Creativity. What generates that first stir of inspiration? In my case I see the world around me in patterns, repeating patterns wherever I go. The abundance of pattern in nature is daunting, leaves, ripples, pebbles, waves, nature is a how to book, a tutorial on the glories of repeat pattern. I try to keep my eyes open to so much–I go to trade shows, fabric shops and museums, or just wander through magazines and surf the net to find a spark, something that grabs me. This fascination with pattern is how my partnership with Fireclay and the new Handpainted Collections evolved.
For thousands of years we have been compiling patterns, every pattern we see has a base, a history, it's all been done before. The fun part is putting that original twist on a new design, making it distinct and feel fresh. Alexander Girard, a master of fabric design for Herman Miller is a brilliant example, he was inspired by the simplest forms, squares, triangles, circles, even something as ordinary as our alphabet, with color, repeat, scale, and design he made them his own.
Pattern by Maija Isola of Marimekko
When contemplating the new Handpainted Collections I remember, walking one day along a chain link fence and seeing it's shadow on the sidewalk, distorted, but quite lovely. I searched for photos when I got home and found my way to images of expanded metal mesh. I was captivated by the overlapping lines, the shadows, the geometry. When designing I really need to imagine what it might look like as a tile on a wall or floor, would I like to live with it?
Once I began playing with these patterns on the computer I found it fun to distort and squeeze the shapes, play with scale to make them my own. A major portion of the Contemporary Collection ended up being designed that day.
Some sketches get edited and stored away, perhaps for another day or another iteration.
Others make the first cut and get sent to the creative design team where they are curated, and blended into a cohesive group.
Pattern shown: Dolce from the Contemporary Collection
Diamonds and triangles are a particular favorite of mine. Currently I find 3 points more interesting than 4, a slant more intriguing than a grid.
Image via Pinterest; Roland Fischer | Cicil Street, Singapore, 2002. architecture, geometry, facade, concrete diamonds
Pattern shown: Isosceles from the Contemporary Collection
But, naturally, that could all change with a walk in the woods, a ripple on the bay, or my next trip to MoMA. Inspiration is endless and always evolving.