Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hot! Hot! Hot!

There are three words you never want to hear while traveling, “Record Breaking Heat!” I’m glad I don’t know Celsius. Numbers like 35 degrees sound like it’s just above freezing. I think if I knew the real temperature it feel even hotter. Add to that the humidity and the almost non-existent air conditioning in England and it is miserably hot. So what should we do today? Go visit a carpet mill!

Our trip to Brinton’s Carpet comes thanks to Roque and her internship in Kidderminster, outside Burmingham. We were invited by Brinton’s to visit and they even hired a coach to pick us up at the rail station.

Brinton’s carpet is beautiful and the visit was a lot of fun. Brinton’s is a global company that focuses on quality manufacturing and design. They have the largest carpet archive in the world that goes back to the late 1700s. I think I’ve found my dream job! When I get bored with the whole design thing I would love to be an archivist in a collection like this. It combines my love of history and design. Not only do they have antique rug patterns, but a vast collection of books, stencils, and paintings from around the world. They are photographed and cataloged, and made available to their designers. We were given the advice by Dave Trainer, their archivist and copywrite expert to sign, date, and make notes to accompany every sketch we make. There are no new designs, and they become legal documents if you are ever threatened with copywrite infringement. You must be able to prove where your inspiration comes from. He also told us to be confident. Give your client what they want, but give them something better than they expect. And don’t let them bully you. You are the designer and that is why they hired you.

We were then shown the design studio by Bob McGill, the senior designer. He showed us an elaborate carpet design he created for a hotel in Texas. It is a traditional design, but the details are filled with Western images. Cowboy hats and spurs, wagon wheels, railroad tracks, and wildflowers make up the patterns. I asked him where he came up with his inspiration. Did he research Texas history? “No,” he said, “All British boys know about cowboys.”

Roque showed us her projects and the rugs she has designed. It looks like she is having a blast on her internship, and doing a fabulous job. They use Apso Cadvantage to create their patterns.

Our tour of the carpet mill was given by Roy Darkes who was a lot of fun. His favorite TV show is Dawson’s Creek and he’s disappointed it ended. He tried to watch Friends but he doesn’t get it.

The process of carpet production is quite elaborate and the tour took over two hours.







By evening it was good to get back to London. The heat on the ride home was almost unbearable and tomorrow is predicted to be the hottest July day in England, ever.

1 comment:

Karen said...

I think I would've died of bordom but I'm glad you had a good time ;-)