In November of 2016 we caught up with John Kurtz, his daughter Erika Kurtz, and Erika’s adorable six-month old daughter Izzy in Patan and Kathmandu in Nepal. Erika – who now runs the business as John is in active retirement – was more than happy to explain and illustrate first hand what constitutes this much touted difference as we all toured the various facilities used to produce New Moon carpets. From initial inspiration to final show presentation, follow along as we examine ‘Camara’ by New Moon which debuts during DOMOTEX in Hannover, Germany the 14-17 January 2017.
The Carpet Design Awards recognize annually the best in handmade carpet design and are, to quote, ‘a coveted international badge of excellence in quality of execution and uniqueness of design for modern hand-made carpets.’ As with any design competition however there are caveats. For instance, entrants and thus winners – with the exception of those in the ‘Best Studio Artist Design’ – must be exhibitors at DOMOTEX which obviously restricts the pool of eligible carpets. As such, it is best to think not of the Carpet Design Awards as ‘the world’s best’, but rather think of them as one would of cinema, with the Carpet Design Awards as the DOMOTEX equivalent of an Official Selection during Cannes. Similarly just as movie critics will critique with superior air, so too must those who judge rugs chime in on what is – in their opinion – hot, hot, hot.
Joseph Carini Carpets hosted the debut United States exhibition of ceramic works by Japanese artist Yuki Hayama from 9 September through 29 September 2016 at Mr. Carini’s eponymous TriBeCa carpet showroom. The showroom served not as mere gallery to the magnificently detailed work of Mr. Hayama, but rather as a veritable collaborative studio in which hard – in the form of ceramics – was juxtaposed against soft – in the form of the carpets Joseph Carini designed after being inspired by Mr. Hayama’s work. A visual delight where the contrast of two (2) disparate artistic endeavours begs the viewer to delve deeper into the notion of creativity, inspiration, and a true understanding of craft.
Ashtari Carpets is a rug and carpet retailer located in Antwerp, Belgium specializing in modern decorative carpets and select rare antique carpets. Their contemporary offerings hail from some of the best currently in the business including Wool and Silk, cc-tapis, and Edelgrund, all of whom produce world class carpets which Ashtari presents with a stylish if not also somewhat sexy sensibility. It’s this sensibility – which lies in direct contrast to the staid and antiquated ‘here’s a pile of rugs’ approach – that first caught our eye and, as a brief aside, it is one we hope will continue to evolve, becoming more pervasive as time progresses.
The New York International Carpet Show (NYICS) gets underway in New York City this 11-13 September 2016 and even before the show starts it’s as though – to quote Star Wars – there is a ‘great disturbance in the force.’ As the original autumn New York City rug and carpet show there has, in years past, been a certain caché to exhibiting and attending the show, which was in no small way, due to the disrupting nature of the show when it first broke from the then stranglehold of the Atlanta Markets in 2004. By adding an ‘Antiques Pavilion’ during this year’s show, the NYICS once again attempts – to quote Star Trek – to ‘boldly go’ into the great unknown by presenting antique and collectable carpets alongside new production. While this is not uncommon in showrooms, this is a novel approach worthy of note for what it may bring to the trade show environment and marketplace in general.
Within the world of rugs and carpets if one is to mention ‘Tiger Rug’ the foremost thought aught to be that of Tibetan Tiger Rugs. Not because of any exclusive domain over the motif – which there most certainly is not, but rather because in the grand and storied history of tigers as inspiration for carpets Tibet has produced some of the most amazing, lively, and original versions of the design. Whether the motif originated in Tibet, in a geographically proximal region, or in Timbuktu as a metaphor for far-off unknown places, is a scholarly debate for another time. Regardless, know that amongst the collectable and pre-commercialized rug market, Tibetan Tiger Rugs are, if you’ll pardon the pun, the cat’s meow.
