Deirdre Dyson

The rug designer making waves

Fine artist Deirdre Dyson has been designing her award-winning rugs and carpets for over 20 years. Every year she produces a new themed collection and her new one, ‘All at Sea’, is the result of the metaphorical and literal disconnect from ‘normal’ life that took place during the pandemic.

‘During one of the lockdowns I found myself marooned on a boat for nearly three months, as we couldn’t get ashore without isolating,’ says Deirdre. So, like Turner, Monet, Hokusai and other great artists before her, Deirdre’s muse became the surrounding endless sea and served as the visual basis for the 2022 collection.

What began as a sailing holiday around the Guadeloupe Islands was taken off course by changes in lockdown restrictions. Deirdre decided to extend her time offshore rather than dock and quarantine. Adrift with time paused, Deirdre created her new collection. ‘Being on the sea can be both peaceful and threatening,’ she says. ‘The sheer moving volume is hard to comprehend, as is the hidden life below.’

The previous year, Deirdre explored the Greek Polyaigos Islands by boat and was transfixed by the way the reflected sunlight and cliffs transformed the water and changed its colour. She began documenting everything as material for future designs. Deirdre combined photographs from this Greek trip with what she saw in the Caribbean Sea. ‘I’ve always been fascinated by the light patterns the sun makes on shallow water,’ she says, ‘and the sea became my inspiration. Creating the collection gave me something to concentrate on.’

The result is a beautiful collection of nine new carpets to choose between. ‘Graded Sea’ incorporates a rainbow of 21 different shades of the ocean while Deirdre interplayed wool and silk to illustrate the reflection of colours in the sea created by the cliffs in ‘Golden Glints’ and ‘Sunlit’. ‘Shallows’ concentrates on the flow of water and ‘Sun Shaft’ depicts a tunnel of light. The unusually shaped ‘Seashell’ is based on the idea of one shell multiplied concentrically, and demonstrates that carpets don’t have to be round, rectangular or square.

All the rugs are Goodweave-certified and hand-woven by Nepalese craftspeople, using only the highest quality Tibetan wool and pure silk

Throughout the collection runs a medley of blues, ranging from navy, indigo and cobalt to smoky and baby blue. White silk is used sparingly in some designs to recreate the flickering reflections of the sun.

Customers can see a selection of carpets at the Deirdre Dyson Gallery in Paris or in the heart of the Chelsea Design Quarter in London, where they can have a one-on-one consultation with Deirdre or her team.

Every carpet is made to a customer’s specification in any shape or size, fitted or free-standing. All are Goodweave-certified and hand-woven by Nepalese craftspeople (observing social distancing), using only the highest quality Tibetan wool and pure silk in the full colour spectrum.

The carpets can also be produced in Britain, using a less expensive gun-tufted method. A hand-knotted carpet usually takes between 14 and 16 weeks to weave because, as Deirdre explains: ‘Quality craftsmanship requires time and we use only the best materials and artisans to ensure our customers are investing in a contemporary, quality heirloom.’