Afghanmade sponsored two categories at last year’s Carpet Design Awards at DOMOTEX Hannover; that of ‘Best Student Design’ and ‘Best Young Designer’. We caught up with the winners one year on to find out how the award has influenced their careers. Read the full article in COVER 37.
Sheefalika Misra, winner of the Student Design Award was exposed to a rich pool of traditional crafts, growing up in India. But the CDA revealed to her the magic possibilities of carpets. ‘It made me understand that the rug industry can be a responsible design choice,’ she says, ‘a powerful medium for creative expression that empowers skilled communities by providing a sustainable livelihood.’
Her ability to transition easily between historic Indian aesthetics and contemporary design is evident in her new collections for Jaipur Rugs. The ‘Painted Heritage’ collection takes direct inspiration from a Mughal miniature painting, The Musical Mode by Gauri, and murals at Morarka Haveli, Rajasthan. The contact with Jaipur came as a direct result of her presence at DOMOTEX.
Allistair Covell was the winner of the Best Young Designer Award and has gone on to get further involved with carpet design. He says, ‘Seeing the rug on display at DOMOTEXexceeded all my expectations. Creating patterns for rugs feels like a natural progression for me.’ His winning rug was the star attraction at his first solo exhibition at the Courtyard Arts Centre, Hertford in September 2014.The award nomination also led Covell to produce a new body of work in the form of ‘stitch paintings’.
Over the summer, Covell has been working with UK-based company Rugmaker to develop a line of commercial rugs. The tantalising samples present bright, dynamic digital ‘paintings’ translated into carpet designs. Another recent collaboration, with digital print company Think Positive, has led to a range of silk scarves and ties. There are plans to apply these designs to heavier fabrics, suitable for interior applications.