After creating carpets for high-end retailers around the world - Printemps in Paris, Bergdorf Goodman in New York and Gucci in 40 locations - we welcomed the opportunity this year to design for Canada's own luxury retailer, Holt Renfrew.Read More
Filtering by Tag: rugs
So we've made it to March! It's the time of year when winter finally starts to ease up to spring, holidays with the family abound, and (if the snow's still good) we pack in as much end of season tobogganing as we can.
In Ancient Rome, March was the first month of the year. As wikipedia can tell you, this month is named after the Roman god, Mars, who you may know better as the Greek god of war, Ares. This month was traditionally (or rather, hellenistically) the month to start military campaigns. Similarly, in these contemporary times, many people choose March as the month to attack their homes with an annual onslaught of spring cleaning.
It's also a luxurious time of year. Well, we consider it a luxurious time of year.
As the snow melts away and the sun shines a bit longer each day, we can see the world beyond winter once more. To us, this is luxury. On a nice March day you can wear shoes... luxury! The birds fill the air with songs... luxury!
Or maybe March is still cold, and you're tired of being inside. So you decide to make it luxurious by going away for the weekend and staying in a nice hotel, or going out (window) shopping for your favourite luxury designs.
If you're into making luxury your March experience, we recommend the following:
1. Enjoying a night or two in New York.
The James Hotel in NYC is a boutique experience. It's also a great place to kick off your shoes and step down on some lovely carpet.
Creative Matters Inc. with Yabu Pushelberg, Toronto, ON
Our custom carpets add to the luxury of the space!
3. Shopping in Hong Kong.
Maybe you really want to get away from the hustle and bustle of your city, to enjoy the luxurious hustle and bustle of one of the world's economic capitals.
While you're there you may be interested in stepping onto some great design, so why not visit Louis Vuitton?
Creative Matters Inc. with Yabu Pushelberg, Toronto, ON
Original carpet designs to compliment an original design house.
So as the spring season starts, take a moment to reflect on the luxury around you, and especially the luxury under your feet.
And happy tobogganing!
"There are an estimated 10,000 people on any given day here in the GTA who are homeless or living in shelters and without support. It is incredibly difficult for many of these individuals to rise above these circumstances and move forward into positive change... Furniture Bank has been able to help good people who find themselves in bad situations through donations for eleven years. By supplying them with furniture and household goods we change their lives and provide the necessary resources to live in a more dignified manner." - www.furniturebank.org
Creative Matters is excited to announce that we will be participating in an event to raise awareness and funds for the Furniture Bank, a non-profit organization in Toronto that works to provide furniture and household goods to low-income families in the city. In 2009 the Furniture Bank helped over 2,000 families create a furnished home with dignity and this year, they hope to impact 2,400 families.
The event is called Chair Affair, and will showcase the designs of local artists donating their talents and their time to create works of art with ordinary chairs from the Furniture Bank warehouse warehouse. Twenty-nine chairs will be showcased in a silent auction with five of these special chairs being auctioned live.
After much brainstorming and collaboration between the entire team, our chair has been completed and shipped off to the lovely folks at the Furniture Bank in anticipation of the Affair on Thursday October 21st at the Steam Whistle Brewery. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
Although we can't show you the finished product, here's a couple of before shots of our chair and some insight into our inspiration for the piece. We hope you like it and we hope to see you there!
"The concept for this chair was born from the natural approach that Creative Matters takes when embarking on any new rug design project that we receive.
Each Creative Matters client presents a blank canvas – in this case, a chair. Our aim is to present a beautiful and luxurious product to our client by taking care to work through the processes of design which result in the finest end product available.
"Our chair is upholstered with fine linen and 100% silk rug pieces that were hand-woven in Nepal. The stitching is a whimsical element that represents the early stages of our design process where we sketch concepts or motifs for visual direction. The beautiful fabrics, golden-hued wooden legs, and Dupioni silk buttons are all pieces of inspiration that a client may give us to work from. These elements, delicately layered together, create a very personalized story that reflects how Creative Matters works, in the form of a luxurious, hand-made chair."
