Sunday, 15 May 2011

London Borovick Fabrics and the V&A

On Thursday 12th May , Fiona, Callum, Nicky and I went up to London to a fabric shop in Soho. According to Henry Jones this particular place is used by many people in the industry so it would be important for us to get out there and experience the places we would soon be working with on projects. Borovick Fabrics in Berwick Street was our destination to find fabric for the baroque drapes in the drawing room. We were aware that we have two windows to get fabric for and with the mass of material needed to gain the richness of folds and drapes we would need a lot of fabric. We decided as a group that we were not making usable drapes, to lessen the price we would only make false drapes that do not close but remain open. To cater for both windows we would need at least 8-10 metres. When we got to Borovick we were shown many fabrics, some thinner silks others thicker rich curtain fabrics ranging from £15 - £36 a metre. At 10 metres this would be well over what we wanted to pay. Eventually we had the choice of three fabrics, one pastel pink, thin silk with a very faint pattern. This was the cheapest by the metre but we did not want the curtains to be this colour it did not inkeep with the baroque richness we were looking for and the thickness of the material would not have hung properly. The other one we rejected was a beautiful thick shiny muscle pink with a swirly embroidered design. at £360 for the 10 metres and it was slightly too modern so we decided against it. The final fabric was a rusty pink with an appropriate baroque goldern design. It was cheaper at £24 a metre but we agreed that instead of having two curtains one on either side of each window we would have one large drape going across (shown below). This lessened the amount we needed by almost half. In the end we purchaced 5 3/4 metres of this (all left on the roll) and a couple of metres of a pink tafeta to blend the rusty pink into the wall paper colour. The man in the shop helping us was haggled down by our charms and Nicky's cheekiness so we got all of this for £130 much better than the original quote of nearly £200!

After we had completed the task of buying fabric we head to the V&A to study some of their baroque furniture in the British and European 1500 -1900 section. I observed tables, frames, mirrors, chairs, panelling and tiles as well as smaller props like clocks and ornimants. They all follow a similar pattern of over embelished extravigantly carved gold. Much of our furnitire could be discribed as subdued baroque. We have used a lot of dark woods in the furniture we have made and aquired but not much is gold. I believe we are slightly intimidated by this furniture movement, on a small budget, with little experience in sculpting, and furniture construction/ restoration we did not want it to look cheap or tastless opposing everything that baroque ever stood for. Looking at these magnificent pieces or craftsmanship it is clear gold needs to feature in our room more, the fabric we bought today will hopefully inject some richness of texture back into our subdude designs.

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