Suminagashi Artistry: Knots Rugs & Nat Maks Collaboration

Knots Rugs recently announced an exciting artistic journey through its upcoming collaboration with Nat Maks, the visionary behind Margate’s creative haven.

Known for her mastery of the ancient Japanese Suminagashi technique, which translates to ‘ink floating’ Marbling, Natascha Maksimovic brings a touch of timeless elegance to the vibrant world of rugs.

This innovative partnership unveils eight original artworks, meticulously reimagined by Knots Rugs and its accomplished founder, Bonnie Sutton. The exuberant collection is poised to make its debut at the New York Cover Connect show from 9th to 11th September and subsequently in London at Decorex from 8th to 11th October in the year 2023.

The Genesis of Artistic Synergy

This harmonious collaboration traces its origins to an encounter between the two artists during a paper marbling workshop at Knots Rugs’ London establishment. The event, hosted by the Chelsea Design Quarter in 2022, laid the foundation for a creative partnership that would flourish over the next 12 months.

The collection’s birth was an intricate process, involving over 38 distinctive colourways and a myriad of innovative techniques. Each thread, meticulously hand-dyed, underwent a four-week transformation before being woven into the final masterpiece. These threads found their way to Knots‘ production centre in Nepal, where artisans expertly crafted them into stunning works of art using Tibetan Wool and Chinese Silk.

A Continuation of Creative Legacy

For Knots Rugs, this collaboration marks yet another chapter in its longstanding tradition of artful partnerships. With a history spanning 16 years, the brand has previously joined forces with esteemed artists including Stefan Heyer, Arthur Lanyon, Brian Coleman, George Morton-Clark, Roos Soetekouw, and Blackpop. Knots Founder, Bonnie Sutton, passionately highlights, “We have long admired the work of Nat Maks – we have a shared sensibility, creating innovative art pieces by fusing traditional craft techniques with contemporary and expressive colour palettes.”

Natascha Maksimovic, fondly known as Nat Maks, resonates with this sentiment. She reflects, “I feel creatively aligned to Knots Rugs and Bonnie… We have shared sensibilities in how we approach a project and each individual artwork.” The transformative journey from marbled paper to grand textile canvases has been a source of joy for Nat Maks. She praises Bonnie Sutton’s meticulous attention to detail, unwavering commitment to quality, and masterful use of colour that breathed life into the marbled pieces on a grand scale.

A Symphony of Colour and Craft

The resulting collection stands as a testament to Nat Maks’ timeless craftsmanship and artistic flair, meticulously woven into each thread by Knots Rugs. This union of artistry and innovation pushed boundaries, as unconventional materials like crepe paper found their way into the tapestry, adding texture and dimension.

A kaleidoscope of over 36 distinct colours, ranging from soft pastels to vibrant hues, graces the Knots oil ink colour swatches. These colours, painstakingly painted onto paper with a brush, form the foundation of this awe-inspiring collection.

Unveiling the Designs

The collection unveils eight distinctive designs, each a masterpiece in its own right:

Dawn: The interplay of unconventional materials and Tibetan wool, Chinese silk, and linen gives birth to a rich tapestry of oranges, reds, and deep forest greens.

Dusk: Inspired by Nat Maks’ 3D botanical leaf sculptures, this design showcases deep greens and pops of orange, transporting the essence of twilight.

Low Tide: Capturing the tranquillity of foggy mornings, this piece exudes coastal serenity through its blues and greens, turning interiors into havens of calm.

High Tide: Similar to its counterpart Low Tide, High Tide’s blues and greens evoke the promise of a new day, mirroring the calm of early hours.

Sea Mist: A tribute to traditional Japanese marbling, this design features black and indigo blues that swirl like smoke and clouds, invoking a sense of zen-like peace.

Dreamland: Drawing inspiration from Helen Frankenthaler’s abstract landscapes, this design features pops of pink, oranges, greens, and gold, evoking a dreamy aura.

Monsoon: Moody palettes of blues and emerald greens, punctuated by bursts of oranges, reds, and purples, create a captivating dance of hues.

Ink: Inky indigo blues blend seamlessly into a neutral ground, a ghostly edge hinting at the dispersal of oil inks across the paper.

Conclusion

The collaborative efforts of Knots Rugs and Nat Maks culminate in a collection that embodies the essence of traditional craftsmanship entwined with contemporary creativity. With each thread meticulously woven, these rugs are more than just floor coverings; they are vivid tapestries that tell stories of colour, texture, and vision. This unique partnership invites enthusiasts of art and design to experience the beauty of Suminagashi-inspired rugs, where timeless techniques find new life in the modern world.

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