Rug designer Zoë Luyendijk (pictured top) flew in from British Columbia to greet visitors to Front Rugs at Focus/16 – yet the showroom was full of reminders of home. Her work (such as ‘Ur Na’, pictured above) is often inspired by the scale and detail of the water, rocks, trees and mountains that surround her: “It relates to the landscape – which is huge,” she says.“So huge that it’s hard for a lot of people to comprehend.” Inspiration is sometimes hard-won: she describes hanging off her husband’s boat as he edged ever nearer to some rocks plunging into the water, all so she could capture the perfect close-up photo of it.
Hearing first-hand stories like these is always a thrill, and Zoe was just one of a host of designers who shared insights into their creative process. Stefano Bigi visited Porada to discuss his masterpiece Infinity series, while Lewis & Wood invited artist Alexander Hamilton to talk through his new work and British textile designer Clarissa Hulse was on hand to introduce her second collection for Harlequin. In-house designers from wallpaper and fabric houses also stepped out of the studio to explain how collections came together, from the remaking of William Morris’s classic patterns for Pure Morris to Romo’s charming new Kelso fabrics.