Derby-based, Irish-born textile designer Berni Raeside will launch her Detta debut collection of knitted heritage blankets and cushions, created in 100 per cent lambs wool, at Showcase Ireland this month.
Inspired by the windswept and craggy coastline of the west coast of Ireland, each piece is hand-made on vintage knitting machines as heirloom pieces to be handed down – just like the Aran jumpers before them.
Berni will also be launching her unique collection of designs for knitted-look wallpaper and digitally printed cushions, tote bags, table cloths and napkins.
Born and bred in Dublin, Berni has lived in the East Midlands for over 20 years and recently graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Textile Design from the University of Derby. She was also confirmed as a full member of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland in December, just in time for the official launch of the Detta brand at Showcase Ireland.
“It is such an honour to have my work recognised by the country I grew up in, and where I was first introduced to textile design – and what better place to launch my debut collection than my home town of Dublin at the start of a new year in 2015.”
Berni specialises in designs for knit and print and she combines both to create functional, aesthetically pleasing and tactile products for interiors.
The blanket and cushion designs lend a nod to the traditional stitches of the Aran jumper but with a modern, fresh approach. Traditional knitting techniques are mixed with designs for digital textile printing and wall coverings to create unique designs for cosy, warm and inviting spaces.
Her debut collection was inspired by the craggy landscape of the Aran Islands’ windswept and wild coastline, and the knitted jumpers that the islands are famous for. It includes a range of surface pattern designs, printed fabrics, wallpapers and knitted blankets and cushions for the home.
The starting points of this collection are Berni’s creative sketchbooks and photographs of the landscape taken during a field trip to two of the islands; Aran Mor and Inis Meain. These include images of the miles of stone-walls that cover the islands, the crashing Atlantic sea and craggy rock formations.
In addition to photography, ink and bleach drawings form the basis of the original artwork in the sketchbooks and mark-making represents the natural patterns of the landscape, capturing the movement of the sea. Strong brush strokes are combined with looser patterning and when the bleach is applied on top it creates a three dimensional effect.
For this collection, Berni created a series of Aran-inspired knitted fabric samples that she then scanned in and worked on to create repeat patterns for digital printing onto surfaces such as fabrics and wallpapers.
She will be at Showcase Ireland, RDS, Dublin, January 18-21, Home and Gifts, Stand A247
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