I always think it's good to be pushed outside of your comfort zone and this week I did just that. I recently came across a website called Patternmash run by textile designer Hannah Kirkbride. Every month Hannah sets a creative challenge based on a design brief (including a fixed colour palette) and this month the theme is Portuguese azulejo tiles
I really wanted to challenge myself to try out some new techniques and this seemed like a great opportunity to expand my understanding of making geometric patterns. I also think it's good to get away from florals every now and then, however much I adore them!
the fun of geometrics is that you get to exercise the mathematical part of your brain as well as the creative part. I was one of those people who enjoyed sciences and arts at school and it's fun to be able to combine the two
the pattern above (Victorian Azulejo) was my first tile design. I tried to keep it simple whilst I got my head around the technical side of the pattern-making process. The end result reminds me of the Victorian cement tiles that adorned the entrance hall of the once grand house that I shared with fellow students when I was at university in Leeds
I really appreciated that I got to study art history as part of my fine art degree, and researching for this project brought the memories flooding back. The Pinterest inspiration board for this challenge is full of Middle-Eastern and North African influenced designs and I decided to channel these into my second pattern (Moroccan Azulejo, above). I had lots of fun drawing the motifs for this pattern, although the end result is a little too busy for my liking so I will re-work it at a later date. Designing this tile has made me want to go back and revisit the souks and medinas of Morocco and Turkey with my camera!
for my last pattern I wanted to have a bit more fun and add a modern twist to an ancient craft. Pineapples are everywhere in design at the moment so I decided to give them yet more exposure here. I'm going to have lots of fun re-colouring this design with a tropical colour palette.
the more I have worked on this project the more ideas have taken seed in my imagination, so don't be surprised to find geometric tile designs on my website in the near future...