Brad Davis and Janis Provisor were already established artists and in their late 40s, when they established their luxury carpets business, Fort Street Studio. Inspired by their passion for Chinese art, and a year-long immersion in the silk-making and woodcut-printing traditions of Hangzhou’s artisans and factories, they set out to weave their own water-coloured dreams into breathtakingly beautiful rugs that now grace the homes of Hollywood celebrities and designer boutiques around the world.
Painterly designs on rugs may be commonplace today, but it was Fort Street Studio that pioneered the aesthetic. Davis and Provisor were also the ones who painstakingly translated the ancient weaving process of hand-knotted silk they learned from Hangzhou, which is in a manner that is the same as that of the oldest rugs in the world, only modernised for today.
“We basically had to work with a team to create a ‘Chinese photoshop’,” notes Davis, in a video interview. Essentially, he began to imagine each knot as if it were a pixel in order to create a digitalisation of the design pattern, that in turn could be referenced by the weavers who were creating the rugs by hand. Davis and Provisor detail the unfolding of this process in their new book, A Tale of Warp and Weft: Fort Street Studio, published by Rizzoli and launching this month in time to mark the the brand's 25th anniversary.