The inspiration for these works started with a trip to the Victoria & Albert Museum. I was attracted to an 18th century ‘sack-back’ gown made from Spitalfields silk. Having spent 10 years working next door to Spitalfields I was aware of its silk weaving history.
As I researched the museum’s silk collection I was taken by one textile designer in particular. Anna-Maria Garthwaite was a leading freelance pattern designer who lived and worked in Spitalfields for over 30 years. She supplied designs to the local silk weavers at a time when few women were recognised for their craftsmanship. I have taken ideas from some of her water colour pattern designs and incorporated these into my work.
The Silk Moth Dome depicts five glass silk moths (bombyx mori) and cocoon representing the different stages involved in the production of silk from the extraction of the silk thread, dyed silk skeins, a range of woven silks and finally the eventual decay of the fabric through age and wear.
The framed Mulberry Leaves also shows the silk production cycle. Each leaf shows a different development stage; from the young leaf through to the mature lobed leaf.