Inspired by the V&A

Every year the Victoria & Albert Museum holds an art competition, called “Inspired by”  for people on part-time courses. Entrants have to create a piece inspired by work in the collections of the V&A or the Museum of Childhood. Selected works are displayed in the relevant museum in October.

I’m planning to enter some of the indigo felted vessels I’ve made. The pieces that have inspired me are a stoneware sake set by Yamada Hikaru made around 1979, and a 17th-century blue and white porcelain sake bottle, maker unknown.

I love the organic simplicity of the forms of the vessels in the sake set, and I thought I would use indigo dye and shibori, both traditional Japanese techniques, to add the blue and white element.

You’ve already seen some of these, but here’s a photo of the final set. The two larger felt vessels are ombre dyed with indigo, while the five smaller ones are nuno felted with a different yarn or fabric, also dyed with indigo.

Larger felt vessel, ombre dyed with indigo
Smaller felt vessel, also ombre dyed with indigo
Nuno felt pot with silk velvet
Nuno felt pot with cotton muslin
Nuno felt pot with silk chiffon
Nuno felt pot with ombre-dyed crocheted lambswool
Nuno felt pot with cotton gauze

Just have to fill in the entry form now – probably the hardest part!  😉

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Flextiles uses shibori, ecoprinting and felting to create original, one-off upcycled pieces. Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

11 thoughts on “Inspired by the V&A”

  1. Oh Kim these are so beautiful and the feltting looks good too, well done you. I do hope you win, these form a beautiful arrangement and should be kept as such,please do not be tempted to split them up.

  2. Absolutely beautiful – honouring all traditions from your inspiration. Good luck with your application, your a definite for the exhibition. You should also consider sharing these works with Yoshida Wada and the World Shibori network of folks. I’m certain they’d be impressed as well.

  3. Wow Kim, these are fabulous. I have my finers crossed for you. If you are planning to sell any of these after the competition, please let me know.

  4. Thanks so much for all your positive feedback – I’m really touched.

    Jennifer – I’m so flattered that you think the World Shibori Network would be interested. I think perhaps I’ll wait until I find out whether I’m selected until I get in touch with them. 🙂

    Avril – I haven’t even thought about selling them: just getting them finished and getting the application in on time! Will let you know what happens.


    1. Thanks Rebecca. 🙂

      I’ve sold one of the larger ones and two of the small ones, as I was finding it difficult to sell them as a set. The rest I still have and will be displaying as part of an exhibition next month at the Jeannie Avent Gallery in East Dulwich if you live in London.


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