Looking at these Tea Towel designs that are on exhibition in the V and A in London (in their spring exhibition 2012) makes me realise how repeat pattern in design is everywhere – even on the bit of cloth we use to dry the pots!! However i don’t think that we will have seen many designs as intricate and as impressive as these for a long while – shame to get them wet really, there are a few i would have put on the wall as a work of art!

All of the images are from ‘Guardian.co,uk’ – with the link http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/gallery/2012/mar/20/british-textile-design-tea-towels#/?picture=387551198&index=0, and i will note the individual image numbers with each image.

V & A Tea Towel, 'Fishermen' - image 001


V&A Tea Towel 'Green Vases' - 003


V&A Tea Towel 'Mugs'


I really like the design on the T Towel above and i wonder if it is because the colours are so deliberately separate and bold? It reminds me of Picasso in his cubist period for some reason.

V&A Tea Towel - 'Harvest' - 005


V&A Tea Towel -'Houses' - 001


I think the last one is really my most favourite, i love the blue, yellow and red houses, and the clearly visible repeat. I find the imagery to be quite contemporary which is interesting as they are 1950’s designs, which then makes us beg the question of whether or not anything is every truly unique, as we surely use the past as a reference point at some point?

I have never been an artist or designer that will copy others work, at first when i was training i was appalled to see people directly copying, and i would be determined to not look at any other influences, but i soon found that there were benefits to looking at people’s work but it depends on what you are looking at it for. I am never short of ideas, so i would never look at other artists work for ideas, but sometimes if i am working with a technique i will research artists that use a similar technique, and then this tends to open my mind to a wealth of opportunities, But i think that we are constantly influenced whether it is deliberate or not, from the TV, magazines, our environment etc – we can’t get away from it.


But is it all going round in ever decreasing circles? and are we re vamping the ideas of the past again and again? Definite food for thought i think! 🙂