Archives for category: New Collections

Begone earworm! Valentine’s Day is nigh and Tainted Love is on loop in your scribe’s frontal cortex. Soft Cell’s nonpareil cover of Tainted Love featured in the first series of one of your scribe’s favourite telly shows Being Human. Although nominally about a ghost, vampire, werewolf trio, Being Human is really an elegy to love’s trials. So as it’s time to make good on your love pledges with a token, rather than buy a Dremel to engrave your tortured sentiments on a coin, what to do? Purchase Sin Songs, Torch and Romance by Marc Almond? Good call, but your scribe suggests you deliver a grand geste. Buy your love a Valentine’s rug.

Rosas rug (detail) by nanimarquina

Roses rug (detail) by nanimarquina

Devoted readers wouldn’t expect your scribe to suggest spreading the readies for a rug that simpers. No, no. We need a rug that smolders. Roses wool felt rug by Spanish design company nanimarquina looks like the rose petal vision from the 1999 film classic American Beauty made manifest.

Red is central to Sam Mendes’ film. It signifies lust, anger, passion, transgression and danger, and aren’t those the qualities of love? Rarely is love uncomplicated. Rather love is a mille feuille; its thousand leaves are nuanced and shaded like the felt petals in the Rose rug. Chiaroscuro sweeps like a crimson tide from blood red petals to candy apple red, creating a wool felt palette of love’s trials.

So for Valentine’s Day 2013 your scribe recommends you own the multiplicities of your love. Add a soundscape whilst you lounge amongst the petals. The bittersweet sounds of PS22 Chorus singing Tame Impala’s Feels Like We Only Go Backwards delivers hope for love where older voices sound resigned. I hear it inside my head all day. Gather and scatter rose petals while you may. Tainted love begone. DJ

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Roses rug (detail) by nanimarquina

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News of the recent make-over of famous chef Julia Child’s childhood kitchen made your scribe eager to try out a new recipe. But rather than consult her favourite cookery book (not alas one by Child, but rather The Kopan Cookbook), your scribe browsed her groaning National Geographic collection. Ah, there it was. May 1988. How to make felt.

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Snow felt rug by Peace Industry, Spring 2013

Step one. Place a thick layer of fluffed wool on damp felt. (Yes, your scribe realises the apparent inconsistency in requiring felt to make felt. But consider this recipe akin to baking Sourdough bread. Both require a “starter”.) Sprinkle water to dampen the wool and felt layers. Roll the layers around a tent pole. (We’re thinking rumpus room-size rug here readers!) Now wrap the roll in a fresh yak skin so it resembles something akin to a giant California roll. Tie the bundle to the back of your horse. Gallop for hours across a bumpy landscape. Julia Child knew stirring can make or break a recipe, so make sure your yak bundle bounces, as a rough ride is key to compacting the fibres. Exhausted? Too bad. Ride on.

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“Hive” felt rug by Peace Industry, Spring 2013

If like your scribe you have neither the patience nor the opportunity (nevermind the yak) to make a felt rug, then it’s time you met the fine folk at Peace Industry in San Francisco. The husband and wife team behind this wonderful company blend traditional with contemporary to create felt rugs that “bring fun and whimsy to any space without scrimping on style”. Handmade of 100% lamb’s wool, it goes without saying these felt rugs are eco-friendly, but just as important as sustainability and style, their rugs are the Philosopher’s Stone of the rug industry. Peace Industry make felt so much more than a warm, fuzzy material; it becomes the elixer and underpinning of a happy home life.

Want to learn more about Peace Industry? Patience grasshopper. Your scribe can reveal no more until the Spring issue of COVER hits the newstand where loyal readers will discover a feature on Peace Industry. Patience, whether making felt, waiting for the next issue of COVER, or saving to buy a Peace Industry felt rug, is a virtue. DJ

Apartment Therapy asked their readers the interior design $64,000 Question (inflation adjusted maybe half a million): What do you think is the next big thing? While your scribe hankers for Edgaroso’s “trilobites and burlap”, more realistically your scribe has selected Netta as the winning prognosticator. She called it for Art Deco inspired interior design. Others did too, but Netta was the only one who divined a mix of 1920s series 3 of Downton Abbey, and the forthcoming Baz Lurhmann film The Great Gatsby. Underscoring this trend prediction is Designer Rugs‘ new Catherine Martin Deco Collection which feature in Lurhmann’s film.

