[Trunk via Guinevere]
Maybe it was all the Bloomsbury research I've been doing lately. Or the bespoke upholstery in Katie Ridder's new book. Then again, maybe it was Patricia Shackelford's incredible DIY dining room. But I could no longer sit idly by; I had to start a domestic fall project. It was time to finally tackle a trunk inspired by the antique-dhurrie-covered Guinevere piece I've been talking about for the past few years. So far, all I've actually done is find a site with cool trunk hardware and go over some dimensions with a carpenter (my dad). However, I hope you'll stay tuned. If all goes well, I'll have a finished piece before the holidays.
In the meantime, some less expected sources of inspiration.
Covering my own trunk with old dhurries may be cost prohibitive, so I've been turning to other rugged textiles as an alternative -- striped or solid no-nonsense work-with-everything linens, for example. In terms of palette, I've been inspired (yet again) by the natural raffia shades seen throughout The Textile Museum's show, Weaving Abstraction: Kuba Textiles and the Woven Art of Central Africa but I've also been soaking up the earthy hues ever-present in The Met's exhibition, Heroic Africans. Designed to dispel conventional notions of African art, the latter is a major international loan exhibition comprised largely of sculpture.
[Photo by Mark Seliger for T & C, October 2011. David Lauren and Lauren Bush Lauren with her FEED bag.]
[Image courtesy FEED]
Lauren Bush Lauren's design for the FEED 2 Kenya bag is inspiring me on several levels.
This bag juxtaposes a natural burlap foundation (Lauren's original design has always suggested the sacks used by the WFP to distribute nutritious food to hungry children) with authentic African details: a Kenyan Masai tribal fabric lining and traditional hand-beading. Additionally, the bag is handcrafted in Kenya by a co-op of women and deaf Kenyans. Purchase of the bag benefits these workers as well as the United Nations World Food Programme's School Feeding Operations in Kenya. Specifically, each purchase includes a $100 donation which provides school meals to two Kenyan children for an entire year.
I love how the Masai fabric lining is an unexpected, slightly hidden surprise while the burlap exterior (with rich leather straps, BTW) is highly versatile.
For more on African textiles, including beadwork, visit Global Patterns at the MFA, Boston, and for African aesthetics in general see the Museum for African Art.