Bethan Gray 2018

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    Bethan Gray 2018

    Bethan Gray uses craft to tell stories about culture

    BG Shamsian Oman   Workshop Portrait Shamsian Bethan 001 72dpi

    News - 24.08.2018

    Award-winning Welsh designer Bethan Gray is launching new colours, finishes and materials for the Shamsian Collection of furniture, inspired by the fort at Nizwa and traditional Dhow boats. 

    Bethan Gray has an extraordinary background: born to a Scottish father and Welsh mother, her maternal family descends from a nomadic Rajasthani clan that migrated across Arabia and Persia over centuries. Inspired by her heritage and fuelled by a deep-seated curiosity about global art and culture, Bethan has travelled to many of the places they passed through, developing an innate sense for the geometric forms common to many of these regions. Today, her creative and technical expertise lies in bringing contemporary relevance to traditional techniques – keeping both cultural narratives and crafts skills alive.

    Bethan claims her family heritage and own travels and research continually draws her back to Middle Eastern art and culture as a source of inspiration. For example, the Shamsian Nizwa Collection was inspired by the rounded castellations of the Nizwa Fort and the ombré colour effect caused by sunlight falling across them.

    The Dhow collection takes inspiration from Dhow sails which are made from cotton and sewn together in strips, then bound to the hull using coir ropes creating a distinctive curved pattern.

    "I love working with Omani craftspeople – their techniques are incredible. Reinterpreting what they do for a contemporary and global audience offers a rare opportunity to champion skilled craftsmanship." Said Bethan. "All of my designs start with a story, I love to travel and I’m often inspired by the art and culture of the places I visit."

    On her travels, Bethan encounters many incredibly skilled artists and makers in industries that she feels deserve to be nurtured, celebrated and supported. She believes her instinct and eye for such talent and design comes from her heritage.

    "Even the most complex pattern becomes calm, balanced and harmonious when you get it just right, I think my instinct for geometry comes from my ancestor’s travels through India, Arabia and Persia."

    As always, when using natural materials every piece is comes out a bit different, through Bethan's dedication to craftsmanship and authentic techinique you can really see the human touch in the end result.

    Products featured in this news

    Shamsian Stud Side Table in Jade Maple Bethan Gray
    BETHAN 08 16 068 72dpi Copy
    Shamsian Masirah Coffee Table in White Bethan Gray
    BETHAN 08 16 053 72dpi Copy
    Shamsian Paua Console Table Bethan Gray
    BETHAN 08 16 097 72dpi Copy
    Shamsian Nizwa Sideboard in Black Bethan Gray
    Shamsian Nizwa Sideboard in Jade Maple Bethan Gray

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    Bethan08 15 1535x722
    Nizwa & Dhow Chest Of Drawers Bethan Gray

    View Details

    BG2017   Shamsian Dhow Chest White   001

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