Black Pearl rug by Catherine Martin

Black Pearl rug by Catherine Martin for Designer Rugs

The winner of multiple awards (Oscars, BAFTA, Tonys etc) for set design, art direction, costume design (as well as being married to Lurhmann), Martin’s new collection features four designs hand knotted from Tibetan wool and silk. She told Vogue Living hand-knotting allows her to create “more intricate designs with gentle carving and a thinner profile.”

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Garden Party by Catherine Martin for Designer Rugs

Westchester (below) is in the scenes of Gatsby’s bedroom (played by Leonardo diCaprio), and was bought for the actor as a birthday present.

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Westchester by Catherine Martin for Designer Rugs

But a word of warning to exuberant Gatsby and Daisy wannabes (or Downton Abbey fans who fancy they have a fleet of servants waiting in the wings) who may be tempted to reckless acts with Martin’s exquisite rug collection. As The Great Gatsby races to its tragic dénouement, the gang attempts to flee New York’s insufferable heat by checking into The Plaza Hotel. Daisy reveals the truth of her love, and as she fumbles with her words she flings her cigarette and burning match onto the hotel carpet. “Oh, you want too much!” she cries to Gatsby. But all your scribe can think is “what about the carpet!” DJ

Designed for her 2012 Degree Show at Design Academy Eindhoven, Lio de Bruin’s covetable handmade leather needlework rug collection will be exhibited next month at OBJECT Rotterdam.

Leather Needlework Colour Block Rug by Lio de Bruin. Image courtesy of Lio de Bruin.

Leather Needlework Colour Block Rug by Lio de Bruin. Photograph by Brit van Nerven and Titia Dane. Image courtesy of Lio de Bruin.

Bruin’s inspiration was a “big needlework encyclopedia”, a charmingly redundant phrase to describe the book she sourced from the shelves of the Academy’s library. “De nieuwe handwerk encyclopedie” is the Dutch translation of “The Good Housekeeping Step-by-Step Encyclopedia of Needlecraft” by Judy Brittain (1979). What intrigues your scribe is the revelation that the Design Academy – the crucible for global “design art” talent like Studio Job and Kiki van Eijk – has a Good Housekeeping “how to” book on its shelves. Published since 1885 as a “service magazine”, Good Housekeeping’s books are basic hands-on and how-to; a polar end from the reputation of the Design Academy as anything but basic.

The Good Housekeeping Book of

The Good Housekeeping Step-by-Step Encyclopedia of Needlecraft

But don’t mistake your scribe’s Good Housekeeping comment as snobbery. Your scribe has bookshelves devoted to this genre and consults them often. Rather it’s cheering to discover the Academy is ecumenical in its library selections. De Bruin’s idea book for the leather rugs collection is on her website. Image-led and without text, she juxtaposes inspirations with her interpretations. “The simplicity and richness of ethnic pieces” inspires her she says. One in particular caught your scribe’s eye, a woven pandanus or perhaps tapa cloth garment juxtaposed with her rug interpretation. DJ

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If Madonna’s lyrics are a chapbook, guide or vade mecum, then her famous lyric line “life is a mystery” summarises the human conundrum. Just what does “it” all mean? Whether or not you question the meaning of life, a life lived well should be our common goal, and achieving a quality life will always involve introspection and contemplation. Whether that goal is achieved through prayer, meditation or mindfulness, the need to reflect and alter course is why your scribe believes Canadian designer Robyn Waffle’s Prayer Rug is the ticket for new beginnings in 2013.

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Prayer rug by Robyn Waffle. Photograph courtesy of the designer and Modallion Rug Collection.

Unsurprisingly for a new millennium, an uptick in all things spiritual is unabated. “The Prayer Rug celebrates the truth that every faith is unique and beautiful, ” says Waffle. But what if you don’t fancy a central skull motif? Or would rather sub out the pelican pecking her breast? Or maybe you’d prefer to pluck a symbol from Tom Waits’ catalogue aria “Bad As Me”? No problem. Waffle will edit the design to substitute “a symbol you hold close to your heart.”

COVER blogged last year about El Sajadah – an electroluminescent GPS prayer rug by SOPDS. The luminescence of the GPS mat echoes the neon “black light” coloration of Waffle’s Prayer Rug, both picking up on the continuing trend for the eye pop of neon brights.

