Oxford Navy Ashmolean Inspired Stool

by Annie Sloan

This stool was painted by Annie inspired by an ancient textile from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

Oxford Navy draws inspiration from two distinct and disparate schools of design. Annie was partly inspired by the indigo navy synonymous with Indian fabrics when creating this colour, and partly by the rich traditional blue we associate with academia: think fountain pen ink, college insignia, and of course those iconic Oxford rowing boats. Annie wanted to utilise these formal associations and use Oxford Navy to anchor this Modernist response to the ancient Indian art of Block Printing.

For this stool, Annie was captivated by the fragments of woodblock-printed fabrics on show at The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and created these prints using cut up foam, experimenting with the design in her sketchbook prior to painting.

On this IKEA stool, Annie traced around a bowl to create a perfect circle, inside which she then used foam “blocks” to stamp Oxford Navy. Once done she neatened up her circle and painted a border in Old White. Annie also used foam printing around the edge of the seat with Firle over Oxford Navy; the foam gives an impression of texture. As always, Clear Chalk Paint® Wax to protect and finish your work!

For more on Annie’s inspiration, pick up a copy of The Colourist Issue 3.


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