The Desert Storm Story


I have a soft spot for this design. Maybe because it’s a little quirky – I like quirky.

On our homepage I’ll be featuring, at regular intervals, one of our patterns and linking it back to here to the blog.

As mentioned in my previous post – the website is limited in the space and time it allows us to go a little deeper.

So here – I’ll be padding out the stories, inspiration and creative methods behind each of our designs.

Desert Storm is part of our Mirage Collection of fabrics that were all inspired by a time spent living in Lamu, on the North Coast of Kenya.

This design is interesting because it’s infused with historical and cultural intrigue.

In the time between the 17th and 19th century, Chinese traders brought ceramics to the Islands of Lamu. Some of these ceramics – mostly from the Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) still exist in their entirety – but much of it is now broken and can only be found on the Island in fragments.

The Desert Storm pattern was a take on a pattern from a Chinese bowl found in Lamu.


The washed out, loosely painted patterns on these ceramics have a rawness that’s so beautiful. They really inspire me. Only later, I discovered that these coarse ceramics were known as Swatow and were considered inferior and used only for trading.

I have created a Pinterest board with more examples of Swatow ceramics here.

So with Desert Storm, I feel I’ve captured a little bit of history and am letting it live on in a new form.

Do you have any ceramic pieces that you love? That inspire you so much they make you want to create something of your own?

If so, please feel free to share your stories in the comments below – I love ceramics and I love hearing inspiration stories.

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