Spotlight On: Bronzino Handmade Inc
Any tale that begins, “It happened in a café in Rome” is bound to be fabulous and that is just how the story of Bronzino Handmade Inc’s hand knotted wool and silk rugs begins. Linda Corbett and her partner Andrew Fee, long-time interior designers with an interdisciplinary studio in Toronto, had always loved rugs (and Rome), so one day, over coffee and under the Roman sun, the designers had an inspiration. Why not add custom rugs to the line of handcrafted custom furniture Fee was already making? The idea of using their own designs in a new medium was exciting, but, Linda Corbett says, equally compelling was that making rugs was a way to share. “Doing this work”, she continues, “gives us and our clients the absolute privilege to affect weavers’ lives in a positive way through GoodWeave®. It’s an honor.”
The couple didn’t wait long to make the Roman reverie a reality. Corbett says she quickly did research, found GoodWeave and made an appointment to meet up in Nepal. “When I saw what GoodWeave was doing, that clinched it! I wanted to make sure our rugs would have a GoodWeave label.” Artistically, Linda, a longtime documentary filmmaker, was fascinated by the prospect of bringing her expertise with digital techniques to the ancient traditions of carpet weaving. She says the learning curve for this ancient craft, although daunting, was thrilling.
The latest rugs, many though not all, inspired by Rome, are created from her photos and drawings of architectural and landscape elements. Using her skills manipulating digital images, she works with layers of photo images. In the case of the pale blue, grays and violet wool and silk rug “Trastevere," the influences are the aging floors and frescoed walls of old Italian buildings. She created “Anasazi” using photos and drawings of the canyons and ruins on Navaho lands in Arizona. “We’ve been to Rome eight times, but travel anywhere inspires," she says.
Rugs, she says, connect her and her partner (and husband) Andrew to the world in ways she hadn’t imagined. Each rug, she says, holds the history of cultures, stories of families, their aspirations, dreams, and goals. “We want to be a part of their world and our clients want to as well,” she says. “Every dollar we spend is political. It’s up to us to do something of value… no matter how small.”
For more information, please go to www.somastudio.ca/pages/collections.html.
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