Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Scarves from Stones … ? Rock Chips onto Silk …?



Liberty & Co of Regent Street – the iconic luxury goods Department Store … sets its Christmas style in January … and no doubt much earlier in its planning mode.


Liberty, Regent Street

The store was featured on tv (Channel 4) going through this process which I found it fascinating ... because we saw the store, learnt more about retailing … and how difficult life is working and selling from a listed building … and I would say not just any listed building ...


Potential suppliers plied their wares – presented their business plan and products to the store’s buyers, managing director etc … the one that caught my eye … had based his scarves on nature … I love geology – it covers so much … and here it was combined with creativity.

 
Agate:
Birth stone for June

Richard Weston, an architect by trade, but who loves minerals and the artistic designs nature gives us in rocks, stones, granite cliffs … developed a way of creating these stunning images.



Slab of Munjina mudstone, Western Australia

This is one of those feel good stories … utilising our 21st century digital technology, taking those images and turning them into scarves … finding himself in the eye of the storm … every which way the company turned, the scarves became best sellers.





Munjina Stone Scarf

Turn your world upside down or inside out … who would think about scanning the inside of Munjina Stone, or Labradorite … then creating images to hang as pictures, or as clothes, or as satin silk scarves … printed in Italy.






The scarves took off at Liberty … they are now stocked by Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Fortnum and Mason, and other leading stores here and in France, Italy, USA, Australia, Japan etc


Stonehenge

The new visitor centre at Stonehenge was being opened … why not stock Stonehenge scarves??  English Heritage, who run the site, weren’t keen on bits being chipped off the old blocks – understandable perhaps …

Scarf from those Stonehenge
chips

… however, where there’s a will there’s a way …. the British Geological Survey does have specimens collected by the great Victorian mineralogist, Matthew Forster Heddle, and with help from the Open University, these chips from Stonehenge were digitally scanned to produce images that could be used for scarves.




As Richard says “Our scarves, for example, come from rock billions of years old, use silk produced as it has been for millennia, yet depends on printing presses only commercially efficient for the last ten years or so.”


 
Labradorite
(a Feldspar mineral)
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder … but that creative force has to be found to turn those “black-fire diamonds” into the magnificent spectral colours we see today – we needed the Huguenots in 17th century Antwerp to realise that a diamond will cut another diamond … painting was no longer needed: see my previous post for the context.



Polished Labradorite, per
UCL Geology Collection


As here we need a Richard Weston – who has the temerity to follow his passion, and turn his vision into a completely new business venture …



Vogue has described him as that middle-aged Professor of Architecture who is the new talent in British fashion …


Daisies in Copper
c/o Weston Graphics

He has a video blog, all the posts are fascinating to watch and listen to … as is viewing his website … with many more wonderful images and educative information …





Liberty & Co from Argyle Street
Creativity is here all the time – but frankly nature has the best of the lot and it is springing now … Spring time, our planets still evolve giving us new earth … I think this post should get our creative juices thinking … and I hope flowing ... there’s hope for us all.


Weston Earth Images – Richard Weston’s site on the process and products

Richard Weston’s Video Blog 

Richard Weston's video on Labradorite ... and his explanation of Labradorescence .... wonderful iridescence colours - full range: turquoise as here, to reds, oranges, golds etc ... 

English Heritage’s site for its Stonehenge shop

Previous post – Cheapside Hoard … with many gems …


Spring vegetables


… and finally happy St Patrick’s Day … have fun ... not too much green, nor Guinness, but...

May the leprechauns be near you,
To spread luck along your way.
And may all the Irish angels,
Smile upon you St Patrick's Day.

sent from Lenny, who is still recovering ... 


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

68 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now that's seeing an opportunity and making it happen. Putting those patterns on scarves or any other clothing - never would've thought of it.

TexWisGirl said...

that's a neat idea!

Rhodesia said...

Wow what a brilliant idea. Love this post. We have a large rose quartz stone with a light inside and the colour when it is on is amazing.
Hope the hip is doing well Diane

Murees Dupé said...

Certain rocks and stones do have beautiful patterns. It is definitely an original idea.

beste barki said...

Hilary, you did it again. I love how you always find a topic close to my heart to write about. I enjoyed your post very much....

mail4rosey said...

Digitally reproduced is way better than the real deal. No way the blocks should be chipped in real life. :)

Botanist said...

I love it when technology, art, nature, and practicality meet like that.

Suzanne Furness said...

Wow, I would love one of those scarves. So different.

rosaria williams said...

