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Esti Barnes at Istanbul Carpet Week 2020

September 24, 2020

Register for Istanbul Carpet Week 2020 to attend Esti Barnes’ virtual lecture, followed by a live Q&A

We are pleased to announce that one of the six lectures at Istanbul Carpet Week 2020 – the virtual edition will be presented by Esti Barnes, founder of London’s Topfloor. Esti’s designs have appeared regularly in the pages of COVER over the years. Ahead of ICW, 21-23 October 2020, below we present some Topfloor collection highlights as featured in COVER magazine.

Register for ICW to attend Esti Barnes’ virtual lecture, followed by a live Q&A.

Esti Barnes was introduced to French abstract artist Nicolas Galtier by a mutual friend, and when she saw his paintings she realised that they would make perfect rugs—the Muse Collection was born soon thereafter. ‘The attraction was the layers in his work that created an almost 3D effect without being three-dimensional,’ says Barnes. ‘They lend themselves to being woven in beautiful yarns, like wool and silk.’ Based in the village of Leucate in southwest France, Galtier is influenced by the light and colour of his birthplace, and customarily blends materials and techniques. Translating the artworks into rugs was no easy task since Barnes was eager to preserve the otherworldly beauty of the originals. ‘Nicolas uses a lot of silver and gold leaves, and a delicate palette of colours in his artworks which give them a rich sheen and a lot of depth,’ says Barnes. ‘It was a very challenging job to reflect this layering in the rugs and therefore it took so long to weave them.’

Interior featuring Buzios by Esti Barnes for Topfloor

Allure was Topfloor’s first Wilton-weave carpet collection. True to its stated aim of staying ahead of industry trends, Topfloor is discovering a demand for covering large expanses with soft textures, delicate patterns and refined colour. The collection is woven in 100% New Zealand wool and tencel and is intended for both residential and light commercial use. As such it finds itself at home in a prestigious lobby or say a luxury yacht. For Allure, Esti took her inspiration from Brazil, one of her favourite places to travel and also home to a booming art and design scene. 

Stardust by Esti Barnes for Topfloor

Esti Barnes started producing rugs featuring LED lights more than a decade ago, and her Luminoso range has been popular in commerical and residential spaces for a number of years. The Luminoso collection are ‘mixed mode’, which allows you to switch between static coloured lights and a mixture of solid and dynamically changing light points.

Earth, hand-knotted rug in wool and silk, designed by Hassan Massoudy for Top Floor. Proverb: ‘Earth doesn’t belong to man; it is man who belongs to the earth’ – Chief Seattle (1708–1866)

Esti Barnes was thrilled when, in a Parisian hotel, she came across the book Désir d’envol: une vie en calligraphie, showcasing the work of the Iraqi calligrapher Hassan Massoudy. This chance discovery resulted in the development of the new Script Collection. ‘As a designer, and having grown up in Istanbul, I have always had a fascination for the classical forms of calligraphy,’ says Barnes. This interest is evident in Tugra, from the studio’s earlier Ottomania collection. However, the patterning used there is based only loosely on the tradition. After discovering Massoudy’s emotive work, Barnes invited him to work on a collaborative project that draws directly from Arabic script. Esti’s husband, Russell Barnes, says, ‘One of most interesting technical issues was how to translate something which is done so quickly into something that is done so slowly.’ A hunt was on to find the right artisans for the task. ‘We spent ages talking to the weavers about what paint drops look like when they’re splashed on to a piece of paper.’ Esti adds, ‘When ink dries it leaves dots, lines and marks on the surface of the paper, and that was the challenge, to get across the way the ink behaves on paper.’

Register for ICW to attend Esti Barnes’ virtual lecture, followed by a live Q&A.

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