Tuesday 1st December 2020
Luxury rugs provide the perfect platform to showcase artistic talent. So, it was with this in mind that our director Matthew Wailes approached esteemed artist and designer Jan Erika. Ever since, the pair have been collaborating to produce a new designer rug collection. In fact, the incredible results they have achieved, in the form of six new luxury rugs, speak for themselves. Jan and Matthew have carefully curated what is aptly named The Earth Collection. We caught up with Jan to find out more about this highly talented designer. She even shares her inspiration behind our new rugs collection. You'll also discover how our designer rugs are made, which is a must for those who want to make a more informed purchase.
To gain an idea of Jan's unusual history, she actually suffered a near-death experience at the age of 21. She fell from a third-floor window and miraculously survived. Her injuries were extensive however, as she suffered two broken legs and she broke every bone in her face. Jan underwent life-saving surgery with several major operations to rebuild her face and body. But, as a result of her amazing recovery, this has enabled her to see the bigger picture, where life and creativity are concerned. Jan says this has "expanded her mind with an unbeatable attitude of hope combined with limitless creative potential".
Jan Erika may be renowned for her work as a highly talented artist. However, she previously had a successful career as a professional cellist. Jan explains: "As a musician, creating was one of my favourite aspects. However, I found my true happiness in painting. As with music, I hear rhythm when I'm painting and I see rhythms in landscapes. I often begin with a flower or plant then let that inner music take me to another place." These days, you can expect to see Jan painting seven days a week. And why not? She adds: "I'm terribly lucky to be doing something I absolutely love. Work isn't a hardship for me, it's a delight so I paint for pleasure every day of my life."
Jan's studio provides the perfect space for getting creative
Jan creates beautiful, bespoke designs and art for residential and commercial clients. She explains: "I love collaborating with new people and projects." However, what really sets her apart as a designer, is her creative ability to blend her art with multi-media. This enables Jan to showcase her striking work on a variety of surfaces, from clothing and paintings to upholstery and home accessories. She reveals: "I do like working with furniture and textiles are so much fun." Jan says vibrancy and colour play a main part in her work. In fact, she adds: "Colour provides such a lift and joy for anyone". Naturally, Jan says she was really looking forward to the prospect of working with luxury rugs as her canvas. In fact, she reveals: "I get excited by the idea of seeing my designs translated into a different format." So this is how we worked with Jan to create our new designer rug collection.
Navajo - The Earth Collection
The Earth Collection
When it came to designing The Earth Collection for Matthew Wailes, Jan says she gained her inspiration from the beauty of the natural world. You'll find each exclusive designer rug - Seaweed Lovers, Goldie, Iris Wood, Navajo, Sky Jelly and Blue Canyon - follows a mesmerising journey through nature. In fact, Jan hints at the mystical and romantic through the beauty of her brushstroke and bold use of colour. She first created her designs on paper, then we used traditional Nepalese hand-knotted techniques and colour-matching to reproduce these designs. Each designer rug features the true quality Himalayan wools and pure silks, which artisans have produced using skills passed down through generations. Every process, from yarn spinning through to weaving, is carried out by hand.
Seaweed Lovers - The Earth Collection
You can choose from thousands of existing colours to produce your own tailor-made designer rug from The Earth Collection. However, you can even provide your own colours. This way, we match the tone precisely so it will work beautifully with the interior design in every bespoke project. We also have our Studio Colour Box which we can send to designers. This features 200 carefully selected colours, which are our customers' most popular options. This can be a more versatile option so you can then select your colours in the comfort of your own studio.
Blue Canyon - The Earth Collection
Our work with GoodWeave
At Matthew Wailes, we ensure only adult artisans produce all our hand-knotted designer rugs in Nepal, including The Earth Collection. Unfortunately, child exploitation in the carpet making industry is an ongoing issue. However, we are a licensed partner and work with GoodWeave to help fight against this illegal trade. The outcome can result in removal of any children found in this harmful environment to safe 'transit' homes. This way, they feel safe and can be educated, while GoodWeave explores solutions to return them to their families. A percentage of our imports goes directly to GoodWeave, which is a very small price for us to pay. So make sure you look for the GoodWeave label, which you will find on all our Nepalese rugs.
All six of our designer rugs from The Earth Collection are now available. If you would like to find out more information please, visit the dedicated section on our website here to find out more.