Archives for category: Events

Finding treasure in the attic doesn’t just happen to punters on the Antiques Roadshow. The launch yesterday of Warner Textile Archive’s Wendy Bray wallpaper collection (nine designs) at the Fine Cell Work pop-up shop in Mayfair, London, was the result of a rummage round the roof space.

“Umbrellas” and “Stylist” wallpapers by Wendy Bray for Warner Textile Archive. Pillow by Fine Cell Work.

Warner’s Archivist Kate Wigley selected and developed designs Bray created between the 1950s and 1970s to create a wonderful vintage-inspired collection with a fresh 21st century outlook. The elegant octogenarian designer divides her time between England and France, and doesn’t appear to be the type to hide her light under a bushel. Nevertheless Bray’s vintage designs languished for decades in her attic. Adam Gilchrist of Veedon Fleece rugs tells your scribe how Bray was rediscovered a few years ago:

“Finding and redefining Wendy Bray was one of those wonderful coincidences. Her daughter, a great friend of ours, had for some time talked about how her mother had had an active role in textile design during her youth. Then when searching through an attic, great bundles of original artwork were discovered, and we had the privilege of first sight to see if anything could be suitably adapted for our medium.”

“Fruits de Mer” wallpaper by Wendy Bray for Warner Textile Archive

Gilchrist purchased Bray’s “joyous, floating, multi-directional” “Feathers” and “Skandi Girls”. “Feathers” presented a “difficult challenge”, but one which Gilchrist knew their weavers could resolve while retaining the movement and the lightness of Bray’s original design.

Ruffled Feathers rug by Veedon Fleece and original design by Wendy Bray. Images courtesy of Veedon Fleece.

Designed (1951) when all things Scandinavian were in vogue, Bray’s “Skandi Girls” was tweaked and updated with a new title by Veedon Fleece.

“Happy Blondes” by Veedon Fleece and original design by Wendy Bray. Images courtesy of Veedon Fleece.

The success of the Veedon Fleece collaboration encouraged Bray to take her portfolio to other design houses resulting in her current collection with Warner Textile Archive. All nine designs are on display at Fine Cell Work’s pop-up shop through Christmas 2012 along with cushions and other textile delights by the UK prisoners who hand-stitch products sold by Fine Cell Work, which introduces your scribe’s final comment. . .

Did your scribe’s slightly irreverent attitude to bushy upper lip twin blade props in last week’s post about Foundation’s Rug Addicts launch upset London’s moustachio mafia? How else to explain the recriminating stares from the Edward Gorey-like furry faces on this Fine Cell Work cushion? The main character even has a 3D moustache. Stitched by a prisoner whose name may not be published, your scribe decided to edge carefully away, make her goodbyes and hurry through London’s deepening Autumn gloam to the safety of her wee East End atelier. DJ

Fine Cell Work moustache cushion stitched by Mr Anonymous

Fine Cell Work cushion stitched by an “anonymous” prisoner


ImageJan Kath’s new gallery opening in Stuttgart featured a magic carpet skating past, giving the assembled throng the chance to admire not just the fine art and workmanship of the rugs on display, but also their heelflips and ollies, dude. RW

Ding Dong! National bell ringing at 08:12 tomorrow morning followed by a giant ding dong on a 27-tonne bell at the “Isle of Wonders” Olympic 2012 opening ceremony tomorrow night. It’s the official Olympic launch!

Although still surrounded by James Bond-style secrecy, this we know. The Olympic Stadium will be transformed by director Danny Boyle into a “green and pleasant land” – a bucolic piece of British countryside – with sheep, cricket green and standard issue rain clouds. Last month organisers released photos of the set model, and we at COVER think it looks suspiciously like this 1952 Harris Tweed wool ad.

Regardless of whether Boyle’s inspiration was Harris Tweed and whether or not the singing of Jerusalem leads to a scene of belching “dark Satanic mills”, giant wicker man, and spit roasted sheep, your COVER scribes will be getting our hey nonny nonny on and dancing like mad green men. Ding dong! DJ

COVER’s feet are twitching in the starting blocks. The Olympics are four days away. Time to think souvenirs. If your eyeballs can’t quite cope with the London 2012 Olympics geezer-style logo emblazoned on home furnishings, get yourself over to Thomas Paul and buy one of his 18 inch orange Geo/Metric cushions.

