We have launched a new silk scarf and I would like to tell you a little about the inspiration behind this elaborate vibrantly coloured mythical piece entitled Clockwork. As with all my work there is an ornate theme to the design and a heavy focus on hand drawn detail and hidden imagery. My aim was to push my technical drawing capabilities, creating a design with endless detailed focal points and images within images, allowing the viewer to always find something new when they look at the scarf.
The design was inspired by my deep interest in the industrial revolution, culture of the 19th century and artists of the period. The 19th century is a period filled with wacky inventions, ornate machinery, strange and dark fairytales, adventurers, Victorian architecture, romanticism, impressionism and Art Nouveau; all of which are sources of inspiration within my greater body of design. From my perspective researching this period of time is like peeling back a hatch, parting the smog and peering into a mysterious, beautiful, terrifying, intriguing, inspiring and wondrous machine with giant elaborate cogs, wheels and pistons.
Below I have picked out a few of the images that inspired the design and break down the significance of each one.
The Great Historical Clock of America
A once forgotten oddity of American history, this 13 foot tall, 6 foot wide clock is now a prized piece of history on show at the Smithsonian museum. The intricate beautifully detailed clock was possibly built by C. Chase of Boston in the late 1800’s with the intent of visually educating Americans about American history in an exciting way. The concept of telling a story within this beautifully decorated clock served as great inspiration for the scarf.
The Brothers Grimm Fairytales
With the 19th century came Romanticism which is understandable considering city life was not exactly enjoyable during the industrial revolution. The Romanticist movement saw the revival of folklore tales and with that came the now iconic Brothers Grimm. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Popularized almost all the fairytales we know today, this includes Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel and on the list goes. The fairytales and illustrated books inspired the fairytale creatures in the Clockwork Scarf.
The Power Loom
Possibly one of the most iconic inventions of the Industrial revolution was The Power Loom, at the height of the 1800s there were 260,000 in use across the UK. The power loom marked a giant shift in how fabrics were made for both fashion and interior textiles and I couldn’t do a 19th century scarf without a nod to this beautiful and extremely dangerous machines cogs and wheels.
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt
For opulence, colour and pattern there is no better 19th century artist to inspire a scarf design than Gustav Klimt. I chose his piece entitled portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer to inspire the colour theme of the scarf, It is known as one of Klimt’s most accomplished pieces and currently sits in the Neue Galerie in New York.
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