Last night I attended the Rug Up Design Forum which was held in the Grand Ballroom of Government House. What a magnificent building. I’ve lived in Sydney for 7 years and never visited this Historic House. Australia is only 200 years old and you forget we do have some beautiful old buildings. I have just finished reading The Secret River by Kate Grenville which is a fictional novel following the journey of one of the early settlers of the Hawkesbury River just north of Sydney. It was interesting to have that insight into Sydney’s early days and then be standing on this historic spot.
The panel on the design forum included Yosi Tal from Designer Rugs, Akira Isogawa, Fashion Designer, Liane Rossler from Dinosaur Designs, Julie Patterson of Cloth Fabric and Harold Luke of Whitecliffe Imports. Lead by Neale Whittaker from Belle Magazine the panel discussed the art and romance of rugs.
Designer Rugs started in 1986 when no-one was making rugs in Australia. In 2005 they ran a fundraising event to design a rug with the funds going towards the charity Camp Quality. This was a very successful event and showcased Australian Designers. From there, the idea to ask Australian Designers to collaborate on rug designs evolved with each of the three designers on the panel having a collection of rugs manufactured by Designer Rugs.
It was interesting to hear where these designers fine the inspiration for their designs and how they then translate them to their respective products and now rugs. The common challenge each of them find is working on such a large scale as a 2m x 3m rug and handing their designs over to other people to produce. They all consider themselves part of a cottage industry and are all very “hands-on” with their designs, manufacturing and marketing. Liane called the rugs, jewellery for the home and I liked that.
One thing that was evident from this conversation was that each of the designers are passionate and dedicated about their work. Julie likened her creativity to a stock. You put all the good ingredients in and keep it simmering away until you are ready to cook. Liane said the most important thing is to have contentment and enjoyment in what you do, any success that comes along is a bonus. Akira said his challenge is to keep inspired and passionate.
It was wonderful to hear these amazing people and have a little insight into their thought process. Designer Rugs has done a wonderful job of blurring boundaries and bringing fashion, design and art together.