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EXPERIMENTING WITH FELT

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A pair of recent graduates from the Royal College of Art have come up with a new, bizarre kind of rug-making process. Adam Blencowe, who graduated from an MA in Design Products in 2015, has collaborated with graphic designer Marine Duroselle to create a colourful triptych of rugs, titled "The Motley Rug Collection". Based on a mathematical theory called Fuzzy Logic, Blencowe and Duroselle have invented what they have since coined “The Frankenstein Machine”, and it’s this piece of equipment that does the making for them. motleyrugcollection--marine---adam-04_5_1000 Maths and textile art have always had a close relationship, and now it’s been brought even closer. Launched during the London Design Festival last year, this new machine was made by hacking a conventional jigsaw and altering it to hold seven felt needles at a time. The jigsaw is then mounted onto a CNC machine (more often used for small routing jobs) that moves it up and down and left and right. The textiles produced by this peculiar machine emerge with a signature grid-like pattern, full of bright colours reaching out from the rug's fuzzy surface. Palette_Sample_2-copy_1000 A Motley Grid is widely known to be well defined and this latest project is, by contrast, spontaneous and painterly. For this collection, Blencowe and Duroselle used a plain white rug as a base layer and created patterns of pre-dyed wool over it, held in place with netting. Then, the Frankenstein Machine was programmed to run over it at varying speeds and depths, making it a truly experimental felting technique that produces striking patterns on both sides of the rug. rethumb_IMG_1771_1024 Blencowe, the instigator of this project, had never worked with textiles before and approached Duroselle to get involved due to her keen interest in patterns and textile surfaces as a graphic designer. Together they discovered that two or more fabrics could be fused together in freehand graphic patterns, by mechanically needle-punching the fibres of one surface through the other. This mixing and merging of separate colours serves as a neat metaphor for this unusual partnership, showing that experiments in craft and design can often lead to real things of beauty. www.marineduroselle.com www.adamguyblencowe.com


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