October 6th-12th sees the return of Wool Week, part of the Campaign for Wool, an international project started in 2010 by HRH the Prince of Wales to help raise awareness of the unique natural and sustainable benefits of wool.

Felt Shyrdak rugs and cushions are the perfect way to celebrate Wool Week and update your home – they are richly patterned pieces that embrace the textural beauty of wool, either in natural neutrals or vividly dyed brights. They are also wonderfully hardwearing and will look good for years to come.

Felt’s Shyrdaks are handmade in Kyrgyzstan and Felt is the first company to import these vibrant works of art direct from their makers in Kyrgyzstan to Britain, through a fair trade agreement. The rugs have a tough flattened felt base sewn with geometric patterns. Made outdoors by tribal women, each rug takes a master cutter and her team of makers between 10 and 20 days to complete.
This year Decorex International returned to Syon Park in Brentford, after several years at various locations in Chelsea. More than 300 British designers and retailers exhibited in a huge tent in the grounds of the park across the four days. Two of Arc’s clients, James Hare and Lapicida, had stands, whilst Drummonds and Edward Bulmer Pots of Paint also made an appearance.
Lapicida like to make a statement and their Decorex stand was, at 300 square metres, just that. Housed in its own tent, Lapicida’s stone extravaganza promised visitors an immersive experience themed around the evolution of stone and the knowledge of stonemasonry that Lapicida has honed over the years. The experience began with a dark room, featuring a cabinet of curiosities and various stone pieces on display as well as lighting from Christopher Jenner. Progressing on to a contemporary, brightly lit space filled with sculptural objects, including Lara Bohinc’s Solaris Table. There was even a live 3D CNC sculpting demonstration.
The stand generated a lot of buzz on social networks and if you missed out or want to relive the experience – catch it here:
James Hare 
James Hare are Decorex regulars and they had another successful year, with their new Ebury fabric proving popular. They introduced two new collections at the show – Pimlico and Aurora Silks. Saffron Hare, Sales Director, commented "The stand was packed, we’ve never sold so many new collections and we even sold out of some of our new designs. We will book a bigger stand next year!”
Drummonds made an appearance on luxury design brand De Gournay’s stand. An Usk and a Double Hebdern Vanity Basin could be seen in a 1920s inspired powder room that showcased De Gournay’s latest black and gold handpainted wallpaper design. Echoing the opulent gold tones, Drummonds introduced a new Antique Brass finish on the basin taps and bath, created by patinating unlacquered brass by hand to give it an antiqued look.
On Tuesday 23rd September, in conversation with Kate Burnett, designer Christopher Jenner gave a talk about his past projects and design inspirations, including his collaboration with Drummonds on the design of two London showrooms and a collection of bathroom furniture.
Edward Bulmer Pots of Paint 
Edward Bulmer teamed up with Lulu Lytle at Soane Britain to design a tableau for the main entrance inspired by a scene from Hogarth’s Rake’s Progress. The entire back wall of ‘The Heir’ featured Pots of Paint’s vibrant Russet colour.
Edward Bulmer Pots of Paint could also be seen on Symm’s stand as part of a special piece of Andy Warhol-inspired art.
Lapicida has an international reputation for its collaborations with artists and designers, offering them a heady combination of exceptional materials, traditional stonemasonry skills and the world’s most advanced 3-D and CNC manufacturing technologies.  These allow today’s artists to explore and challenge the limits of working stone in ways of which previous generations could only have dreamt. 

The latest and most eminent of Lapicida’s collaborations is with Christopher le Brun, painter, sculptor, printmaker and 26th President of the Royal Academy. Together they spent months working on MARO, a monumental piece commissioned to occupy a commanding position at Chatsworth House as part of Sotheby’s prestigious selling exhibition ‘Beyond Limits’ opened on September 8 2014. 

Producing le Brun’s MARO was one of the greatest technical challenges ever faced by Lapicida’s Harrogate workshops.  Made in Greek Nestos marble, standing 5 metres high and weighing 2.5 tonnes, the wing-shaped sculpture incorporates exceptionally fine detailing.  Producing it took 25 days of sculpting with diamond drills by the massive CNC shaping mill (one of only 3 such mills in the world) and then a further 6 weeks of hand finishing by two of Lapicida’s expert craftsmen.

But there were months of work behind the scenes before the final piece could be produced.  Christopher le Brun first sculpted a 1:10 scale maquette in plaster and wax, which was recorded by Lapicida’s 3D scanner.  The Technical Design team then spent days ensuring that the 3D files were detailed enough to accurately scale up ten times.  These files were used to create first a 1:5 scale sample to ensure the CNC machine’s manufacturing capabilities and then several 1:1 samples to perfect the detailing to Christopher Le Brun’s specifications.  

Finally, the five sections which make up the final piece could be produced; first on the CNC and then by the two craftsmen, working closely with the artist himself who commented "The craftsmanship qualities of hand-finishing were extremely important because it’s often in the last touches on a sculpture that you can bring it to life.” 

The Greek Nestos marble in which MARO was made was chosen by Lapicida and le Brun for its sculptural qualities, overall aesthetic and ability to withstand the elements.  Assembled in situ at Chatsworth House, the five pieces are held in place by a central steel structure and affixed to a hidden base.  Viewers will marvel at the single graceful wing appearing to rise effortlessly from the ground evoking le Brun’s attachment to Romanticism and Symbolism.  Cleverly titled, the name references the poet Maro (better known in English as Virgil) as well as being an anagram of both ‘ROMA’ and ‘AMOR’.

For Christopher le Brun, the production of MARO represented two firsts: working with Lapicida and experiencing the extraordinary capabilities of the CNC machine’s capabilities.  For Lapicida, working with one of the world’s most celebrated artists has been one of its most ambitious ever projects; proof that the company’s unique combination of craftsmanship and technology can rise to the most exceptional of artistic and technical challenges. 
Image courtesy of Sotheby's.  
Felt’s neutral Shyrdak rugs are brought to life with a vibrant braid in a contrasting bright. Rugs in cool grey and cream are given added zing with a vivid turquoise thread, whilst subtle fawns are warmed up with red.
From the refined luxury of emerald to the sheer joie de vivre of lime, green has infinite variety… Colour psychologists say it is one of the most influential colours you can add to your home; bringing calm, serenity and a connection with the natural world.
Whether you want to decorate a whole room, or just add a pop of colour, you need to find exactly the right green. James Hare’s user-friendly website is the ideal place to find it, allowing you to search their hundreds of interior fabrics by colour, bringing together plains, textures and decorative designs in every conceivable hue of classic and fashion forward green. No other name has anything approaching this quality and choice, especially at such excellent price points.
New colours from Edward Bulmer Pots of Paint include ‘Nicaragua’, a fresh modern take on a classic paint colour with an extraordinary heritage.
Edward explains, "During the 18th Century, the import of West Indian hardwoods such as mahogany gave cabinet makers new materials which became highly sought after. Red dyes could also be extracted from these exotic timbers, often named after the countries in which they grew. Hence Nicaragua was the source of wood which rendered up a purpley-red hue such as the one we have mixed - it has a rich, deep colour without being flowery.”


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