Sometimes it’s just fun to look at something beautiful, isn’t it? I came across these gorgeous rugs recently, and I’ll eat my own threadbare mat if you don’t think these are as special as I do.
These are the work of Andre Figueiredo. Well, not literally. The actual rug-making takes place in either Nepal or India – depending on what you want done (more on that later), but Andre is the creative force behind it all. He’s a Godalming-based multi-media artist with a passion for beautiful things and a desire to support local artists and designers.
He has teamed up with Cranleigh artist Stephen Hornsby-Smith to create these unique limited-edition rugs that are both stunning and practical. You won’t find anything like this in Ikea, folks. This is art you can literally walk on.
Each rug is made to order, and so far two of Stephen’s paintings have been made into rugs. Stephen has been an artist for 28 years, and has provided a portfolio of 20 of his paintings – all in the same rich bold colours and with names like Stonehenge and The Amalfi Coast.
This one below is Inspired by Ansel Adams – Stephen’s painting is on the left and images of the rug are on the right. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, so these don’t come cheap. This one is £2,800. But then at 2 by 2.7 metres, you’re getting a lot of rug for your money. And remember people, these rugs are more than just a bit of wool to put under your coffee table. These are investment pieces that are going to zing up your neutral palette and have all you friends talking.
Here’s another one of Stephen’s paintings (left), and the rug. It’s called Nightscape.
The rugs are handmade using pure New Zealand wool – which apparently has fantastic properties that shrug off dirt – by highly-skilled artisan rug makers using traditional techniques. Andre tells me there are two techniques for making rugs: hand tufted and hand knotted. The hand knotted method, made in Nepal, takes twice as long as the tufted method, made in northern India – and rugs are priced accordingly. You’re looking at about 12-14 weeks for delivery.
Andre is keen to emphasise that this doesn’t mean that hand tufted is inferior in terms of its ability to make a really powerful statement. And that’s what these rugs are all about – it’s about making a statement.
Statement indeed! Check out this peacock rug made for client-turned-business-partner, John Hubbell. Isn’t it lush?! John’s brief was simple: he wanted a rug with the feel of stained glass, and he wanted it to be reminiscent of time spent in Turkey, with rich colours and an image of a peacock. Pah! Don’t we all.
After a bit of toing and froing getting the design exactly right, the one on the left was agreed and sent off to the weavers who produced the rug on the right.
Andre says anything is possible, and it’s really down to the client’s own imagination. My own imagination is currently running wild with ideas. Watch this space.