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Bofred’s rug col­lec­tion with Frances VH is the cul­mi­na­tion of ex­pres­sion, an­cient craft and cre­ative col­lab­o­ra­tion

- Ju­lia Free­man­tle Arts

Un­der­foot & on the walls

Bofred’s ori­gin story is one of a meet­ing of minds – a serendip­i­tous con­ver­sa­tion be­tween founders Christa Botha and Carla Eras­mus at a party a few years ago about their re­spec­tive ca­reer ideals re­sulted in the birth of the brand. So it makes sense that this spirit of co-cre­ation has ex­tended into their work. For their lat­est rug col­lec­tion, Homestead, the duo came to­gether with mo­hair afi­cionado Frances van

Has­selt of Frances VH. “We’ve al­ways talked about do­ing a rug col­lec­tion, so when Frances con­tacted us it felt as if the op­por­tu­nity had found us,” says Carla.

But col­lab­o­rat­ing with a fel­low cre­ative can only be suc­cess­ful when there is mu­tual re­spect and an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the other’s work. “It has been an amaz­ing process work­ing with Frances, not only learn­ing about mo­hair farm­ing but the labour and love that goes into weav­ing each unique rug,” com­ments Christa. By guid­ing the team through what was pos­si­ble on the loom, and the dif­fer­ent hand-dyed op­tions, Frances’s ex­per­tise fa­cil­i­tated the ex­e­cu­tion of the de­signs.

A colour pal­ette cued by Frances’s home in the Ka­roo evokes an es­cape to na­ture – muted desert tones that speak to open spa­ces. “See­ing pho­tos from the farm we couldn’t help but be in­spired,” says Carla.

The pair’s Fine Art back­ground and Frances’s mas­tery of the medium has re­sulted in de­signs that serve as art­works as well as func­tional pieces. Fo­cus­ing on the sculp­tural and painterly aes­thet­ics of the sub­ject and plot­ting out the pat­terns by hand, rather than dig­i­tally, has given the end re­sult an or­ganic ef­fect.

Com­ing into the project with a lim­ited un­der­stand­ing of what was pos­si­ble, the process was one of dis­cov­ery. “There was an ele­ment in wait­ing to see how the fi­nal prod­uct would turn out. Nerve-wrack­ing, but ex­cit­ing,” says Christa.

bofred.co.za, francesvh.com

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