Waffle’s limited edition “Across the Line” collection launched at Toronto’s IDS 2012 and marked the inaugural collection of Modallion Rug Studio in collaboration with Reznick Carpets. Inspired by prayer mats and traditional tribal rugs, each wool and silk prayer rug is hand dyed and knotted in Nepal. Edition two of Prayer Rugs launches later this month at IDS 2013. DJ

Expect magic not mayhem when the Mayan calendar ends tomorrow. Dystopian doomsayers who cooked the books to make the calendar falsely predict finality and fatalities, might have put their time to better use by joining lovers of number patterns to celebrate the conclusion of a thirteen year feast of magic numbers.

In honour of time calculation and the pleasure of numbers, your scribe presents “2 weeks | 2 seconds” from Parris Wakefield Additions’ inaugural wool and silk rug collection “Masterpieces” for Knots Rugs. A colour homage to David Hockney, the title commemorates Hockney’s droll pleasure at taking 1,209,600 seconds (two weeks) to paint an action that lasted two seconds.

Parris Wakefield Additions

“2 Weeks | 2 Seconds” by Parris Wakefield Additions for Knots Rugs.

Graphic designers Sarah Parris and Howard Wakefield’s first foray into rug designing was facilitated by a serendipitous tweet that hooked them up with textile designer Regan McDonell. A quick look at their sketches and McDonell knew she could interpret their graphics into designs for woven rugs. It was McDonell who introduced the duo to Knots Rugs.

The Masterpiece collection is four bold designs inspired by artist colour palettes. “We spent many fun-filled hours looking through art books and imagining different rooms and architecture” says Parris. Inspired by Hockney’s “A Bigger Splash”, “2 Weeks | 2 Seconds” was designed for their imaginary beach house. Scroll down for a peep into what inspired the remaining three rugs in the collection. DJ

“Destiny” inspired by John William Waterhouse for an imaginary “elegant and sophisticated drawing room”.

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“Destiny” by Parris Wakefield Additions for Knots Rugs.

“Colours” inspired by Wassily Kandinsky’s “Yellow-Red-Blue” for a “fantasy loft/warehouse apartment”.

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“Colours” by Parris Wakefield Additions for Knots Rugs.

“Portrait” is inspired by George Romney for a “library full of leather bound books and wood paneling”.

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“Portrait” by Parris Wakefield Additions for Knots Rugs.

Nick Hartwright and Mark Hanlon collaborate with “the world’s finest cutting edge artists and designers to create beautiful, limited-edition hand-knotted rugs.” Together they are Foundation, a new rug company. Foundation’s inaugural exhibition – “Rug Addicts” – opened last week at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane in East London (2-6 November 2012). COVER’s big Kahuna and colleagues attended the opening night, and teletyped your scribe the inside scoop. Today I unfurl the paper tape to report to loyal readers.

East End art exhibitions are normally chockers with taches, a hipster sine qua non, which along with fixie bikes appears immutable. But although the opening party was heaving, colleagues report a dearth of moustachioed men. Perhaps Hartwright and Hanlon take their “cutting edge” approach literally and have a Gillette triple edge door policy (despite this being the hairy lipped month of “Movember”)? Or perhaps they adhere to Edgar Allen Poe’s rug diktat. “A carpet is the soul of the apartment”, Poe wrote in 1840, and decreed those who flaunt shallow carpet knowledge “should not . . . be entrusted with the management of their own moustachios”. This much is clear from the Rug Addicts exhibition; Hartwright and Hanlon are superlative creative managers and impresarios of both rugs and moustachios. What more is needed?

Artists and designers represented in the exhibition include French graff artist and illustrator Alëxone :

Alëxone limited edition rug for Foundation. Photograph courtesy COVER magazine.

and Pete Fowler of Monsterism fame:

Pete Fowler limited edition rug for Foundation. Photograph courtesy COVER magazine

For more images from the Rug Addicts collection see Lucy Upward’s feature in the current (Autumn 2012) issue of COVER.

