The Gift That Keeps Giving
Mark McMenamin and Athena Waligore -- Interior Design, 2/1/2013 2:00:00 AM
When most couples exchange presents, it often ends with, “Where’d ya get that?” But when designer Melina Raissnia received a small felt rug from her husband, Dodd, it spiked an obsession that would only be sated with an 8,000-mile adventure. Arriving in Tehran, they scoured the main bazaars to no avail. But after traversing nomadic mountain camps and villages, the couple eventually located small enclaves where aged craftsmen keep the art of felt making alive. Peace Industry was born soon after, firmly rooting the pair in the rug business.
Designed in the Raissnias’ San Francisco studio, the patterns are produced in the company’s fair-trade workshop in Turkey, employing the same processes that nomads in Central Asia used for centuries. Spunky shapes in earthy colors figure prominently in the latest releases, including the jaunty honeycomb of Hive and the cellular composure of Screen. Jupiter sports a cyclic crisscross, Lace superimposes circular and linear forms, and Fuller resembles shadows cast from a stained-glass window. The rugs are handmade in small batches using lamb’s wool and natural dyes, in any custom color and size up to 12 by 14 feet. To eliminate waste, remnants from rug making are repurposed into hand-sewn baskets and ottomans.