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.
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