Stay tuned for the grand unveiling and help support the Furniture Bank!
Creative Matters has always been determined to instill socially conscious practices in regard to the creation of their rugs. The weavers who make the rugs, in the many countries where they are woven, are adult artisans. Along with Creative Matters’ insistence that all the rugs from Nepal be child labour free, we’re always looking for ways to expand our focus beyond the walls of the factories. On Thursday June 6th we took it one step further by hosting a coat drive in an effort to send warm clothing and outerwear to the street children in Kathmandu. Michael Pourvakil and his team at Weavers Art Contemporary, generously hosted the evening in their beautiful Designers Walk showroom.
As a regular visitor to the city, CMI co-founder, Carol Sebert gets to see the beautiful parts of this South Asian country but also some of the darker images Kathmandu holds. She says:
"While in Nepal last November, I saw a number of kids living on the streets. It gets cold in Kathmandu in the winter and kids are forced to sleep next to dogs to stay warm. I was struck by this tragic existence and wanted to make a difference.”
According to UNICEF, "Street living children are children who may have lost their families through war or illness, or have been abandoned because they had become too much of a burden, or else ran away from their abusive, dysfunctional, poverty-stricken families and now live alone on the streets. Many poor children are struggling for survival out in the streets, sleeping on makeshift cardboard mattresses in main cities like Kathmandu.”
Our event was a success, raising awareness and collecting over 100 coats to send to Kathmandu with the help of Child Welfare Scheme, U.K.- Nepal who will aid in the distribution of the coats and ensure that the outerwear gets to those in need. Our CWS representative, Jeremy Southon wrote to us this morning with his distribution game plan,
“ We will have them delivered to one of your suppliers so that they can clear it through customs as I will be managing distribution in Kathmandu…Once the clothes have arrived I should put together a clear distribution plan for your approval and then get the clothes distributed in early December when the cold season starts.”
We look forward to an update from Jeremy in the coming months. A special thanks for the huge efforts put forth by staff and students of Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School, Toronto, for taking up our plight and gathering a great number of coats and outerwear. We also warmly thank friends and neighbors of Creative Matters for their donations as well.
Greetings from Creative Matters!
Carol and Ana returned this past weekend from their trip to Nepal. Carol managed to steal a few hours from her busy trip, to visit the Goodweave site where children are taken after being rescued from forced labour in carpet mills. While she was there, she taught an art class for the 33 students who are living there at the moment. After she left, Carol sent the most uplifting email from Nepal - very inspiring! I had to share:
I had such a fun day I felt I had to report right away.
I went to the home where the kids live at Rugmark/Goodweave today with paper, paints (house paint tinted yellow pink and blue) black ink and paintbrushes. The kids were really excited that we were going to have an afternoon of art. I began with them all up on the roof of their home, as it was a gloriously sunny day. We sat in a big circle and started with the ink and did life drawing, which of course, was absolutely hilarious.I got one of them to model and at first they were shy and their poses a bit dull, but one by one (I guess I had about 15 models by the end) the poses became more elaborate. There were lots of judo-like poses by the boys and tiger-like poses from the girls. They all just leapt into painting with marvelous abandon!
I then had them take the black and white paintings and add colour.By this time, the paint was starting to get all over the place, including in my hair as it was quite a flurry - paint pots were spilling, what with 33 kids exuberantly painting... but they were so into it, and so incredibly focused.I've done workshops like this before and there are generally a few goofballs that really can be disruptive, but not these kids - they worked really hard.
After about an hour I wanted to do one larger piece. I wanted them to try working larger so the full sheet that was 24”x36”.I instructed them to paint themselves in a setting that they liked and WOW, the results were amazing.Many of them did houses with the Himalayas in the background with clouds in the sky and big suns. One boy painted the RugMark house that they all currently live in with him on the roof flying a kite; another boy drew himself as almost a cartoon superman type figure in a charming landscape.Gorgeous work.And they were so proud of themselves - I couldn't take enough pictures of them holding their artworks, it was absolutely lovely.
