Interior Fusions: Script

Rug Designer Esti Barnes Collaborates with Contemporary Calligrapher Hassan Massoudy

Growing up in Istanbul, Esti Barnes, always had a fascination with the classical forms of calligraphy. Now as a muIlti-award winning rug designer and founder of Topfloor, she is releasing her latest collaboration with acclaimed artist Hassan Massoudy. Nine new rugs and wall hangings have been designed, incorporating Hassan’s modern take on the ancient art of calligraphy. In the video below, we hear about the creative development of the collection from Esti and Hassan.

Esti’s aim was to interpret Hassan’s two-dimensional artwork, into a tactile medium. Each piece is hand-woven, knot-by-knot with silk, and can be used as rugs or wall-hangings. The designs are called PATIENCE, PEACE, DREAM, EARTH, OH FRIEND!, FIRE, WATER and ROOTS and can be tagged with its own short proverb or inspirational lines of verses from different cultures. We asked Esti a little more about her collection:

The Plus: Could you describe to us the piece from the collection that stands out for you?
Esti Barnes:
I love each and every one of them and it was very difficult for me to select the ones I wanted to make into rugs, but when I saw ‘Roots’, I knew that it was going to be the one because of its delicate subtlety. It was love at first sight!

TP: Have you learnt anything new about calligraphy and art through working with Hassan Massoudy that you didn’t realise before?
Yes definitely. Hassan has a very distinctive contemporary style, in which he uses very wide ‘pens’ (called Kalam in Arabic) and he makes them himself. Although I couldn’t learn how to read and write Arabic, I learned about how swift and quick the process was, of course, for the trained hand. I also know how much more interesting calligraphy becomes with wide tools and using colours, as Hassan does.