Modern Tradition

Karen and Ellen, wrapped in the Lloyd throw

Art of any kind demands some level of modernity: in its expression, its medium, its perspective. But, as much as we relish a new way of looking at things, there’s incalculable value in artisanal tradition. It’s not a blind commitment to the past – some techniques just don’t work and are readily discarded – but, rather, an homage to doing things the right way, even if it takes longer, even if it costs more. We’re morally committed to fair pay and fair trade – but we’re also always looking for companies that make things well rather than quickly. This week, we’re focused on one of our favorite visionaries, in both creative drive and technical skill: Wallace Sewell.

Maybe high art and a loomed blanket seem like they have nothing in common. But you’ll never convince us because the expanse of a Wallace-Sewell Lloyd throw carries the imprint of several lives within it. Patterns are inspired by the work of Chung Eun-Mo, a Korean artist whose work draws, in equal parts, from architecture and from Modernism. You can see elements of Kandinsky and Af Klint in her paintings – abstract but still structural, linear but awash in color. But then Eun-Mo’s work is transliterated by Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell, textile designers who bring not only their own artistic vision but a determination to use traditional looming to create modern fabrics. Imagine: using a tool that’s seven thousand years old to secure the success of a woman-owned company in the twenty-first century. What we sensed when we first saw their work was all of that history: a woman’s insistent and creative voice that takes shape, many times over – exuberantly, defiantly, and with the confidence of a craftsman committed to her vocation. So no – it’s not just a loomed blanket. It’s a chronicle of the past and a celebration of the present. It’s art in a tactile form – and we couldn’t be more honored to carry it.

View our entire Wallace Sewell collection