Bliss Studio Textiles

Bliss Studio Textiles

Linda is a textile designer,specialising in woven fabrics. After completing her studies in fashion and textiles, she went on to establish a studio and is currently based at Wimbledon Art Studios in London.

Linda creates unique pieces of wearable art - scraves and wraps. Each design is an individual work intended to create a distinctive piece by composing a mood or texture in fabric.  No two pieces are indentical, although themes flow from one to another. 

Her influences are the style of the Art Nouveau era, particularly artists such as Mucha, Klimt, Jessie M King and Margaret MacDonald, and also Celtic Mythology. Linda is deeply inspired and moved by the natural life and rhythms of the British Isles from Autumnal woodlands, insect wings and tree bark, to the patterns of seaweed left by the outgoing tide. Her work incorporates a variety of media, from silks,luxury wool fibres, cashmere, mohair to metallic yarns,ribbons, vintage lace, velvets and satins with occasional hand embroidered beading (as inspiration dictates).

An Interview with Linda Blissett

Why did you become a designer-maker?  I have been drawn to the creative process for as long I can remember and have always wanted to do it, also I always been fascinated by the construction of fabrics and the sensuality of them.

What are your main influences?  Celtic mythology and the native nature of the British Isles, especially its coastline and tidal spaces.  I am also deeply drawn by the curvilinear textures and the subtle muted colours of the Art Nouveau era. 

What part of the process excites you the most?  The process of realising inspiration into a physical piece. The moments when a creation unfolds before me on the loom to the point where I can see my mental image becoming reality         

What would you say is important to you when it comes to designing?   Conveying a mood in fabric, I would say that originality, tonal balance and texture are vital.  To be most effective, the message should be subtle, almost subliminal and that is the look I try to achieve                  

And when it comes to choosing materials?  The colour and texture of the yarns to ensure that each design has an individual quality to them.

Can you describe from beginning to end how a piece, selected by you, is made?  Describe where the design concept came from, what influenced you, how you decided on the materials or colour, what processes did you  use etc?  For the Lulworth design I visited Lulworth Cove in Dorset on many occasions as I felt inspired by the texture left by the exposed rocks and seaweed from the outgoing tid, as well as the movement of the sea in the shallow coastal water.  So for this design I chose a mixture of yarns from various silks, mohairs,  mercerised cotton, slub wool and lurex to translate the textures and colours which I then tried to translate into what I saw and felt in the cove into the woven piece.

What do you think makes you different/ unique from other makers within your genre?   The way I thread up the loom is unorthodox in terms of traditionally weaving techniques and others weavers have found it difficult to comprehend how my pieces are produced!
What do you regard as your greatest success in your career to date?  The positive feedback I have received from many people regarding my work
From all your pieces which is your favourite and why?  The piece I am working on now and no doubt once I finish that it will be the next one.

What are the benefits of being a maker?  To be able do something I am passionate about in a creative environment surrounded by like-minded people.
What are the disadvantages?  Establishing with prospective customers an understanding of pricing structure where they  can appreciate that the designs are one off pieces which take a lot of time to produce compared to products in high street stores that are generally mass produced in developing countries with exploitative working conditions.

Did you have an inspirational teacher?  Yes, Steve Attwood-Wright  at Middlesex University.
What do you enjoy doing apart from designing and making textile pieces?  I enjoy photography, browsing antique shops and country breaks (particularly Dorset, and the Scottish borders)… all of which could be said to add to the design process!

If you weren't a designer/ maker what would you have liked to be?  Difficult to say as I have only ever wanted to be an artist / fashion designer, but I also enjoy photography. Framing a picture to convey a mood or memory can carry a sense of reward, but I mostly prefer to use my pictures as triggers to, what is for me, the next stage of the creative process
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?  Before I studied textiles at Middlesex University, I studied fashion, preliminarily creating garments in 3D before pattern cutting, this is how I became interested in fabric construction .

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