Blazing A New Trail
Craig Kellogg -- Interior Design, 7/1/2008 12:00:00 AM
After earning a BA in photography and American studies at famously arty Hampshire College, Amy Helfand headed to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to earn her MFA. Since then, whatever the medium, Helfand has pursued an interest in landscape. When she designs rug compositions in highly saturated colors, ranging from fuchsia to goldenrod, the result is nothing less than art for the floor—and a mode of mental escape from "this urban place," as she calls her home in Brooklyn, New York.
The Appalachian Trail and Heading West collections, the latter inspired by the maps and field guides of Lewis and Clark, started with sketches that echo the twists and turns of the North American continent. Crisply translating the smallest details of her renderings, the rugs' densely packed pile is hand-carded, spun Tibetan wool accented by silk thread—or pure New Zealand wool for contract clients. All the rugs are made in Nepal and certified by RugMark, a global nonprofit working to end child labor in the carpet industry while offering educational opportunities in Nepal, Tibet, and India. 718-643-9577; amyhelfand.com. circle 444