The cushion’s “modern shapes and bold hues” aren’t attributed to graphic maestro Lance Wyman, but the homage is evident. The concentric maze-like op art poster designed by Wyman, Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, and Eduardo Terrazas for the 1968 Mexico Olympics is famous. Here is the back cover of a vintage programme your scribe bought on her last trip to Ciudad Mexico.

Wyman also designed the 1968 Mexico Olympics pictograms, and with Arturo Quiniones, and Francisco Gallardo, the wayfinding logos for the city’s “delegaciones” or boroughs, and signage for the Metro which opened the year after the Olympics.

When the games are over and its time to bid a tearful adieu? We will unfurl our Pom Pom silk and cotton scarf in the orange colour we’ve dubbed “Lance Wyman’s Tangerine Dream”, and wave the Olympians home. Provided of course we don’t have our brollies up for yet more summer showers. DJ

UK carpet designers Morgan Ashard, based in Frome, Somerset, will be showing off their latest designs for another year at Decorex 2012 in London. Here are a few of the rugs they will be taking to the show in September.

Jantar Mantar II, Morgan Ashard

Moghul XI Blue, Morgan Ashard

Central Saint Martins Textile Design graduate Rebecca Lefèvre presented a fabric collection at New Designers 2012 last week based around the idea of  hoarding objects as a form of comfort and protection. Lefèvre collected a selection of nick-nacks from second-hand markets to inspire the collection, which takes the form of a series of woven fabrics in a vibrant colour palette.

The first Brussels’ Flower Carpet, as it is formed today, was created in 1971 and since 1986 has been created in the city’s Grand-Place every other year. The carpets’ main component is begonias, a native of the West Indies and chosen for their robust nature and vivid colours. Belgium cultivates 60 million begonia tubers every year, and is recognised as the world’s largest producer. The planning of each carpet begins a year in advance and is finally put together by a hundred experienced gardeners in under four hours. This year’s design will go on show at the opening night on 14 August 2012 and will be on display for 5 days.

2012 Brussels’ Flower Carpet design. Copyright Marc Schautteet

The 2010 Brussels’ Flower Carpet in progress

The 2012 Brussels’ Flower Carpet

Obeetee Inc. will be showing for the first time at this September’s New York International Carpet Show. The firm will be featuring a number of new additions to its highly successful Kuba, Relic and Epoch lines, launched last January. The stylish and affordable Rubi collection will be expanded with several new colour combinations for fall 2012. Obeetee will also be previewing an exciting new range of transitional / contemporary designs as part of its new 100 knot Tibetan collection from Nepal.

Bosphorus Xian, Obeetee

Relic Khaar Rust, Obeetee


London-based rug designer Sonya Winner will be showing new designs during the 2012 London Design Week in September. The new rugs will include Bubbles Outline, Holey Bubbles and Puppy Love and will be on display at Tent London on 20-23 September.

Bubbles Outline, Sonya Winner

Holey Bubbles, Sonya Winner

Puppy Love, Sonya Winner


This year Dovecot Studios celebrates one hundred years of contemporary tapestry production with a series of exhibitions, events and collaborations. First founded in a set of converted Victorian swimming baths by the Marquess of Bute, the studio evolved from William Morris’ renowned Merton Abbey Craft Studio, emerging to become one of Europe’s most recognised centres of excellence.

The centrepiece of the celebrations this summer is a major exhibition entitled ‘Weaving The Century: Tapestry from Dovecot Studios 1912-2012’. Running 13 July – 7th October the show will incorporate over sixty tapestries, rugs and works from Britain and America, and will include pieces by David Hockney, Paul Gaugin and Peter Blake, amongst others. In addition Dovecot and Lund Humphries will also be publishing a book called ‘The Art of Modern Tapestry: Dovecot Studios since 1912’.

The Art of Modern Tapestry: Dovecot Studios Since 1912

A series of new rug and tapestry commissions from a diverse range of leading artists created in collaboration with the master weavers at Dovecot will include a series by Sir Peter Blake and Monarch of the Glen, Dovecot Studios’ re-appropriation of Peter Saville’s appropriation of Sir Peter Blake’s appropriation of Sir Edwin Landseer’s 1851 painting of the same name!

Tapestry by Sir Peter Blake

Dovecot Studios’ re-appropriation of Peter Saville’s appropriation of Sir Peter Blake’s appropriation of Sir Edwin Landseer’s 1851 painting of Monarch of the Glen

Detail of Monarch of the Glen tapestry


Further events include ‘A Tapestry of Many Threads’, a  musical performance by author Alexander McCall-Smith, taking audiences on a journey through Dovecot’s history.