A touching moment was when one girl, who had just arrived the day before, who was too shy to do anything but watch finally picked up a paintbrush (well I may have put it in her hand). She did a lovely figure painting all pinks and blues. You could just sense her feeling more settled and part of the group. The warden and I were both really pleased to see that.
Last night the Creative Matters team was delighted attend the celebration of the newly renovated 3rd location of Weavers Art in Toronto. Michael Pourvakil and his team launched Weavers Art – Contemporary Culture last night at 162 Bedford Rd., in Designers Walk Building 3.
Contemporary Culture is showcasing hand-knotted, silk and wool luxury carpets by a handful of international designers such as Emma Gardner, Lapchi and New Moon, and perhaps, most excitingly, yours truly -
Creative Matters. Pause for applause. – Thank-you.
The beautiful open-concept showroom exudes luxury with it’s high ceiling, cream wall colour and seductive lighting. I must say, we felt right at home...and so do our rugs!
If you get the chance, go and have a look - you'll be floored. ;)
Spring has sprung in the Creative Matters studio, the sun is shining and thankfully, there is no more snow on the ground in Toronto (knock on wood). We’ve all been super-busy with various new projects and we can hardly believe that it’s almost the end of March! It seems that we have a million things on the go - ok, maybe just a hundred - but the there’s a buzz in the air and we like it.
The design team has been working hard on new additions to the Aerial Collection (some are in the sampling stages) and we’ve been toying with the idea of adding a second collection to our Creative Matters line of carpets, with a completely different look and feel. That’s under lock and key at the moment so, stay tuned to see what we come up with! Trust me, it’s going to be great.
We’re also excited to be in the throws of planning an event in April with the lovely people at Modern Weave to celebrate our successful collaboration and creative merging of the minds, if you will. Modern Weave, along with their sister store Weavers Art, carry our entire Aerial Collection of wool and silk carpets in various sizes and colourways. They are continually supportive of what we do and they have a breath-taking showroom so if you haven’t seen our carpets in the flesh (or fibre) head to King Street East for a peek. For those of you in the trade, visit one of 3 Weavers Art locations in Designers Walk or on Davenport Road or Bedford Road all in Toronto (see the website for details).
I know it’s short but hopefully this post piques your interest. Before you know it, the season of bare feet will be upon us – what better time for a wool and silk carpet, hmmm? The carpet above has some nice Spring appeal - nothing like a bright, cheerful botanical to freshen things up. (You can check out this one in the December 2008 The World of Interiors, December 2008 article "Made for Manhattan" with Studio Sofield)
What a flurry of activity November has afforded Creative Matters! More than a week after our 20th Anniversary Gala Fundraiser, I finally have a chance to sit down and write about our fantastic night.
First of all, we’re 20! Happy Birthday Creative Matters! Congratulations to Carol and Donna for such a great feat – and here’s to 20 more, right? So, the night went off without a hitch and we saw just over 500 people come through our event at Gallery 345 to help us celebrate. Our long and arduous hours of installing the show, that saw the whole staff (and some of their parents!?) hammering and hanging, sweeping and cleaning, paid off.
The gallery was transformed from a very promising canvas into a feast for the eyes (and hearts!) that displayed our new collection of hand-knotted carpets as well as a retrospective of 20 years worth of CMI designs and photographs.
One of the other big highlights of the evening was the unveiling of Hariti, the responsible, luxury rug that was created as a fund-raising piece that will be raffled to benefit RugMark. RugMark, as you know, works to end illegal child labor in the carpet industry in South Asia and offers educational opportunities to children who are rescued from carpet mills. The carpet is stunning and we sold a ton of raffle tickets. We’re nearing our goal but we’re still not there – so buy buy buy! You still have 13 days left! I can't even tell you what an opportunity this is - the chance to win a hand knotted, one-of-a-kind, wool and silk carpet - for $25!
