Lately, I've been mesmerized by videos of artists hand tufting. It's satisfying to watch a power tool (called a tufting gun) punch wool into canvas to create home interior objects like rugs. Fibre arts is an art form that involves a close relationship with material and a necessity of the hand. Women have long dominated the textile and craft industry, and there's something about the contrast between the use of heavy machinery to create interior products, that makes me excited about this medium.
It's an art form that empowers women, asserting their space in the male dominated art world. On our radar are five female artists paving their way through their textile designs and making their own trademark within this space...and on our floors.
Rashelle Campbell is a multidisciplinary artist with Indigenous Cree roots, whose work is inspired by 90's and early aughts pop culture. Her most popular creations are termed 'flubbers', which are interlocking florals—an evolution to her original works of tennis ball and basketball shaped rugs. Her website includes the description 'hand tufted while watching reality tv', and it's this accessible nature that makes us fans of her creations.
Julia Mior dives into the realm of the domestic within art as her designs pays homage to the history of females in textile art and the gender power dynamics that have progressed through craft history. With a clear ode to French artist Henri Matisse, Mior takes back the ownership of the male gaze showcasing the power and beauty of the female form.
Studio Mirte takes a different approach to rug making, advertising their rugs as both wall and floor art. With a clear emphasis on abstract shapes and graphics, this Netherlands based design studio creates works that are both contemporary and playful. All handmade and unique pieces, Studio Mirte adds the cozy to the home.
Moira Quinn is a weaver and hand tufter whose bold designs will find you looking more at your floor than anywhere else. They are striking, yet balanced speaking to Quinn's MFA background at the Art Institute of Chicago. You might find eggs, lava lamps, or oysters as the central stars of her designs, but it is clear she possesses a talent for finding harmony between whimsy and elevation creating works that are suitable for any home interior.
Ana Rodriguez is a textile based artist based in Seattle who recently ventured into rug making from her embroidery practise. Bold, geometric, checkered patterns are the basis for her designs as she experiments with colour and white space. Inspired by "soft things, bodies, fruit, comforting spaces, and nice colors", Rodriguez also plays with the female form, juxtaposing the soft lines of the female body with the hardness of the geometric shapes.