Combining cosmic energy with human handiwork is the Brahmaand Collection of beautifully hand-knotted carpets created by Jaipur Rugs in collaboration with design maverick Ashiesh Shah.
Architect, interior designer, product designer, and founder of Ashiesh Shah Architecture + Design, Ashiesh Shah is a multi-hyphenate who has added his eclectic, minimalistic touch to the homes of many Bollywood celebrities. He’s also the man behind the interiors of Karan Johar’s hospitality venture Neuma along with many popular Bombay eateries. It’s his unique mix of simplicity with individuality that makes him a name to reckon with in the design circles. In his personal space, he’s also a painter and for the Brahmaand Collection designed in sync with Jaipur Rugs, he converts the abstract paintings into motifs for uniquely-shaped carpets. At first glance, you might feel a seamless transition from the watercolour paintings to the hand-woven rugs. But the process is an elaborate and meticulous one. From picking, hand-carding, and spinning wool into fine yarn to a series of extensive finishing processes, the journey is truly a divine one. In an exclusive interview with Ashiesh Shah and Yogesh Choudhary (Director at Jaipur Rugs), we learn about the makings of this collection.
Ashiesh Shah and Yogesh Choudhary (of Jaipur Rugs) on the Brahmaand Collection:
How did the Brahmaand collaboration come about?
Ashiesh Shah: Serving as a point of departure, a series of watercolour paintings developed through the lockdown laid the foundation for the Brahmaand collection in collaboration with Jaipur Rugs.
Tell us about your foray into watercolour paintings and the inspiration behind them?
AS: Having been a painter over the years through the progression of my practice, the watercolours resonated with my aesthetics as a designer. They were beautifully translated to this series of hand-knotted rugs serving as an extension of these meditative paintings.
The carpets have very unique, organic shapes. What was the reason to deviate from conventional shapes?
AS: While the meditative watercolours were a point of departure for these rather organic forms, they also draw inspiration from the ancient geometry of India, the cosmos and the architecture of the ‘Jantar Mantar.’ Although organic with their distinct forms, the rugs can be seamlessly plugged into interior spaces.
What role do the unique architectural marvels of India play in creating this collection?
AS: Drawing inspiration from cosmic geometry and the sculptural architectural marvels in India, the form of the rugs, profile and details within such as the central gultarashi coupled with varied pile heights lends a distinct character to the rugs making them truly remarkable.
What unique materials and techniques have been employed to create this collection?
Yogesh Choudhary: Wool has been used as the raw material for weaving the rugs of the Brahmaand Collection. With the careful processes of picking, hand-carding and the spinning of wool into fine yarn, it’s meticulous weaving into rugs by skilled Indian artisans, and more than 18 finishing processes to ensure the highest quality Brahmaand collection. This collection paints a picture of the infinite universe in living spaces. The collection has been designed with unique colours like deep indigo and beige, the colour indigo is more striking as it reflects the philosophy which is inspired by the ancient Indian Science and mysticism. Its unique primitive shapes and organic forms pay homage to the civilizations larger than life past. Moreover, it went through gultarashi which moulds the rug pile like troughs and crests of space-time, while timeless motifs and constellations crafted with intricate zardozi embroidery paint discourses of chaos and calm, being and non-being, illusion and reality; of the bhram and the Brahmaand while beckoning to a world far out of our reach.
How long does each piece take to create from start to finish?
YC: Starting from scratch, the entire collection took 1 year and on average 1 rug took almost 90 days to get completed and went through more than 18 finishing processes to ensure the highest quality of the rugs.
Looking back, do you have a favourite piece from the whole series?
AS: Every rug from the collection is incredible but if I were to pick one it would be the Nakshatra Rug. Inspired by ancient Indian astronomy, architecture, and constellations, this rug unveils a blanket of stars foregrounded by sun signs. Detailed and intricately woven to perfection, it exemplifies fine craftsmanship through a series of meticulous processes.
Can you share more details about the launch of the Brahmaand collection at Milan’s Salone del Mobile 2022?
YC: The recent collection launch at the event Salone del Mobile 2022 in Milan was quite amazing. Visitors from all over the world visited the event and this unique collection gathered huge traction which was presented precisely and conceptualized distinctively. The whole concept behind this collection was very well encapsulated and got huge appreciation by the visitors and Jaipur Rugs as a brand was re-acknowledged for its diverse and unique collections by the people.
All Images: Ashiesh Shah x Jaipur Rugs.