Helen Yardley Studio 27.03.17

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Yardley rugs are often described as ‘drawings for floors’ but they look equally happy when they are hanging.

A short walk from Borough Market in London brings you to the Helen Yardley Studio, where you could be lucky enough to witness a prototype rug being hand-tufted. It is a surprisingly speedy process, with the woolen yarn being literally shot into the tautly stretched backing cloth by a tufting gun.

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The creation of these prototypes are closely overseen by Yardley. Her command of careful nuanced colour and the bold gestural quality of her drawing make her a long-term favourite with architects and designers alike.

‘People want things that will last – throwaway seems flagrant these days,’ she says. ‘We want to surrounded ourselves with functional things that nourish – hence the desire for meaningful pieces and the resurgence of hand-crafted objects.”

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Rugs can be customised versions of standard designs, like the oversized Salix rug (above) for Clyde & Co, with architecture practice TP Bennett.

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Fletcher Priest approached HY Studio to design specifically for this space on Burlington Street (above), where the brief included a nod to the Eames style and palette.

The commissioning process is seen as a welcome interaction. ‘The result is often something neither party had anticipated but is often much more than they had expected, so it’s a real bonus. I make a whole range of gouache paintings, ranging from safe to challenging. It’s heartwarming how often there is consensus about what works.’

Making it British from the start, HY Studio works with a broad range of architects. The London and Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange with Gensler, and a series of wall hangings for Portcullis House with Michael Hopkins Architects are typically high-profile commissions. Most recently, a series of three large-scale rugs were shipped off to the Metropolitan Hotel, Bangkok.

Indigenous British wools are a recent focus, with the use of heritage woolen yarns such as Swaledale and Herdwick – both of which feature in the current collections.

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Helen Yardley Studio will be exhibiting at Crafts Central Gallery during Clerkenwell Design Week, which takes place from 23 to 25 May 2017.

The article was produced in partnership with Helen Yardley Studio




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