There are some words that I use all the time but I don’t really know if they are common in other english speaking countries or not. Cuppa certainly has british roots and is commonly said in Australia, but would people in the states know what I’m talking about? Or does it make as much sense as talking about a tuckshop or my togs? In any case, a cuppa is a cup of tea and I’ve just settled in with my 5th for the day, or maybe it is my the 6th, it can be difficult to keep track! There is much to love about tea and with so much variety, I had such a great time sipping my way through this challenge. Smokey lapsang souchong, delicate pai mu tan, complex darjeeling, soft hand rolled jasmine pearls, rich oolong, zesty early grey…. I really think there is something for everyone in the world of tea!
Although it is not technically tea (I’m no purest, if you steep it in water and drink it you can call it tea in my eyes), dried chrysanthemum flowers not only make a lovely drink but also look magical bobbing around in a cup or pot . Blooming green tea balls and floating chrysanthemum flowers were the starting point for this collection and the inspiration behind the first print Cup of Chrysanthemums. I really loved playing with shapes and angles in the last challenge but after a few hours of trying to get a variety of shapes and sizes working on the computer I realised I’d have to put pen to paper and draw the entire repeat by hand first rather than just motifs like I tend to do. Delicate carefully hand rolled jasmine pearl tea leaves contrasted against ridged straight gyokuro leaves were the inspiration behind the third print Jasmine Pearls.
Almost as fun as drinking tea is collecting tea things. Unfortunately my collection of tea pots and cups are in storage at the moment but they were an early reference for this collection. Surface patterning on tea ceramics and storage really captivates me and the second pattern, Washi, was inspired by Japanese washi paper tea storage canisters, the final pattern in the collection, Buncheong Blooms, is reminiscent of Buncheong ware, a Korean form of stoneware and also references the chrysanthemum motif of the primary print.
A huge thank you again to Ellen and Madeleine for hosting such a great competition and especially for selecting me to participate and to share my work. Also a huge thank you to the other contestants for sharing their work and design process, as well as support and encouragement as the deadlines loomed closer each round. And of course thank you to everyone who has looked at my work here or written kind comments. Being a part of repeat(ed) has been amazing. I’ve learned far more than I ever imagined about repeats, colour, quilting and the fabric design industry.