Congratulations to CO designers NLXL and Ronel Jordaan for each winning one of the very prestigious ICFF Editors Awards over the weekend at New York’s 2014 International Contemporary Furniture Fair.
Every year, the ICFF convenes the industry’s top editors and invites them to scout the floor of the Jacob Javits Center to choose the best of the best of the year’s design crop. This year, the award for “Best Wallcovering” went to the small Dutch company NLXL for its latest collection of wallpaper, “Archives by Studio Job”. The award for “Best Textiles” went to Ronel Jordaan Textiles from South Africa for her sublimely beautiful felt work.
Collection “Archives by Studio Job” (source: NLXL)
In the four years since we’ve been working with NLXL, this is the second time they’ve won this coveted award – the first time being for their inaugural collection, Piet Hein Eek’s wildly successful “Scrapwood Wallpaper”. This year the win was for their bold collection of seven expressive designs, which is a retrospective of sorts of the history of design studio Studio Job. The wallpaper collection had its European debut in April 2014 to critical acclaim at the Salone del Mobile in Milan.
“Withered flowers” (colour) (source: NLXL)
To create the intricate patterns for the nine metre rolls of wallpaper, NLXL meticulously combed through the archives at Studio Job taking images from their extensive library. The references are both traditional and topical, organic and artificial, and convey a narrative that is ornamental, sophisticated, playful and ironic.
“Alt Deutsch”, detail (source [cropped]: NLXL)
Studio Job (founded in 2000 by Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel) is known for its eccentric and expressive work that combines a high level of craftsmanship with extreme ornamentation. We agree that these intricate and opulent designs translate beautifully into wallpaper.
By contrast, Ronel Jordaan a well-established felt artist with an international reputation who lives and works in Johannesburg South Africa, is inspired primarily by nature. Her felted designs eloquently and playfully infuse contemporary interiors with the beauty, simplicity and serenity of the outdoors.
“Porcupine cushion” (source: Ronel Jordaan)
Using 100% merino wool, Ronel lets her imagination run wild in the creation of rock cushions, pebble carpets, intricately accented wall hangings and throws, opulent floral cushions, and more. We started working with Ronel six years ago, drawn in initially by her collection of “rocks” and “boulders” that cleverly mimic the look of natural stone. Her use of natural dyes and the subtle shading in her work give it a minimalist, realistic and earthy appeal.
Hand-felted merino wool rocks and boulders (source: Ronel Jordaan)
Among other pieces showing in New York were her hand-felted merino wool boulders and rock cushions in metallic finishes – covered with silver leaf, bronze, and combinations that incorporated the natural charcoal grey of her traditional felted rocks.
Felted throw (source: Ronel Jordaan)
All of Jordaan’s felt pieces are made with an eye to environmental and social responsibility. The wool is treated by hand, the soap used is biodegradable, the dyes are lead free, and they grey wastewater is used to grow a vegetable garden. Job creation and training are also at the forefront and under her guidance over 40 previously unemployed women have been trained and are now felters of international standing themselves.
Ndebele chairs (source: Ronel Jordaan)
Galerie CO is proud to be working with such innovative, responsible and exciting designers and we congratulate them again on the well-deserved recognition they received in New York.
We can’t wait to see what they’ll do next.