To the Heart of the Matter: Mae Engelgeer’s new fabrics for Wolf Gordon
Dutch textile designer Mae Engelgeer has appeared on the pages of COVER numerous times, with her fabric and carpet designs and more recently with her rugs for Italian brand cc-tapis. Her new textile collection for Wolf Gordon, entitled Matter, was launched at NeoCon in Chicago last week. Here she speaks to COVER about the collaborative work.
How would you describe the collection in three words to someone who hasn’t seen it yet?
Sophisticated, playful, tactile
Can you talk me through what your creative process looked like when working with Wolf-Gordon?
For this collection, I started with the development process at the Textiellab in Tilburg, The Netherlands. I create the concept for Matter, focussing more on wool and a residential feel. I send out the swatches to NYC and together with Wolf Gordon, we selected 3 fabrics to continue with. From that point, we started working with a US based factory translating my design in workable upholstery textiles. In the meantime, we worked on the colouring, trying to keep the European colours as much as possible. After a visit to NY in October, together we finished the collection and colour versions. Then I received samples back at the studio and the finalising started, all in close contact with Wolf Gordon. We just launched the collection at NeoCon in Chicago.
What makes this collaboration different than the one back in 2016?
There is a more residential feel to the whole collection than our previous one and we used more wool, which has always been a big part of my signature style.
What would you say is the biggest influence of the collection?
I think you can see that I was inspired by more rounded shapes, terrazzo or almost asteroid shaped stone pattern. Also, the tactility and diverse use of yarn, from wool to metallic, is very important for this collection.
Do you have a favourite design from the collection?
Well, I cannot decide between Mass and Merge. Mass is the most outgoing one, Merge the most complex.
Can you tell us about something exciting you are working on at the moment?
Yes, I am working on a new addition to the BLISS collection for cc-tapis. A sort of Ultimate Bliss…
Whose textile designs do you currently admire?
I try not to look at other textile designers too much as I don’t want to be influenced by their work. Of course, I like what Kvadrat is doing—we worked on fabrics for Amsterdam Schiphol Airport together (see COVER 53 later this year).
If you could spend a day with anyone (alive or dead) who would it be and what would you do?
Gunta Stolzl, a textile designer from the Bauhaus period. It would be interesting to talk textile with her. I find it so interesting that no matter what time we are in, people can be inspired by the same things, like line play and shapes. Would be nice to weave something together.