For university I have to write about a piece of work that I'd wish I had made myself, at first I found it difficult to choose just one piece that I'd wish I'd done because I have so many interests and influences from fashion, wallpaper, fabric, sewing, print and drawing, but I finally decided on my favorite wallpaper and fabric designers, Timorous Beasties.
Timorous Beasties are a surreal, modern and innovative textile and wallpaper designer duo based in Glasgow, founded in 1990 by Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons, who met at the Glasgow School of art. Nearly all of their work is both hand drawn and hand printed, continuing a printing tradition that has been around for years, and also a tradition that is quickly being replaced by machinery and digital printing.
My favorite collection from Timorous Beasties was the Rorschach collection.
This collection is made up of six different designs/patterns in numerous different colour ways. All of the wallpapers were taken from the initial idea of the staining of damp blotches. The blotches were then overlapped with traditional damasks to create these vivid and interesting wallpapers.
Damask is something that I’ve not heard of before so I decided to look into what it was and how it would link to the work of Timorous Beasties. Damask is a specific type of fabric/material associated with drapes, and upholstery. Classic damask is made from silk, it is recognized by it’s flat background which raised designs appear.
Damask prints is a reoccurring pattern and design in Beasties works and you can see that in their collections such as Hornbrook and Rogues a lot of inspiration is taken from traditional damasks, and then changed and modified to a modern and contempory fresh print/design.
One of my favorite wallpapers from the collection is Grand Blotch Damask, a beautiful vivid orange, blue and yellow design where all the colours have blended and mixed together to create greens and browns, (this is only available in one colour way) The print reminds me of beautiful coloured coral from the sea and because all of the colours are watered down and have bled and ran into each other it makes me think of the sea and ocean.
I think that because it is on a white background it really makes the print stand out from the neutral back ground, if the design was placed on top of an orange or a different coloured background it would have been to overbearing and been too much in a room and too much for the eye. I think that this wallpaper would look beautiful in a modern home as a feature piece for the whole room. I would have loved to see a photograph of the wallpaper in a room but couldn’t find one anywhere, I would have liked to see how people have put it in a room and how they have styled the rest of the room to fit around the strong and bold wallpaper.
Grand Blotch Damask
Another one of my favorite designs from the collection was Chic Blotch a similar wallpaper to Grand Blotch Damask however this one comes in six colour ways and is more filled in than Grand Blotch Damask. My favorite colour way is pink, I think that this is my favorite because it has shades of purple, yellow, orange and peach in the wallpaper, this creates more depth and detail. Because of the different hues and hints of colour it picks up the detail and intricate patterns, making the wallpaper more interesting
and creates more depth and dimension. This is also helped by the strengths of the inks, some of the ink is quite strong in colour creating a bold look, whereas other colours and shades have been watered down to create a soft and watery look, these two mixtures of technique and mix of ink strengths create a dimensional and interesting design.
This is a close up shot to see the intricate detail and patterns that are in this design. Because from a distance I don't think that you can see and appreciate the intricate detail in the pattern.
Although this work is nothing like my own work, I still appreciate and think that they are beautiful and imaginative. I think maybe because they are so different to my own work it draws me towards them and makes me wish that I had created them myself. In my last brief I had to create a wallpaper design for Anaglpta, and I found the layout and the print difficult to envision in my head and it took a long time to mock up on tracing paper and come up with a balanced and pleasing to the eye design and found it difficult to work out the drop and repeat. So looking at these images and other wallpaper from Beasties has helped me to understand how to design wallpaper, and appreciate what a long process creating wallpaper is, from collecting images that inspire your work, then drawing designs and creating the final design to print my hand on a screen. Another reason why I am drawn to the work of Beasties is because nearly all of their work is printed by hand using silk screens, in an interview I found they joke that the reason why the duo started the company as a duo was because it takes two people to print. I think that carrying on traditional techniques is terrific, because hand printing has a different look and feel to wallpapers that have been produced in mass by a machine.