Peony - My first design

The Peony is such a special flower to me. I know that it has all number of imperial connections in Chinese and Japanese mythology but my love affair with peonies began in the Mt Lofty Botanic gardens in South Australia. These gardens are in fact just a few hundred metres up the road from my studio and it was here that I fell in love with the beauty and at the time rarity of the tree peony. I am fortunate in having the right conditions for growing this beautiful plant but in reality I have had rather mixed success. In my mind the image is prolific and has long been an inspiration for my silk painting, so it was only fitting that this royal bloom was the one I chose as my first woven silk tie design. In nature there are such glorious colour combinations some of which I have attempted to capture in this very first series of designs. Painting on silk I had limitless colour choices, but weaving was an extraordinarily different story. The colour palette is strictly limited to 3 or 4 colours  unless you want to end up with a tie so thick that you cannot tie it. However the wonderful aspect of weaving on a 2400 pic jacquard loom is that what I lose on colour palette I pick up on texture, complexity and depth of colour as the light bounces off the raised silk weave. Of course my very first  silk tie design took almost as long as having a baby. Such a new and different world for me although I had been a textile artist for 35 years. What an incredible journey that gets more interesting with every new design. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Lynn Elzinga-Henry
Lynn Elzinga-Henry


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