We love finding artisans who have a uniquely modern take on traditional craft.
Putting her own spin on interior leathers and rugs, Genevieve Bennett mixes the tradition of decorative arts with the modernity of her simplistic and striking motifs. Based in her studio in London she partners with artisans in Varanasi India, working with them to keep traditional hand-knotting alive with her new and innovative designs.
Luxe heritage with a contemporary feel
Genevieve works with the most luxurious yet natural materials, choosing vegetable-tanned leathers, luscious virgin wool and sustainable silks for her interior designs. She draws on her wealth of creative experience to create craft pieces that are timeless and elegant. They are designed to have the longevity to last a lifetime and be treasured in their customer’s home.
Before starting her own interior and home ware studio in 2008, Genevieve worked for brands like Habitat and Wedgewood as a creative consultant. Using her Masters in printed and embroidered textiles, Genevieve has a wealth of drawing experience and pattern in her design DNA.
Her designs focus on sculptural and 3-dimensional pieces for the home, from hand tufted and knotted rugs and soft furnishings, to embossed leather wall hangings or braided mirrors. They all share simple and striking motifs, designed with care and immaculate attention to detail.
She gathers imagery from far and wide, using the patterns in Islamic tiles, prominent artists from the English Arts and Crafts movement and Art Deco metalwork to inspire her designs.
Elemental & simple design
Her bespoke leather-work, which is all cut and sculpted by hand in her London studio, is a thoroughly contemporary representation of traditional British leather techniques.
She works firstly with sketches then into 3D card models, which she sculpts and manipulates to show to her clients, as a lot of her designs are bespoke orders for hotel and home interiors.
Though her leather work is created in house, she has a more global approach to creating her graphic patterned rugs.
The rugs are woven in the traditional Indian hand-knot style, one of the most elaborate and highly technical weaving techniques in India.
This traditional rug making process has remained unchanged for hundreds of years and is celebrated through Genevieve’s contemporary patterns.
To finish the pieces, the artisans use scissors to meticulously hand-carve the surface of the rug, enhancing the sheen of the silk and the texture of its motif.
True craft does however take time. A single rug can take up to four months to make.
Design with longevity in mind
In a recent article for The Telegraph Magazine, she describes tackling metal as her latest material after truly mastering leather. She plans to use the same striking geometric patterns to elevate and create new metal pieces for the home.
Whatever the textile, we can’t wait to see what’s next for Genevieve.
***All images are a curated selection from Genieveve’s Instagram or website: