October 31, 2017

Reuben Henning Creates an Optical Illusion Carpet

Forty-five shades
of gray. That’s what it took to conjure the trompe l’oeil effect of Staircase, a collaboration between Ines Kaag and Desirée Heiss, partners in Berlin-based retailer Bless, and rug specialist Reuber Henning. Using a bird’s-eye photo of winding stairs as the template, Nepalese artisans hand-knot the illusion of three-dimensionality in Tibetan wool and silk. Once knotted, stray yarns are burnt from the backside and brushed off; the rug is then washed with the aid of wooden plungers that push water through the fibers. After drying in the sun and being stretched on a special mechanism, the 107-by-118-inch composition is trimmed with scissors. Fearful of heights? “If the imagery makes you feel dizzy, go to your knees,” Kaag suggests. “Now, you can touch the material.” 

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