What beautiful scarves! We are seeing a great deal of creativity, blending the old and the new in imaginative ways.

dolorah said...

Love the concept of nature inspired scarves. Makes me want to wear one year around.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Hillary,

Those scarves are awesome! I love to use nature for artistic inspiration. That is I write and illustrate with such detail. Nature is abundant and ALWAYS changing. So beautiful.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

I love seeing nature patterns in cloth. The gems and rocks are lovely. I bet those Stonehenge scarves are a bit hit!

Paula Kaye said...

You continue to educate me in the most beautiful ways! Thank you Hillary!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Alex - you got it in one: seeing that opportunity and making it happen.

@ Theresa - it certainly is a neat idea.

@ Diane - exactly .. an incredible idea - your rose quartz stone light sounds beautiful and I bet is stunning when the light is turned on. Thank you the hip is re-healing itself up (I hope) ...

@ Murees - South Africa has some lovely stones and rocks .. and the idea is original isn't it ..

@ Beste - many thanks - so pleased you enjoyed this post too ..

@ Rosey - yes I'm glad they didn't try and chip bits off Stonehenge, though sadly others have done so ... but going back to those samples at the Geological Survey did the trick.

@ Ian - you've said it .. technology, art, nature and practicality meet here - and the scarves are glorious!

@ Suzanne - they are just beautiful and so lovely to touch and see ... and as you say - so different.

@ Rosaria - this idea is extraordinary that Richard Weston has been able to put together ... as you say blending old and new in imaginative ways.

@ Donna - you're right the scarves could be worn all year round ..

@ Michael - the artist in you comes out here ... your writing does inspire us through its use of nature, and the extrapolation of its beauty in your illustrations ... and nature is always abundant, and always changing ... delighted you enjoyed the post.

@ Holly - another artistic bent blogger - especially with your love of gems and stones ... and I'm sure the Stonehenge scarves are a huge hit ...

@ Paula - I love it that you find something interesting to read here ... so pleased to hear it - thank you.

Cheers everyone .. what can we learn, what can we imagine ... Hilary

Bob Scotney said...

We have some polished rock slices that I will try to scan now.
Also when I studied geology at university we had to polish them ourselves.
The grain structure of polished metals could also be used.

Jo said...

What brilliant ideas people have. I always loved Libertys. Used to work in Regent Street at Aquascutum many years ago. Always interesting Hilary, thanks.

L.G. Smith said...

Very cool. The patterns in those stone samples are absolutely beautiful. Great idea. Love that agate color. What a pretty scarf that would make. And I do wear scarves often. :))

Nick Wilford said...

What a great idea. Nature has some amazing patterns, like fractals. I like the creative way they got the Stonehenge chips.

Munir said...

I hope that you are feeling much much better.
Back in the eighties, I bought a "Saree" that was called computer Saree. Later on I realized that the print resembled a bar code from a price tag. My sister in law liked it so much she did not mind wearing my used one.

Stephen Tremp said...

I can totally see a market for that. Me mum (didn't know I could speak British, did you) and two sisters would buy them. Gotta look for ideas and opportunities and just go for it. Raise it up a flag pole and see who stops and salutes.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Bob - I'll be interested to see how your experiment went .. looking at the videos Richard Weston has put up - the procedure seems to be very technical.

I had forgotten you'd taken geology at Uni - fascinating I expect ... and I expect you did lots of the hard graft yourselves ... as too with metal slices ... just brilliant to see.

@ Jo - I thought Liberty and Regent Street might ring a bell close to home for you .. and Aquascutum was just down the road wasn't it. Glad you enjoyed the memories.

@ LG - I agree very cool - and the scarves themselves are amazing .. I too love the colours and patterns the different stones produce.

@ Nick - yes like fractals ... love those too ... and it was interesting to find he was able to 'raid' the archives at the Geological Survey.

@ Munir - thank you .. the hip is healing after I injured it. What fun you had with that Saree and can tell us about it here ... I'm glad your SIL didn't mind wearing it!

@ Stephen - Ha!! starting to speak as the Brits do I see .. I think most women would love the scarves ... and as you say we always need to look for opportunities and run with them ..

Cheers to you all - Hilary

Patsy said...

Lovely scarves. What a great idea to use natural patterns - often these are much more beautiful thn anything we could create.

Susan Scott said...

I LOVE scarves, especially in winter. The artistry of the patterns from nature are lovely. A artist niece of mine has in teh past designed for scarves and wallpaper. I'm imagining wall paper designed from quartz patterns ...
Thanks Hilary for this post. I wish I knew how to receive your posts automatically ... it is only by seeing your comment on another's post that I come by you. I know I have mentioned this before.
Hope the hip is haring along .. all good wishes.

