Candida Wigan is a London-based designer, whose work in ceramics expresses her passion for textiles. Her project tex-tile© brings together the world of ceramics and textile, inspired by the Portuguese azulejos, the traditional blue-painted tiles. “The first step for creating a new tile is always the textile,” says Wigan. The creative process starts with a deep exploration of a certain type of textile or technique, and the texture of the fabrics gives a distinct and unique feeling to the final ceramic product.
In her designs, she uses embroidery, weaving, laser cut felt, stitching or general fabric compositions. Once the textile sample is selected, they are used to make moulds for creating the ceramic tex-tiles©. “From this textile we create an imprint on the clay, using a rolling pin and then removing the textile leaving behind the relief of the textile,” she says. Subsequently, the raw clay tiles are then air-dried, fired, glazed and then fired once again, following a traditional, hand-made ceramic-making technique.
“The first impressions of textiles on clay came as an accident,” says Wigan. She wanted to create a new type of tiles that had a three-dimensional shape. Initially, she used acrylic moulds to create the patterns, but their application was too clumsy and rigid. Then, she intuitively felt that textiles could provide a useful means of attaining the desired outcome. The manual work with the textiles was easy and natural, and the clay naturally absorbed every detail without any technical setbacks. The result is an irregular, intentionally imperfect set of tiles, which translates the qualities of textile to a different medium.
Wigan, who was an architect before turning to ceramic-making, developed tex-tile© in order to give a new interpretation to the use of textiles in interior design. The single tiles can be united to compose more complex combinations, creating an impression of large fabrics or wall-carpets. The unique interplay of the textile-based patterns and the glazed, smooth colours of the tiles offers a new means of bringing the world of fabrics into design.