These lovely bespoke embroidered velvet footstools, created in shapes inspired by lilypads in Koi ponds, continues a broad theme in my work of urban landscape. Graffiti’d walls, watery depths and urban reflections create a shimmering world in which embroidered and printed Koi carp float, amid embroidered watery waves, their scales and bodies shining from appliquéd layers of voile and acetate fabrics.
The Koi footstools part of my current series of interior screens and wallhangings, inspired by urban wildlife and historical allegorical paintings and scenic wallpapers. This Koi design is an urban chinoiserie, inspired by historical tattoos, urban landscapes and Japanese Koi. The footstools are configured as a group of 3, referencing the shapes of lily-pads in a Koi pond. In Japan, the Koi are kept both for ornamentation, and, in traditional Japanese towns, as functional urban helpers, living in the waterways under the houses and temples, and keeping the water clean. They are hugely popular as tattoo motifs too, where they symbolise endeavour, perseverance and overcoming troubles. Koi feature regularly on the Hanten firemen’s jackets, used in Japan in the Meiji and early Taisho periods, as protective motifs; the Hanten jackets are gorgeous padded and embellished jackets that were soaked with water to keep the firemen safe as they put out the fires in the predominantly wooden built cities of the times. Inspiration for my designs comes both from historical research and contemporary diverse urban cultures, and the ongoing relationships between urban and wild environments.
Koi Footstools are produced to order using high quality digitally printed velvet and embroidery, solid beech frames and traditional upholstery techniques; prices start from £950 + VAT for the smallest one. They are currently to Schedule 3, suitable for residential use with a fire-retardent wool interliner, with a commercial usage standard frame. Production can also be arranged for larger orders and commercial interior requirements. Please contact me for further information.