A colourful statement rug design by Sebastian Herkner joins the ames collection. The German designer found the inspiration for the rug’s irregular pattern and organic shape when travelleing through the Colombian Andes with ames founder Ana Marìa Calderon Kayser. They visited the famous Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, which is built in the tunnels of a former salt mine 200 metres underneath a mountain. Dramatically illuminated, religious carvings decorate the walls, glimmering in many colours and creating abstract reflections – which Sebastian Herkner transformed into the hand-tufted patterns of the Zipa rugs. ‘Seeing the cathedral was such a unique experience. The interaction between salt crystals and the light, the glistening of the light rays and the colour reflections, they all created something mystical’, recalls Sebastian Herkner of his visit. ‘That’s why I wanted the patterns of the Zipa rugs to feel almost alive, capturing the reflections, unique colours and crystal-like shapes. In a way, light has its own creativity and always keeps moving – and that’s what I express with these rugs.’
Each rug is made from natural virgin wool and manufactured in small workshops in the Colombian city of Cajicá, where the local craftsmen and craftswoman still know traditional weaving and knotting techniques. Made entirely by hand, it takes a week to prepare and dye the wool, while the knotting of the actual rug takes depending on the size between two to four weeks – each individual warp and weft is interlaced by an artisan.
German designer Sebastian Herkner is a long-term collaborator of ames and has visited Colombia multiple times to experience the country’s cities, nature and people first hand. He also visited many of the ateliers that ames has partnered with to learn about the unique traditional crafts of Colombia's regions. A sought-after contemporary designer and recipient of many industry awards, he has worked with many international design brands, creating intriguing pieces that showcase his intuition for interesting material, colour and texture combinations.