patterns.
Monochrome figured satin weave silk (rinzu), with tie-dyeing (kanoko shibori)
V&A collection reference number(s):