Prosaic to profound: Lio de Bruin’s handmade leather rugs
Bruin’s inspiration was a “big needlework encyclopedia”, a charmingly redundant phrase to describe the book she sourced from the shelves of the Academy’s library. “De nieuwe handwerk encyclopedie” is the Dutch translation of “The Good Housekeeping Step-by-Step Encyclopedia of Needlecraft” by Judy Brittain (1979). What intrigues your scribe is the revelation that the Design Academy – the crucible for global “design art” talent like Studio Job and Kiki van Eijk – has a Good Housekeeping “how to” book on its shelves. Published since 1885 as a “service magazine”, Good Housekeeping’s books are basic hands-on and how-to; a polar end from the reputation of the Design Academy as anything but basic.
But don’t mistake your scribe’s Good Housekeeping comment as snobbery. Your scribe has bookshelves devoted to this genre and consults them often. Rather it’s cheering to discover the Academy is ecumenical in its library selections. De Bruin’s idea book for the leather rugs collection is on her website. Image-led and without text, she juxtaposes inspirations with her interpretations. “The simplicity and richness of ethnic pieces” inspires her she says. One in particular caught your scribe’s eye, a woven pandanus or perhaps tapa cloth garment juxtaposed with her rug interpretation. DJ