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Raymond Honeyman

In 2007 Raymond published a book of design he has produced for Ehrman called ‘A Passion for Painting Pattern’. It was a revelation showing the meticulous, painstaking work that goes into each of these designs. It caused such interest that an exhibition of Raymond’s artwork followed touring the British Isles.

For years I admired the Ehrman Tapestry Collection. Although I had been designing textiles, one day I decided to telephone Ehrman. I went to see Hugh in London and he commissioned my first design, ‘Magic Carpet’. I usually spend several weeks painting out each tapestry design. I begin by sketching ideas to visualise the imagery and possible compositions. I then draw out my design with a very sharp pencil so that I can place every detail where I want it to be. Most of my designs have 144 stitches per square inch and I paint out each and every one of them. When I begin to paint a design I almost become attached to it. I carry my drawing board around the house and place it so that I can study and contemplate what I have done whilst having lunch.

Raymond Honeyman
An interview with Raymond Honeyman filmed at his house in Cumbria, England

Paisleys are a favourite. “I love the intrinsic sinuous quality of a Paisley shape and enjoy stretching and twisting the proportions to create a variety of flowing patterns”. Fans are another. Raymond designed a series of fan shaped cushions for us in tartans and heathery colours and fans often appear in his other designs. The Arts and Crafts period with its complex repeating patterns is fertile territory for Raymond Honeyman’s style of design – “I love the Arts and Crafts period and would have enjoyed being a designer at the time”– and his series of repeating floral patterned cushions were among his most popular.

Raymond’s work combines a sumptuous use of colour with rhythmic pattern. It is a unique look – complex but flowing at the same time in the best traditions of textile design, and the sheer exuberance of these designs comes from the heart. “As a boy, pencils, paints, and paper were my favourite presents so I was in my element at art college in Dundee. Creating pattern fascinates me, choosing colours excites me and I adore the whole process. All of my designs are produced as pieces of art”.

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