Moonscape Malachite reminds me not only of the verdant seaweed texture but also of the calm and uniqueness each place can bring in an otherwise chaotic and harsh world. Perhaps I am too intellectual in my thoughts on carpets, but would it not be so wonderful to fill your life and your home with beauty that speaks to you, not that which is simply trendy, en vogue, or popular with the neighbours? This carpet, like the ones already in my home, fulfills that wish for me; now to figure out if there is room for one somewhere… .
‘RUG STAR TUFT was invented to offer the market a simple message: RUG STAR [hand knotted] in 6 months or RUG STAR TUFT in 6 weeks.’ begins Rug Star’s Jürgen Dahlmanns as we are discussing his new carpet project via email. ‘Of course for both variations we only want to provide the best possible quality and the smartest executions on the market.’ Upon reading this statement I am immediately reminded of the oft referenced ‘Project Management Triangle’ and how its truisms are somewhat antithetical, though not fully unknown to the world of rugs. Is superior quality the goal?
The spectacular royal tent is rare extant example of silk chain-stitch embroidery on fulled-wool piecework made in Rasht sometime during the reign of Mohammad Shah (1834-1848) during the Qajar dynasty. While only seven (7) of the original fourteen (14) panels remain – the disposition of the balance being ‘unknown at this time’ according to recently retired Curator of Textiles and Islamic Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Louise W. Mackie – the tent is no less impressive.
As our North American agrarian roots gave way to a more modern ‘developed’ society so too did the need for our children to work on the farm give way. In its stead, our summer has evolved into a time to thoroughly enjoy the weather, lolling about in warm breezes, imagining a life far less hurried. The summer of 2015 brought us both the accessible middle market Fatboy Picnic Lounge and the capital ‘C’ couture Daydreamer Lounge from Jan Kath. What does 2016 offer to sooth our weary souls? Meine Damen und Herren, Ich vorstelle die ‘CarpetHammock’ von REUBER HENNING!
Honouring the past while remaining cognizant of the evolutionary needs of society is amongst one of the most difficult lessons one can learn, and it is what elevates the ordinary to the extra ordinary. By embracing and adapting what is and what has been, into what can and will be, one has the ability to harness creativity that spans well beyond any one person or lifetime. Adaptive re-use of architecture – either in whole or through its constituent components – is amongst one of the most beautiful ways this is accomplished, even more so with a fantastic bespoke rug that incorporates elements of the existing, to create a freshly modern – yet familiar aesthetic.
Relatively fresh on the heels of our presentation of ‘Rugthko’ comes another collection of Art wallhangings from the stylish and fashionable (rugs, carpets or otherwise) firm of cc-tapis. Designed by Studiopepe for cc-tapis for the 2016 Salone del Mobile, each of the wallhangings in this collection is evocative of an archetypical human form. By way of illustration…
‘Twilight Zone’ shown in colour ‘Denim’ (other multichromatic colourations are available) is a stunning Tibetan weave carpet that, like much of Wool and Silk’s work is irresistible to the eyes. ‘The blues are amazing and I really love the geometry of the design.’ I said while browsing the images. ‘Yes..’ Erbil replies ‘but it is asymmetrical with great depth [as well].’ And then, with the almost incomprehensible warbling of an overhead announcement our beautiful respite was over and our respective journeys continued…
Upon first reading of ‘The Firesun Story’ as Dena Lawrence the Artist behind their creation calls it, one can be forgiven for jumping to ill formed conclusions regarding carpet making as some form of therapy. Foremost amongst them may be the notion of entitlement one must possess to think mental woes can be healed by having artwork reproduced by people whose own problems transcend an entire range of possibilities well beyond Western realities. That is of course the simpleminded logic of today’s everything is offensive society, whereas the real meaning is far deeper and far more meaningful, if one would simply bother to look.
The 2016 installment of the venerable contemporary furnishings show ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) takes place the 14-17 May 2016 at New York City’s Javits Center. Billed by the organizers as a must see ‘high end luxury’ exhibition, this year’s show is back with a wide ranging selection of rug and carpet styles from some of North America’s (and beyond) premier brands. The Ruggist will be on hand to gauge for not only himself, but for you, which carpets stand-out and which truly live up to the luxury moniker. Here’s a peek at a just few we intend to see.