Donna McDine said...

Wow ingenious! What a creative mind! Absolutely beautiful! Kudos to his creativity.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Patsy ... aren't they amazing and it's so lovely to see these real natural patterns ...

@ Susan - they are just beautiful .. and for you - yes good in winter. I just thought it was amazing Richard Weston was able to produce these scans - they're exquisite. Your niece sounds very artistic ...

Wall paper from quartz I imagine would be lovely ...

I've emailed re your query .. and re my hip ...

@ Donna - thanks for coming by - and I totally agree .. ingenious, and such a creative mind ...

Thanks to you three - so good to see you and have the comments .. cheers Hilary

Vagabonde said...

I clicked on the links you gave. What beautiful colors and hues on these scarves! Rocks come in such an array of colors and patterns. We have a rock show here once a year and I like to look at all the specimen – what diversity. Even within the same rock types you can find a multitude of colors such as with jasper. In the west they wear “bolo ties” it’s usually a leather cord worn around the neck with a sliding ornament to fasten it – many are made with polished rocks in great colors.

Liberty on Regent Street is a real historic charmer. I remember buying paisley ties for my husband there in the late 1960s. I also bought some lovely dress material in pale shades of lavender and blue – still have it as I never made the dress – maybe one of these days but now the fabric style is quite “retro.”

Chrys Fey said...

Stone scarves? That is so cool!I would love to have a bunch of scarves inspired by those pretty stones.

janice h said...

These fabrics are glorious, Hilary - they look like something from a happier version of Lord of the Rings! (Lady elves would make dresses from them for weddings...) I love organic designs. In fact, I bookmarked a site today with railings I'd buy if I had the house to use them in!http://awoodrailing.com/products/

Dianne K. Salerni said...

What glorious colors and pattersn! Can't do better than Mother Nature, huh?

LD Masterson said...

Facinating. Nature still offers beauty man could never create on our own.

M Pax said...

Those stones are fantastic. I could see using the patterns for a myriad of purposes.

Sara said...

Wow. The scarves are beautiful. I loved the Munjina Stone Scarf and the Stonehenge scarf. It is truly amazing what can be done with technology these days and this is a great example. I was impressed:~)

As usual, thank you for teaching me about something I didn't know. I always feel that in my visits here, I gain new knowledge. This post didn't disappoint:~)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Why can't I ever think of anything that clever and creative. The scarves look lovely.

DMS said...

Nature is the best inspiration! These scarves are fascinating! Love the colors and designs.

Hope you had a Happy St. Patrick's Day filled with lots of good luck. :)
~Jess

bazza said...

Hi Hilary. My younger daughter used to work at Liberty. One year she worked in the Christmas shop when I went to visit her at work she was serving the wine expert Jilly Goolden who I rather liked! She also sold some of their lovely scarves and William Morris designs. All a bit before Richard Weston's time though!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Vagabonde – so happy you took some time to look around in and at the links … it’s just such a clever idea. I’ve been to gem and rock shows … and it amazes me to think of the workings of the earth producing so many brilliant stones for us to look at. The “bolo ties” are fun to look at and give us something completely different from the normal tie.

Liberty is a real charmer isn’t – just a unique shop. Paisley was and is fashionable – and their range of fabrics is unique too – oh how lovely to have some fabric of theirs .. yes do get it made up .. lavender and blue sounds so pretty …

@ Chrys – I agree .. a bunch of scarves would be wonderful – one is rather nice!

@ Janice – Lady Elves in stone designs … could be a clever marketing ploy and would be amazing to see … they could magic themselves into the background and disappear – matching the stone/cliff rocks …

Love the fence – I agree .. gorgeous and definitely something to dream for!

@ Dianne – no Mother Nature really does beat us at our own game …

@ LD – all around us Mother Nature reminds us she’s always there, and always creating …

@ Mary – it’s an interesting take on any old stone isn’t it … and yes lots of ideas spring to mind …

@ Sara – I know I was bowled over when I saw these scarves being created for Liberty … and then the website came up … just stunning designs and how creative humans can be – even if Mother Nature laid down the stones billions of years ago for us.

Richard Weston really showed us a creative thought process here – to give us something quite extraordinary … so pleased you enjoyed the post …

@ Susan – wouldn’t we all like to have these moments of inventiveness … using all his skills and talents … and yes, aren’t the scarves lovely …

@ Jess – Inspirational these scarves are … and those colours – just incredible to feel and see. I hope some of St Patrick’s day rubbed off!

