We Make Carpets: Art Carpets with a Powerful Message
In the past, creating a carpet was a painstaking and exceedingly slow process. Some of the masterpieces that we have today took teams of skilled rug weavers years to create. They have a quality that allows them to last for centuries if they are properly taken care of and preserved. Now, you can find thousands of mass produced commercial carpets at exceptionally cheap prices. However, something is missing. A hand-knotted rug was carefully crafted by the artisan. They poured their heart and soul into its creation. This is something that a machine made rug can never reproduce, and the message that “We Make Carpets” wants to say to the world.
We Make Carpets Turn Everyday Objects to Beautiful Carpets
“We Make Carpets” is a Dutch collective that transforms everyday objects into beautiful carpets for art installations. Their philosophy is that mass-produced objects are often thrown away without a thought when they have served their usefulness. Their art carpets turn massive quantities of everyday objects such as scouring sponges, forks, and dishes into beautiful rugs for display.
Rugs and carpets were once a basic necessity for human survival. Early rug weavers created works that functioned first as a way to keep the chill off of floors. They hung rugs on their walls and used them as bedding. Carpets and area rugs became more than functional and eventually grew into fabulous works of art.
People have had a fascination with carpets for centuries. They serve as works of art, but without losing their functionality. We still marvel at the artistry and craftsmanship of many of these masterpieces, as you know from browsing our collection.
The Artistic Process of We Make Carpets
The artists at We Make Carpets want to bring the same type of appreciation that we have for fine rugs to the everyday objects in our world. Just as the carpet’s primary function is utilitarian, so it goes for the clothes peg or chip fork. The process begins with the purchase of massive quantities of the objects to be used. Then, they cast them onto the floor, and the three artists begin to look for patterns to emerge.
Eventually, a work of art starts to come forth from the pile of ordinary objects. The creation is transient and vulnerable at this point, just like the objects themselves. They play with the patterns and colors until the masterpiece emerges. The works display breathtaking color and ever-changing patterns.
It is the hope of We Make Carpets that viewers will gain a new appreciation for the objects that they use every day. The works that the trio produces can take days to create. The location of the display serves as inspiration for the size, color, and design of the work. The artist trio takes a formal approach to the creation of these beautiful displays, but they still have a sense of individual expression.
Exploring the Temporality of the Material World
The We Make Carpets displays themselves are works that are never meant to be walked on in reality. There is no attempt to make them permanent or fix the objects together. The carpet will never serve the utilitarian purpose for which traditional rugs are created. The objects themselves are designed to be discarded in everyday use. All of this comes together to create an artistic object of exceptional beauty to be appreciated in its own time and space.
The We Make Carpets installations send a powerful message about our world of mass consumerism and mass consumption. They break the conventions of society that have come to be accepted without question. The exhibits are held in areas where only a few feet away might be a trash can full of the objects that created the beautiful work.
When the exhibit is over, these artistic masterpieces are dismantled, and the only evidence of their existence is a few photographs and critic reviews. Unlike the objects that end up in landfills each day without a second thought, the trio donates the objects used in the artwork to be re-purposed and reused locally.
The patterns and textures of the carpets are extraordinary and play with the senses. In the end, it all just dissolves into the temporary throw-away society that we have created. They are labor-intensive labors of love, but in the end, it will all dissolve. The creations are fragile, and in some cases, they might not even last the length of the exhibition. The trio once created an art piece using 20,000 pieces of folded A4 paper. A breeze could destroy the work.
The message that these masterworks send encourages us to appreciate the material world around us and to think consciously about the choices that we make every day. It sheds light on the impact that seemingly insignificant actions every day have on the world around us. If you have a chance to visit one of their exhibitions, it is highly encouraged. It will change how you think about the world that we have created, just as the master carpet weavers have been doing for many centuries.