The Friday Cushion


So, once upon a time, in Colombo, Stewart was charged by Barbara Sansoni to rework experimental woven stripes. This happened in the 80’s and announced Stewart’s entry into the world of screen printing on fabric.

Something of a reoccurrance this week, as a delivery of Barbara’s fabric from Colombo with yellow woven stripes. As soon as it arrived it was rolled out on the print table, and Stewart explained his intention to print between the lines and recounted the story of how he began printing on fabric.

The Friday Cushion

New Sri Lankan weaves arrived in our studio at the beginning of the year, with a wave of excitement they were printed cut and sewn and have just made it to the fitzroy store.

Spots and stripes have continued to be on the print production schedual, the appeal of their simplicity has been seen since the begining of design.

One academic on this is Alan Turing, who spent a lot of his time explaining that non-uniformity (spots, stripes and spirals) can occur naturally from a uniform state, which he thought to be the beginning of the chaos theory.

Clara in Sri Lanka

Last week I had an amazing opportunity to revisit some spacecraft roots in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Fresh out of art school Stewart set-up his first screen printing studio for the multi talented Barbara Sansoni, weaver, artist, architectural historian, colourist…

The Colombo scene Stewart walked into back then was a close knit group of artists, architects, photographers, writers, film makers all intrinsically involved in and supporting each others practice. Barbara and her son, photographer Dominic Sansoni, architect Geoffrey Bawa artists Tissa de Alwis & Laki Senenayke were the leading creative lights.

For me Barefoot Colombo celebrates so much of the brilliance I saw though the country with its lushness, delicacy, warmth and rich textures. It seems to be a country full of unbelievable birds, fruit and jungle, which corners villages and towns threatening an ever present possibility of takeover.

Barbara Sansoni is now into her 80’s but still working and still very magnificent indeed. Rumour has it her next creative venture will be writing and illustrating another childrens book set in Colombo.

Dominic Sansoni leads an incredible team of designers, weavers and colourists who are now continuing the Barbara Sansoni legacy, drawing from natural colour inspirations from local flora and fauna to create an iconic product.

Spacecraft continue the connection through the hand loom base fabrics we use for spacecraft studio cushions, perhaps this trip will inspire future collaborations.