In addition to all of this we finally had the opportunity to meet a RugMark representative, in the flesh! Heather Joseph, RugMark’s Development Officer (who is lovely) flew in from Washington, D.C. She came and spoke and worked the room to spread the word. And as a special treat, Heather was joined by Robin Romano, the talented photographer (and amazing speaker) who shot the Faces of Freedom show that hung at Gallery 345 in conjunction with Floored to be 20. The photos were breath taking and we were so happy that they could share in our celebration.
Great big thank-yous to everyone who helped to make our party perfect! Stay tuned for more party pics on our next post "The Guest List".
Stay warm (curled up on a wool carpet)!
We were delighted to see one of our projects on the cover of October 2008 Metropolitan Home this month titled "Asian Fusion". Working with the talented Shamir Shah on this Soho apartment, we assisted on textures and offered suggestions on some of the natural fibers. Needless to say, the rug was woven at one of our RugMark certified mills in Nepal. The striped rug was a combination of wool, hemp and silks in browns and gold tones with a bright persimmon accent.
Beautiful photos, beautiful magazine - here are a few shots of the residence and carpet taken by Met photographer Antoine Bootz.
I'm happy to announce that Carol and Donna arrived home unscathed, albeit a bit late from their cross continent journey to South Asia. A "Storm Signal 9" typhoon called Nuri decided that she was going to swing by the Hong Kong airport where the ladies had a stopover, and wreak a little havoc. During their extended stay they took the time to write some great emails while the images were still fresh in their heads. Over the next few days we'll be sharing some of these writings and beautiful photos in preparation for September 8th (this Monday!) when raffle tickets officially go on sale, for a chance to win Hariti. As I mentioned before, she's all finished and we have photos...but you can't see those yet - you'll have to wait until Monday! In the meantime, here's some food for thought:
Donna and I went to the RugMark facilities today to see with our own eyes where the children are living who have been rescued from the looms and factories in Kathmandu.
It's a four storey building with a large playground that was, unfortunately, not usable at the time. It's rainy season here in Nepal so full of puddles, but one can imagine great games of soccer taking place. Many of the residents are young boys, as they are the more valuable child workers because they are strong at a young age. However, there are a number of girls here.
We were introduced to one lovely young girl, probably around the age of 11, who had been rescued just the day before. She had already woven 2 rugs but now has a chance for an education and a better life. She was not yet dressed in the uniform that all the children wear, a maroon shirt with navy pants. Boys and girls alike wear the same.
We toured all the facilities, from the bedrooms, which look a little like what we have in summer camp. There are bunk-beds in each room with around 10 beds in per space. The rooms were very clean and very tidy, the blankets all rolled up at the head of each bed with the pillow, shoes carefully lined up at the door. There's a cupboard for additional clothing, but these children do not have any personal items.
School books for studying were on some of the beds, rest time for some includes math review. There is a library where the children all meditate for half an hour each day, then can read and enjoy quieter games. The kitchen, which had delicious smel
ls wafting through, was staffed by a number of women, and there was a room adjacent that was the dining hall. In total there are about 40 children at this facility.
In the kitchen however, there were 5 older boys who had gone through the program at RugMark, had completed their Grade 12 level and now have sponsors for university in Kathmandu. It looked like they'd returned for a homecooked meal!
The three classrooms are simple with schoolbooks, tables and benches and a blackboard. The children are fast tracked to grade three level and depending on their competency they either continue on for the potential of university education with help from sponsors or are trained for vocational work such as carpentry.
We discussed with the managers about the cost of each student's education, and for around $50.00/ year they recieve their uniforms, school books and education. That works out to two tickets for the raffle of Hariti. Imagine, 2 tickets sends a child to school for one year! It was a great tour and wonderful to see the facilities. We are delighted to see first hand the great work being done by RugMark and feel so good about contributing directly to helping the children.
Carol and Donna