Friday, July 3, 2020

Peacock & Dragon

Peacock & Dragon is one of many exquisite textiles designs by William Morris & Co. 

William Morris, Peacock & Dragon, 1878 

Inspiration for design is a fickle thing. It is not always easy to point a finger at exactly where inspiration comes from. For me, ideas for designs can linger for a long time at the back of my mind. They can be sparked by an experience, something that happens, sometimes just a feeling and often nature and art. 

I have started work on a new piece of crewel work and in my mind, I am referring to it as 'Peacock & Dragon'. At first glance, there is probably no resemblance at all, but it very much inspired by Morris's glorious design. I have had an idea of a Arts & Craft inspired design brewing for a while and naturally flicked through some of my many Morris references. 

I don't know why, but I had an idea of the main design element being 'roundish' and my eye fell on the pomegranate shape between the peacocks. From that, my design began to take some kind of shape. 
One of the many beautiful things about Morris's textiles is the layers and layers of elements - once you start looking for individual details, there is just endlessly much to look at. 

The other thing that really caught my eye in 'Peacocks & Dragons' is the way the rather prickly looking dragons graciously curve out and then towards each other. 
I find the combination of the elegant curves and the spiky shapes that form the feathers and scales? really fabulous. The foliage below the pomegranate shape in my sketch are a very far cry from dragons, but the two flowers curving towards the center and the use of pointy tips for the leaves bear a strong nod to Morris's dragons. 

I did show you the design a few weeks ago and I confess my main motivation to finish The Little Mermaid was because I needed my frame for my 'Peacock & Dragon'. (I really must think of a new name for it....) 
No sooner was the Mermaid off the frame before I got my linen framed up, ready to go. 
I have not felt this excited about stitching for some time.. it is a good feeling.... and yes, I have started but I will have more to show next week. 

Until then,
Stay safe & keep stitching.
Have a lovely weekend,


  1. Oh yes, I fully agree that inspiration is a fickle thing, I notice it too. Often it's nature which inspires me most, but it can also be other things, just as it is for you.
    But seeing this piece of W&M textile, I can imagine you got very inspired by it, it's absolutely gorgeous. I also have the idea that "if once you start looking for individual details, there is just endlessly much to look at".
    Your design is very promising, I'm sure it will be another artwork again, Anna, keep the good feeling of excitement! We'll see the next week what you've done for magic with your needle and threads ;)!
    Stay safe, take care.
    Have a nice weekend,

  2. I can see why you can't wait to start stitching. I love the gracious curves and pretty little flowers.

  3. Hi Anna! I am always amazed at the sources and paths of inspiration... we just seem to "pull it out of the ether" but there is always more to it than that! Seeing your "source material" and the design you derived from it is enlightening! I love Morris's work... the intricacy of his patterns blows me away every time I look at them! Now I can't wait to see the stitches you conjure.....!!! :):)