Everyday encounters


The Society of Designer Craftsmen at the William Morris Gallery

The Society of Designer Craftsmen has been invited to stage an exhibition at the William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, Forest Road, London E17 4PP, following its current refurbishment.

We are delighted to invite applications for this themed exhibition which will run from October – December 2012.

The exhibition will be jointly curated by the Society and the Gallery.

The title of the exhibition is Everyday Encounters

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not believe to be useful or beautiful” William Morris

  • Throughout his working life, Morris promoted the idea that the objects we use everyday have the potential to make our lives more fulfilling.  Well designed and crafted artefacts can lift our spirits and inspire our creativity.
  • Functional and non- functional works can also carry stories and tell tales that enrich daily life, both for the maker and the eventual owner.
  • By slowing down and not taking the ‘everyday’ for granted we can see and experience new things.

We are looking for new work that responds thoughtfully to this wide brief.  We will not accept pastiches of Morris’s work. We envisage more considered and personal responses that epitomise your own art practice.

We intend to put on an exciting exhibition that demonstrates the diverse range of disciplines of our members as well as exceptional craft skill.

I responded to this brief with the following proposal that was accepted:

Every day encounters


Consumerism and the use of modern technology

–           To explore the potential of digital printed fabric and sheet acrylic

–          To contrast a hard, shiny, transparent surface against the soft, pliant and tactile textile.

The subject – My daily encounters in the local town/ consumer society

Supermarkets – where lines of shelving, stacked with a myriad of coloured boxes and cylinders, are bisected by tapering aisles and shopping trolleys; in the Shopping Mall cascading escalators, wide, curved balconies and rectangular shop windows crammed with colour and shapes provide the visual materials to create an eclectic design drawing using the method illustrated in the Jpeg – permanent marker and dyes on stretch fabric.

  1. Digitally print the drawn design onto fabric and incorporate more traditional embroidery to enhance the finer details. This fabric will be used to make a cushion or throw for the chair
  2. Design and have made an acrylic chair printed in the same drawn design as the textile using contemporary sublimation dye technology. The design/shape of the chair will be governed by the printing method.
    1. Acrylic requires a high temperature to mould into shape; this temperature is too high for the print inks hence the areas where the acrylic is moulded would have to be clear.
    2.  A composite chair design would offer the potential to layer elements of the drawn design to create a 3D effect within the acrylic.

Needless to say I will work with experts to make a very high quality product.

Researching the project.


  • How to design and make an acrylic chair!!
  • How to manage the properties of acrylic and digital inks for digital printing onto acrylic

I look at the websites of several UK companies that specialise in designing and manufacturing acrylic chairs and chose to work with Clearly Modern, based in Portslade, East Sussex – http://www.clearlymodern.com

I met with Paul Turner designer and discussed initial design ideas and the possibilities and problems of digitally printing acrylic – notably that digital print will require a flat surface and the inks will run if heated during the process of shaping parts of the chair.

Using the theme of ‘Shopping Malls’ in the context of ‘Halls of Mammon’, where we worship regularly, I developed the following initial designs:

Three legged chair

Felt this looked rather like a plastic garden chair!

Composite Chair

Meets the brief – however the ay plan would require a lot of acrylic material that would make the chair very heavy and the extra material would make it expensive to produce too and generate too much waste

Tub chair

Meets the brief however at this point the gallery asked me to consider making a throw to accompany the chair, rather than cushions….

Back to the drawing board.

Developing patterns with a supermarket theme

Author: mollywilliams551

Textile artist and designer specialising in 3D felt art - figurative sculptures, vessels and handmade felt accessories. I have an interest in Ottoman history. I create colourful hand drawn designs inspired by the arts and crafts of the Ottoman Empire. I am a Reflexologist MAR practicing locally in the Crowborough, East Sussex area.

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