Women In De­sign

Weav­ing to­gether beauty and busi­ness is all in a day’s work for this de­signer, who cre­ates art for walls and floors.

Australian House & Garden - - Contents - STORY El­iz­a­beth Wil­son | PHO­TOG­RA­PHY Bo Wong

Spend a day weav­ing through Perth with rug de­signer Jenny Jones.

As a child, Jenny Jones strug­gled at school be­cause of un­di­ag­nosed dys­lexia. “There was no name for it back then,” she says. “I grew up be­ing very visual, and it forced me to look out­side the box to sur­vive.” It’s an ap­proach that has served her well in both life and busi­ness.

Based in Perth, she is the founder and de­sign di­rec­tor of Jenny Jones Rugs, spe­cial­ists in con­tem­po­rary art rugs, which she launched in 1995. She be­gan by im­port­ing rugs from Turkey and In­dia but started de­sign­ing her own col­lec­tions 16 years ago, sparked by the lack of con­tem­po­rary pieces on the mar­ket and driven by an in­stinct for com­po­si­tion and colour.

Jenny’s port­fo­lio now in­cludes more than 1500 de­signs for floor rugs and wall-hang­ings, all hand-woven and hand-knot­ted in sump­tu­ous nat­u­ral fi­bres by ar­ti­sans in In­dia and Nepal. In 2012, Jenny won the Best Mod­ern De­sign cat­e­gory at the Do­mo­tex floor­ing trade show in Hanover, Ger­many, seal­ing her place among an elite group of in­ter­na­tional rug de­sign­ers.


MORN­ING RIT­U­ALS Jenny rises at 7am and ded­i­cates the next hour to ‘quiet time’, dur­ing which she re­flects on the lessons of the pre­vi­ous day. “I un­load all my thoughts,” she says. “It helps me to be­come present and an­chored. If I don’t have quiet time, I ar­rive at work with a level of en­ergy that drives ev­ery­one crazy.” Recharged, she then has cof­fee with her hus­band Den­nis and daugh­ter Rikki, who’s vis­it­ing with her new baby.


6PM, MATILDA BAY “A walk is a lovely fin­ish to a busy day,” says Jenny, strolling along the banks of Swan River with Den­nis, who is in charge of fi­nance and mar­ket­ing at Jenny Jones Rugs. “I got the ex­cit­ing part, but his is a vi­tal role.” Jenny Jones Rugs, Clare­mont, WA, and Ar­madale, Vic­to­ria; (08) 9286 1200, (03) 9077 0654 or www.jen­nyjones­rugs.com.


JENNY JONES RUGS, CLARE­MONT, PERTH Jenny’s son Mitchell Jones is man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the com­pany; his brother, Luke, runs the Mel­bourne show­room. “They’ve been en­sconced in rugs from a very young age. It’s in their blood,” says Jenny. Here, she and Mitchell dis­cuss a Zulu Dance wall-hang­ing, in­spired by the time Jenny spent liv­ing in Africa. “We’re al­ways talk­ing about what works.”


TEAM MEET­ING, JENNY JONES RUGS Jenny and her team catch up each Fri­day morn­ing, and there’s al­ways home-baked cake for the oc­ca­sion. “It’s been the tra­di­tion for 12 years,” says Jenny. “Ev­ery­one can share, talk and raise is­sues.” From left: Mol­lie Wil­son, Vladislav Pav­lik, Indi Cor­nuel-Rees, Leigh MacKin­non, Jenny and Mitchell.


CLIENT VISIT “I feel ex­tremely priv­i­leged to en­ter peo­ple’s homes and to see my pieces on their walls or floors,” says Jenny. “The big­gest buzz is see­ing their joy.” Here, she calls in on client Sue Robert­son, who re­cently took de­liv­ery of Jenny’s op­u­lent Bot­tle­brush wall-hang­ing in a 180x270cm size. Fea­tur­ing some 1.2 mil­lion knots, prin­ci­pally in silk fi­bres, the piece was woven by three craftswomen and took five months to pro­duce. ‘I quickly re­alised that I needed to cre­ate de­signs across all styles: tribal, flo­ral and geo­met­ric. This has stretched me, but it has been enor­mously re­ward­ing cre­atively.’ Jenny


DE­SIGN STU­DIO, JENNY JONES RUGS Head de­signer Mol­lie Wil­son (left) and in­te­rior ar­chi­tect Indi Cor­nuel-Rees help trans­late Jenny’s hand-drawn de­signs to a dig­i­tal for­mat. “If a client or­ders a be­spoke size, we don’t just ex­pand the de­sign; we look at ev­ery knot in the weave and en­sure that the de­sign flows like strokes from a paint­brush,” says Jenny, who sketches her orig­i­nal de­signs in ink. Here, she puts the fin­ish­ing de­tails to one of her lat­est con­cepts, Mer­cury (be­low right), from the Fu­sion col­lec­tion, be­fore a quick meet­ing with Mitchell over cof­fee (be­low left).

Jenny Jones stands in front of her lu­mi­nous wall­hang­ing, Cro­chet, in the At­lantic colour­way. Her sig­na­ture mix­ture of low- and high-cut piles cre­ates a tex­tu­ral, three-di­men­sional ef­fect.

JENNY JONES RUGS On a wall of the show­room (above left) hang two of Jenny’s botan­i­cally in­spired wall-hang­ings: Bot­tle­brush (left) and Gre­vil­lea. Her wool sam­ples (above right) re­sem­ble lus­cious con­fec­tionery. “I had them made up in a box so that I can take them along to clients’ homes,” she says. ‘Den­nis be­lieved in me and en­cour­aged me to pur­sue my pas­sion. We’re now en­joy­ing the sea­son of re­wards, but it’s been a lot of hard yakka.’ Jenny

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