Monday, 2 July 2012

textile designer John Robshaw




On Friday I pinned the Madura Lapis fabric in the top-left corner, a pin that took me to the website of John Robshaw Textiles. Yesterday I gave myself time to view it and I completely lost track of time, especially when viewing the block-printed linen, some of which can be seen in this post. I was particularly drawn to the blue and brown colours. I don't remember reading anything about this designer before and now I'm inspired by his story:
After he earned a fine arts degree at Pratt and studied traditional block printing in China, John "I-Caught-the-Asia-Bug" Robshaw journeyed to India to find natural indigo dye for his paintings. Instead, he fell in love with the local artisans fabric-making traditions. The hands-on immediacy and vitality of textiles dyed, printed, woven, stitched, and worn piqued what was to become a lifelong fascination. (see more under about)


John Robshaw is a consultant for Aid to Artisans, an international non-profit organisation, which aim it is to create economic opportunities for craftspeople in developing nations. He travels all over and oversees his production in India. He likes to hire old printers when he needs help because the shaking hands and failing eyesight result in the pattern coming out slightly off. He adds: "I want to feel that human touch."

On producing his textile abroad Robshaw notes:
I get to become a minor character in the lives of the people I work with, and I can take inspiration from what I see and do there. I go to their weddings, celebrate their festivals, I get sick with them, I develop relationships with the people who are teaching me. When you look at my textiles, its like you've been on the world tour along with me.



Under souk on the website you'll find all kinds of exotic items. Robshaw also has a blog called Writer's Block, a reference to the block printing.


11 comments:

  1. What a lovely website! I just viewed his blog and the photo of the aubergine prints as wallpaper styled with the wooden vintage chair is absolutely beautiful - LOVE it! Now I must start saving to get one of those Block Print drawings in his 'souk' collection... Beautiful, beautiful - :)x

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  2. I played around with block printing on one of my art assignments in high school and I fell in love with the whole process. It's so reassuring to see something created by hand - I've also thoroughly enjoyed going through his blog! Thanks for the introduction Lisa!

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  3. I like to get lost in these stories. Beautiful prints and what a wonderful use of colour!

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  4. oh how cool- I'm going to go grab a coffee and check out all the links- I have been researching and making some block prints and am so very interested in the different techniques.

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  5. a very interesting story. I have to have a closer look at his website. thanks for the introduction!

    xx

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  6. I've just seen their website and read John's story; how wonderful that he supports the the local artisans + their industry. These fabrics are beautiful, thank you for the introduction Lisa! xx

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  7. Love this post Lisa and how wonderful is John's story and love his work! Thanks for the link just so cool!
    Carla x

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  8. Lisa I linked this post and your blog today on my post, here if you would like to read it http://carlacoulson.com/links-i-love/
    Carla x

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    1. Thank you Carla. I just opened your blog to view it and I'll leave a comment when I have viewed all the other wonderful links your shared.

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  9. Wow, Lisa, the prints are gorgeous. The idea of they are made by hand is getting me crazy. Thank you for sharing. i find your post so interesting.
    have a wonderful weekend

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  10. Thank you Lisa for showing us these gorgeous prints. I too love the blues and browns. These are classic designs. His story fascinating !!

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