“What I like about this rug,” says designer Christopher Farr, “is the combination of lyrical floating forms – what I describe as ‘rural modernism’ – with the arresting brilliant orange red which drenches the forms as if the whole rug were dropped into a sea of dye.” The inspiration for this design is a tiny island where Farr vacationed as a child. Located in the Bristol Channel, Steep Holm Island is roughly 50 acres of rugged terrain. As if echoing the outcroppings on the island, the rug has varied pile heights, which create visual and textural interest. The Steepholm Rug is suitable for residential or contract settings, and it is made using ancient rug weaving techniques. The wool is hand spun, hand tufted and manually dyed in small batches to create rich tonal nuances in the strands. The Steepholm Rug will grow even more beautiful with time as the wool's natural lanolin emerges and invigorates the surface, creating enhanced luster over the years.
Hand-spun wool, cotton gauze and natural latex backing.
Educated at the Slade School in England and trained in textiles in villages in Peru and Turkey, Christopher Farr (born 1953) has made his mark as one of today's preeminent rug designers. As a young abstract painter in 1975, he won a Boise Traveling Fellowship to Peru. It was this trip that soon sealed the direction of his artistic life, because there Farr encountered pre-Columbian textiles for the first time and was seized by the magnetism and utility of the 3,000-year-old work. He began to search for ways to marry his love of abstraction to the ancient craft of textile art and spent months designing and making rugs in a village in Western Turkey. With time, his work fused the venerable techniques of hand dying and hand looming with a modernist concern for color and form. The result is abstract wool canvases for the floor.
In 1988 he established the Christopher Farr Company with antique rug dealer and restorer Matthew Bourne. For the first few years of the company's existence, a collection of carpets designed by Farr was sold alongside high-quality antiques. Then, in 1991, the company collaborated with the Royal College of Art in London on Brave New Rugs, an exhibition of rugs designed by the college's textile students. The instant success of this show convinced Farr and Bourne that the future lay in new production, and they went on to devote all their energy and resources to enhancing the profile and status of the contemporary rug. The company now has two showrooms.in London and Los Angeles.which feature Farr's work, as well as rugs designed by Gillian Ayres, Kate Blee, Allegra Hicks, Rifat Ozbeck, Gunta Stolz and Georgina von Etzdorf, among others. Read more >