Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Doug Johnston's work has been a favorite of Provide and many of our clients since receiving his collection last year. These vessels take on a sculptural quality using the simplest of materials. I recently had the opportunity to ask Johnston about his new 'Density' series, which explores an embroidery technique to create graphic, colourful patterns, here is what he had to say:

"The pieces in this series were a development of the simple baskets I had been making by coiling and stitching cotton rope. We found that altering between regular stitching and very dense zig-zags stitching we were able to introduce embroidery-like patterns onto the baskets.

Because my primary focus had been on the overall shapes of the baskets and sculptural vessels, I hadn't thought much about decorating the surface of the baskets. In fact, It was something I was pretty resistant to because in my work I like to focus on the inherent qualities of materials and let the natural variations and glitches in the production act as the sole decoration. The first patterns I made were kind of reminiscent of Native American or African baskets, and I think I was just reproducing generic patterns from my mind. While I had spent a lot of time with those kinds of pieces (my parents collect Native American rugs and baskets), I didn't feel that it made any sense for me to reproduce those patterns. It took a lot of experimenting to develop pattern designs that were more unique to my personal interests in the technique. Many of them relate to sketches and doodles I have been doing for many years, some try to really work with the cylindrical form of the baskets, and others are purely improvisations based on the stitching process. With the patterns I like to emphasize the proportions and 3-dimensional nature of the baskets, encouraging one to look around the entire surface to view the entire patterns, with asymmetrical or improvised designs." - Doug Johnston

For special commissions from Doug Johnston, please contact Provide at info@providehome.com

Posted by Megan

1 comment:

kyaphe said...

I have a few of these baskets in my place and I love them! Initially I thought they were only going to be decorative, but we use them all the time! So lovely.