From Vision to Reality
How does an idea go from being just a thought—a sketch on a piece of paper—to a finished product that will become a cherished part of someone’s home? Most of the time, the design process is led by the creative director as part of a broader collection, inspired by a trend or sometimes born of the need to use a certain fiber, loom or driven by some other external influence. In this instance however, we reversed the roles and our team of talented weavers brought their creativity to the forefront.
“The Prism Series of handwoven throws was a creative endeavor that brought everyone together.”
The Prism Series of handwoven throws was a creative endeavor that ended up involving just about everyone in our company! We started out with a collaborative brainstorming session that included a wide range of creative ideas from our talented weavers, our finishers and our sales staff.
After a series of sketches and swatches, the group project evolved into a refined focus on rainbow themed designs. It became evident that the rainbow lends itself to seemingly endless interpretations, depending on one’s point of view. The result of this months-long series of weaver workshops, the Prism Series eventually came to life as a limited edition collection of nine stunning one-of-a-kind throws.
“The rainbow lends itself to seemingly endless interpretations, depending on one’s point of view.”
The final designs were a collaboration between two of our weavers, Riley and Karen. Coming out of the Weaver Workshop, they each submitted their own interpretations on the “Rainbow” theme. These various “refractions” took the pure rainbow concept and transformed it into nine very different finished designs.
Karen’s concepts demonstrated the rich palette of our Sterling yarns laId out in a red to violet rainbow order in a variety of patterns. Riley’s ideas incorporated many different shades of each color of the rainbow, placed randomly throughout the blanket, and also used an assortment of yarns in different weights to create a textural effect.
We loved the graphic impact of Karen’s designs, as well as her use of our Sterling yarn. This yarn has rich undertones of grey in the saturated hand-dyed colors and a beautiful luster thanks to the alpaca fibers in the yarn. We hadn’t used dyed colors of this yarn in our weaving before and this was the perfect opportunity for their hand-woven debut.
In Riley’s concept, we loved the creativity and uniqueness. Each blanket was really a work of art created by the weaver as it progressed on the loom. In addition to a full spectrum of colors, Riley added an interplay of textures across the blanket’s surface.
“Each blanket uses seven colors of our Sterling yarn to create a rainbow backdrop, upon which the weaver is given artistic license…”
“The Prism Series” Comes to Life
We asked them to work together to combine the two ideas into one cohesive design strategy, and thus the Prism Series was born. Each blanket uses seven colors of our Sterling yarn to create a rainbow backdrop, upon which the weaver is given artistic license to weave in the textural array of shades that create the vibrant, variegated effect you see in the finished Prism Series blankets.
The Prism Series showcases the beauty and depth of color that can be achieved with hand-dyed wool. In addition to the wide range of colors that were chosen, within each color, the hand-dyeing technique adds even more variation and complexity. Three different types of yarn with three different types of fiber adds yet another layer of subtle texture into these unique blankets.
It has been such a joy to see this project move through our dyehouse, weaving studio, and finishing room. Due to the nature of the designs and the injection of each weaver’s personal creative license, these particular blankets can never be exactly replicated, so they are truly one of a kind. Each blanket is a unique work of textile art. We hope the nine lucky customers who take one home will enjoy knowing how many talented hands and creative minds came together to create each one!
“Each blanket is a unique work of textile art.”
- The nine Prism Series throws were woven by various members of the Swans Island weaving team.
- There are up to thirty colors in each throw.
- The yarns used to make these throws are all hand-dyed in our Maine studio.
- Each throw is handwoven and is totally unique.
- Each throw incorporates different combinations of three kinds of yarn.
- Sterling (85% Certified organic Merino wool + 15% alpaca)
- Natural Colors (100% Certified organic Merino wool , dyed with all-natural dyes)
- All American Sport (100% American Rambouillet wool)