@ Bazza – It’s hard work working in Liberty’s as we saw in the tv programmes .. but must have been an amazing experience. The Christmas shop looks to buzz vibrantly .. and well done on picking the right day to visit your daughter and get to see Jilly Goolden there …

Liberty’s are renowned for their avant garde designs … we used to have to have a Liberty print dress for Sundays at school … many moons ago …

Thanks everyone – so pleased you’ve enjoyed the post – it’s always good to bring a different take on life, as here … cheers Hilary

Out on the prairie said...

Love the patterns, a great idea to use. I think many things around us have been used for inspiration for color.I have quite a collection of minerals and rocks I have collected in my travels.

Gattina said...

I love this store ! It's so beautiful inside. I never miss to go there when I am in London. I never bought anything there, not even a scarf, they are so expensive and I find similar once here. My friend had bought a Liberty design fabric and wanted to make a dress herself, but the fabric is still untouched after 3 years, lol !

Better is Possible said...

Wow. Beautiful. I've always found stones to be calming. The whole idea of grounding. Going to check out the links you left right now. Thanks.
Carol

loverofwords said...

Stones and crystals. There are beautiful stones to be found here in the mountains in Colorado among the gravel that is washed down from the glaciers. And the technology that allows photographs to be used in fabrics is fabulous. Thank you again for an interesting post.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

Hope you are sitting very comfortably. You might want to rub your eyes in case you think you're imagining a comment from the wayward one that is I.

My youngest brother, Andrew, worked in Liberty & Co, several years ago. He had quite the experience.

I shall drive off in my 1953 Austin Healy convertible, with my scarf fluttering in the promising spring breeze.

Fascinating and informative, Hilary. Where have I been...

Cheers and enjoy your weekend.

Gary

Empty Nest Insider said...

I love the bold hues, and unusual patterns that were inspired by these stones. I agree with everyone that it was a brilliant idea for scarves! Hope your hip is healing nicely, Hilary, and that Lenny feels better soon.

Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Steve - nature is amazing .. as you see all the time around your lands ... and good to know about your collection of rocks from your travels ..

@ Gattina - it's a great store isn't it, and I can imagine it's a definite stop off when you're in town. I hope she makes her dress - such beautiful fabric

@ Carol - good to see you and to see you've checked out the links .. stones and crystals bring us that balance don't they ...

@ Nat - I'm sure there are many wonderful deposits in Colorado ... and as you say it's the technology that was able to turn the patterns inside the rocks onto the fabric ... so glad you enjoyed the post.

@ Gary - yes I am sitting down - thank you!! Good to see you and I do hope you feel easier soon. How interesting to read about Andrew ... I bet the experience was something else. Ah yes an Austin Healy .. I can relate .. with a scarf fluttering in the Spring breeze - certainly hope so soon .. where did you go - now that is a question!

@ Julie - it's just the unusualness of the patterns on the scarves - they bemuse me .. such a clever idea.

Thanks re my hip .. after I slept on it - it's taking its time to recover - which is frustrating .. but is healing up slowly.

Cheers to you all .. we're nearly at the solar eclipse ... but it's gloomy, cool and cloudy! Thanks for your visit - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deborah Barker said...

Loved this post Hilary, not least because I can empathise with the creative side. Zoe (daughter) would love to work with Liberty and has plans. She sees design in everything and a trip to New York produced the most wonderful textiles, inspiration drawn from her photographs of the many many lights. Her designs later won a Textile Federation competition. There is so much to see and draw inspiration from in this world both natural and man made. Love the images here. So good to have you back "on the beat", Hilary :-)

Sharon Marie Himsl said...

I like the Labradorite the best. I'm all for getting the 'creative juices' going as we approach the A-Z. Happy St. Patrick's to you too. It's been awhile and thought I'd check in and see how you are. Glad to see you're back in the swing of things. Love the green of spring!

Rhonda Albom said...

Really cool idea, and so colorful and beautiful. I think I want one of those scarves :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Debbie - I know there's a lot of creativity in your family with fabrics, textiles etc .. congratulations too to Zoe for her win - that must be amazing - and I sure hope leads to loads of openings .. and to that entry into Liberty.

Zoe and the family must look at nature and draw so much inspiration ... and thanks so much for the "on the beat" comment! Appreciate that ..

@ Sharon - I went for the Munjina one - gorgeous colours in real life. So much going on ... and now I'm coming out of my hip repair hole ... I'm preparing the A-Z .. and getting ready .. thanks for the check in.

