Browsing Tag


    Creativity Corner Inspirational People

    meet john allen

    November 4, 2011

    Meet john, artist, designer, my ex-teacher and special friend. He is probably one of the most inspiring people I know.

    At 77, having survived cancer three times, he looks younger than ever and still goes tracking in nepal. The answer: his attitude to life! After having a successful career in weaving, designing for textiles and lecturing, he has gone back to his first love of designing carpets that are hand-made in nepal.

    John kindly invited me for lunch a couple of weeks ago, so I took this opportunity to bring along my camera and snap some shots of a few of his wonderful belongings.


    I love how john has added his own touch by braiding wool and turning them into earrings.

    The next photo is of a wonderful toy collection in a kitchen cabinet. John tells me that he started this collection when he was touring giving lectures all over the world. People who came to listen to his lectures started adding to this collection by presenting him with local toys from their home cities.

    Aha, yes the paper maché dog without a name. In order to look so pristine, he has been waterproof varnished quite a few times. Apparently he has been really good for the past few years. John is debating whether to take him into the house over the winter. After all he is house trained!

    This sculpture, made out of plaster, is coated in black and green paint to resemble a bronze patina. John made it whilst a student and in those days lacked the financial means to have it cast in bronze.

    Here is a 7×7 foot wall hanging (different sections taken), designed by john and hand stitched in crewel wool in kashmir.

    Can you believe that this is only part of john’s wonderful collection of the great english ceramicist clarice cliff? He bought his first piece (a bowl) in 1974 for £2.50. Wow! The bowl had a crack in it… Every time I go and visit I still get overwhelmed at the sheer size of this collection.

    Some embroidery threads in john’s studio. There is so much to see and to photograph in john’s house that one could dedicate a whole year of blogging to it. I will finish off with a couple of john’s amazing carpets from his last exhibition, entitled: the forbidden kingdom. He designs and graphs them in his studio in london and gets them hand woven in silk and wool in nepal.