Natural Dying Art Day at Creative Matters with The Ruggist | Image by The Ruggist

Art Day at Creative Matters

A field visit with Creative Matters to participate in the firm's Art Day creative process.

To avoid atë the firm implemented what has grown to become an ‘integral influence on the constant flow of creative design that emerges from the studio’ to quote Creative Matters. ‘Art Days’ allow the entire staff as a team, not just the designers, to immerse themselves in a technique or a subject matter in order to garner fresh and, as I came to discover, unexpected insight. By exploring various artistic techniques of photography, glassblowing, collage, and the like without a predestined use nor aesthetic, the firm is able to create a body of original artwork ‘from somewhere else’ some of which may be suited to an individual collection, others archived for potential use in future projects. The exploration of techniques foreign to some, familiar to others, fosters camaraderie and team building, while simultaneously fuelling the creativity of the firm. This is a brief look behind the creative curtain.

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Over Coffee Istanbul w/Carol Sebert of Creative Matters. | Image courtesy of The Ruggist.

Over (Turkish) Coffee in Istanbul

A candid conversation with Carol Sebert, President of Creative Matters set in the impossibly multicultural and historic city of Istanbul, Turkey.

Nothing is better at giving you a glimpse into the persona of a friend than sitting next to them on an intercontinental flight. Shared hopes of our third seat mate not arriving (he did), wondering what culinary delights await on Turkish Airlines, and anticipation of an exciting week of rug and carpet presentations and buying as we both explore Istanbul for the first time, were all topics of idle conversation. As we settled into the flight I opted to ‘watch’ a series of lower concept action adventure and sci-fi movies, whereas Carol – in an ernest effort to truly define ‘binge consumption’ – set out to catch up on the final season of the more high-brow ‘Downton Abbey’; all of it. Ten (10) hours and innumerable disapproving remarks from the Dowager Countess later we arrive in Istanbul to begin our joint adventure in carpets, culture, food, history, camaraderie, and design. Join us now as we discuss the events of the week, Over (Turkish) Coffee in Istanbul.

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Rendering of Axminster Carpet at University of Chicago - Creative Matters - The Ruggist | Image courtesy of Creative Matters

Seminary Economics | Creative Matters

Honouring the past while remaining cognizant of the evolutionary needs of society is amongst one of the most difficult lessons one can learn, and it is what elevates the ordinary to the extra ordinary. By embracing and adapting what is and what has been, into what can and will be, one has the ability to harness creativity that spans well beyond any one person or lifetime. Adaptive re-use of architecture – either in whole or through its constituent components – is amongst one of the most beautiful ways this is accomplished, even more so with a fantastic bespoke rug that incorporates elements of the existing, to create a freshly modern – yet familiar aesthetic.

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Consumers Must Show Real Empathy for Nepal - The Ruggist

Consumers Must Show Real Empathy for Nepal

In the wake of a series of devastating earthquakes and aftershocks that have literally shaken the very foundation of Nepal, I find myself in an unfamiliar state of mind. Empathy has never been my redeeming quality, yet concern and anxiety occupy my thoughts of a people so far away, so impoverished, so disparate from my western life of relative comfort. How is it, that a Midwestern born, American expat living in rural New Brunswick, Canada can be so distressed about people he has never met? Grand philosophical reasons aside, the simple truth of the matter is that twenty (20) years ago fate and circumstance conspired as it were and I found myself at the beginning of a career, and a love affair, dedicated to modern handmade rugs and carpets and moreover to the best thereof. For those not as well versed, this includes what are arguably the very best carpets in the world: those made in Nepal. I’ve sold countless Nepali made rugs, I’ve written extensively on carpets both as an amateur and a professional, I’ve worked with some of the finest contemporary producers of carpets in the world, I own Nepali made rugs. But this isn’t about me. This is about Nepal and its people, the handmade carpet industry of Nepal, and how imperative it is that we all show real empathy for Nepal.

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The Carpets of Nepal, Part I - The Ruggist

The Carpets of Nepal | Part I

As an industry we bring modernity with all of its inconsequential demands to a place where subsistence agrarian culture still dominates the economy, where manual labour is a way of life, and were exploitation (in wide ranging and various forms) is still a major concern. We also have the ability to bring hope, compassion, understanding, and as I’ve called for, real empathy for the Nepali people. We do this by honouring them for all that they’ve done for us, and by continuing to work with them as they rebuild their country. They are a “patient, studious, artistic, nuanced and extremely hard working people, and I would not be who I am without them.” says Tom DeMarco of Kooches, speaking words universal to any serious designer of modern carpets. With that, The Ruggist presents a photographic journey that explores the best of Nepali made carpets.

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