@ Rhonda - come back to Liberty for a browse around .. though I'm sure Auckland will have some stocks somewhere!! Good wish to have ...

Cheers to three of you - thanks for visiting ... I've been tied up with solar eclipses et al ...

Sunny today of course - so we could have seen the eclipse if it hadn't occurred yesterday!! Hilary

Margie said...

Hilary, it's always such a pleasure to read your blog!
The scraves are so beautiful...
Have a great weekend and take care!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

The Munjina Stone scarf is stunning. What a brilliant idea. As for Stonehenge, our son took his family to see it when they first arrived in the UK last August. He said there are no words. I agree, clipping off rock for scarves would not be good.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Those scarves are absolutely beautiful. I hope you treat yourself to one.

Some years ago, some necktie designs were based on the molecular structure of various elements. Believe it or not, they were quite beautiful, too, but these rock-based scarves are even better.

Gingi Freeman said...

What a great idea! Love this post!

Anyhoo, I found your page through a fellow blogger and thought I would stop by and say hi! It would totally make my day if you did the same - or better yet, keep in touch! <3 - www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Vallypee said...

Fascinating, Hilary! I shall go and look at his video blog immediately! I'm very curious to know how he actually works. By the way, my blog address has changed and I'm back. Very slowly, but I'm getting there. http://vallypee.blogspot.com

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Margie - thanks so much and aren't the scarves so beautiful .. you too have a peaceful week ahead.

@ Joylene - yes the Munjina was the one that attracted me ... and exactly a brilliant idea. I'm glad your son was impressed with Stonehenge ... thankfully we're protecting that ancient site now ..

@ Susan - I have treated myself to one - the Munjina one - stunning isn't it. I haven't seen the necktie designs - but imagine they'd be a different take in design and sound fascinating ..

@ Gingi- thanks for coming by and I checked in ..

@ Val - well done on getting back with another site after handing in your Thesis - many congratulations on that. Hope you enjoyed the videos - and checked out how he started ...it is fascinating ..

Cheers everyone - have good weeks - Hilary

Maria said...

Those scarves look fabulous, a great idea. Thank you for sharing this with us. :-)

Nas said...

Sounds cool idea! Would look so awesome! Thanks Hilary!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I saw a Missouri sunset last evening that took my breath away. IF I transferred that image to a scarf, would it take everyone's breathe away? :)

Sherry Ellis said...

Beautiful scarves! And a brilliant idea, too!

cleemckenzie said...

Natures beauty can't be beat! Those scarves are proof of that. Such color and design. I love them.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Maria - aren't the scarves amazing - so glad you enjoyed them and good to see you here.

@ Nas - it's a clever idea isn't it

@ Teresa - your sunset sounds glorious and I'm sure we'd have our breath taken away ... glorious skies sometimes ...

@ Sherry - beautiful and brilliant - couldn't agree more ..

@ Lee - Nature's beauty and design simply can't be beaten - I totally agree with you ..

Cheers to you all - Hilary

Nilanjana Bose said...

Those scarves are beyond gorgeous! Such radiant colours! An inspired business idea, truly.

Theresa Milstein said...

Such beautiful stones, and the flowers on copper are gorgeous.

Feel better, Lenny Lee!

Lynn said...

I would LOVE a scarf like that - just beautiful.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nila - aren't the scarves amazing and as you so rightly say an inspired business idea ..

@ Theresa - yes I loved the flowers in the copper - incredible to see them there; I hope Lenny is feeling better ..

@ Lynn - aren't they beautiful and I'm lucky I have a scarf like that ..

Cheers to you - so pleased you've seen this fascinating idea .. Hilary

debi o'neille said...

What an amazing post, and like many of your readers, I love that scarf. I think it would look good added to my wardrobe. :-) I could be sitting at my computer in style rather than with a big sigh on my face and no mirrors in sight.
Best,
Deb

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Debi - isn't it extraordinary .. and I'm so lucky to have one of their scarves ... I must start to wear it - now Spring is here ... and yes - up my home-wear ... and there are definitely no mirrors in sight here! Cheers Hilary

Marja said...

We have a Regent Street with shops here as well. Your Regent Street looks gorgeous especially at night and oh I would love to have a Stonehenge scarf Gorgeous

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Marja - lots of common names I suspect and at Christmas Regent Street is brilliantly lit up. A Stonehenge scarf - they're available in Auckland?! Ask St Nicholas nicely - perhaps for Christmas! Cheers Hilary