Life would be less rich without woven floor coverings. We must have rugs and carpets especially superlative Rug Addict editions. But must we have taches? Of course, but perhaps fewer on hipsters and more on ZZ Top, bears, and Amish farmers please. DJ

Nick Hartwright (sporting a subdued and elegant tache) and Mark Hanlon of Foundation Rugs. Photograph courtesy COVER magazine

Ladurée macarons are delectable twin petite pastry shells of delicately baked almond paste joined by a liminal layer of creamy ganache. The fame of these teatime treats is global. Offered in a range of flavours and corresponding colours, they form an exquisite palette when grouped in a gift box. Your scribe loves them. But if a genie offered your scribe a choice between a lifetime supply of Ladurée macarons or a Veedon Fleece tuft box from which she could select the palette for her very own VF carpet? Sorry sugar. Wool wins, silk is superior, and Veedon Fleece triumphs.

Veedon Fleece silk tuft box. Photo courtesy Veedon Fleece.

The company name is singular in the industry, and its adoption of the word “fleece” is inspired, sparking as it does images of Greek mythology where Jason and his shipmate Argonauts go questing for the fabled Golden Fleece of the winged ram fathered by Poseidon, Olympian god of the sea.

One of the new designs Veedon Fleece will share at Decorex 2012 is “Aquarium”, and the rich sea spoils resplendent in the carpet’s design whip up a sea storm of glorious associations – mythological and more – in your scribe’s imagination. So too Veedon Fleece carpets “Big Sea” and “Little Sea” conjure Poseidon, Magellen, Drake and yes, Captain Jack Sparrow too, sailing limitless unexplored seascapes. Do look at the image on the Veedon Fleece website of the man lying in a “snow angel” pose on the vast expanse of “Big Sea”. He must be ecstatic. Your scribe would be too.

Aquarium rug by Veedon Fleece. Photograph courtesy of Veedon Fleece.

Adam Gilchrist, Veedon Fleece Chairman and founder, has a golden rule to match the quality and rarity symbolised by Jason’s Golden Fleece. “All shortcuts lead to a fail” is his unequivocal belief. Ladurée macarons are crafted without shortcuts. Jason personifies the hero’s difficult quest without shortcuts, and without hyperbole, Veedon Fleece carpets are a testament to quality without compromise. DJ

The Northern hemisphere’s Dog Days of Summer officially ends this week. Scorching hot days and low rainfall were believed by the ancient Romans to be the domain of the dog star Sirius. But aside from scattered hot, dry days, England has been cloaked in rain for months. What brightens our day? Exclusives from our friends. COVER pulls out the office megaphone to announce Classic Rug Collection’s latest line, the 20th Century Collection.

Barbara Barran designed the 20th Century Collection (with a single exception – Bo Lundberg’s Manhattan rug which COVER blogged about last week). The luxurious, hand knotted collection officially launches during the Fall market, but Barbara, Yasmin and colleagues are giving COVER’s readers an exclusive preview. DJ

Contempo. Photograph courtesy Classic Rug Collection

Deconstructed. Photograph courtesy Classic Rug Collection

Italiano and Checkerboard Beauty. Photograph courtesy Classic Rug Collection

Slanted. Photograph courtesy Classic Rug Collection

Slanted. Photograph courtesy Classic Rug Collection

Today’s blog post is a taster. Embarrassment of riches may mean an overabundance of a good thing, but when your scribe is presented with the exquisite contemporary rug collections of German company Jan Kath, the more accurate description is a cornucopia – a horn of plenty. Confronted with too much choice and unprepared to attempt to grab every treasure for today’s post (for a more prosaic image, picture your scribe in a frenzied bid to grab money in a Vegas casino cash cube), more Jan Kath designs will follow tomorrow.

The Erased and Evolution collections feature rugs in various stages of change or evolution. Imagine walking through a grand enfilade where the rugs “dissolve” and shift from room to room. Magical. From an art historical perspective, your scribe prefers the term pentimenti, meaning the rugs suggest evidence of previous work where the painter (or painters) have altered or overpainted the design during the life of the work. So too the term is a better fit with some of the Jan Kath titles. Doesn’t “Verona Vendetta” conjure in your mind Medici mayhem and court intrigue? Or is your scribe simply over inspired by hand knotted trove? Either way, pentimenti is treasure beneath the surface, and with Jan Kath rugs the treasure is beneath your feet. DJ

Verona Vendetta and Nighsa Sky. Photograph courtesy of Jan Kath

Roma Vendetta. Photograph courtesy Jan Kath

Milano Stomped and Ferrara Stomped. Photograph courtesy Jan Kath

Milano Stomped. Photograph courtesy Jan Kath.

Milano Raved. Photograph courtesy Jan Kath.