Interview: WE MAKE CARPETS – A Group of Artists Who Makes “Rugs” from Objects

How would you describe your creative style?
We make use of everyday objects and materials and create all sorts of patterns with these, without makin g a design in advance. The material partly decides how our installations, which we call carpets and the patterns in it are going to look.

Interview with WE MAKE CARPETS on Jung Katz

Interview with WE MAKE CARPETS on Jung Katz
Photographs by WE MAKE CARPETS
What does your typical day look like?
A typical day starts with a good cup of coffee. After this a long day of the same action over and over follows. Putting lots and lots of the same objects next to each other. Of course listening to some music to keep up the good vibes.
Interview with WE MAKE CARPETS on Jung Katz
Interview with WE MAKE CARPETS on Jung Katz
Photographs by WE MAKE CARPETS
How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
Actually it doesn’t matter that much how big the piece, or carpet, we are doing is going be in the end, it mostly takes us about three days to create one. When the carpet is really big the objects where it is made out of are usually bigger to. When a carpet is as small as a postcard the material is also really small and we need to use tweezers to put, for example, the mustard grains next to each other, one by one. But we have also been working much longer and a bit shorter on projects.

Interview with WE MAKE CARPETS on Jung Katz

Interview with WE MAKE CARPETS on Jung Katz
Photographs by WE MAKE CARPETS
How do you keep motivated?

Working long days, doing the same action over and over makes that every now and then one of the three gets tired or cantankerous. We motivate each other to continue working on the carpet, by switching from coming up with new ideas for patterns to copying the other. The end result always motivates us to keep on doing what we do till eternity!

Interview with WE MAKE CARPETS on Jung Katz
Photograph by Amy Kouwenhoven
How would you say your surroundings have influenced your work?
We started making carpets of a standard size of around 125 x 200 centimeters. But now we apply the format to the location and try to find challenges in the location we are working in. And we more and more search for the right material for the right location.

Interview with WE MAKE CARPETS on Jung Katz

Interview with WE MAKE CARPETS on Jung Katz
Photographs by Boudewijn Bollmann
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Some of our clients really challenged us to think bigger, think outside the box, take (bigger) risks, that really help us to push the limit of our work.

 Interview with WE MAKE CARPETS on Jung Katz

Photographs by WE MAKE CARPETS
Photographs by WE MAKE CARPETS
Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
After just finishing an installation called Carpet Carpet, made out of leftover pieces of carpet. But already for a longer time we have thoughts about making ‘real’ carpets…

Interview with WE MAKE CARPETS on Jung Katz

Interview with WE MAKE CARPETS on Jung Katz
Photograph by Boudewijn Bollmann
What art supplies do you use?
We use some rulers and lots of paper tape to put a grid to work on, so the carpet lays or hangs straight and has a symmetrical pattern. Next to that we usually only use big amounts of everyday objects like clothing pegs, plastic cutlery, a4 paper or party-articles.

Interview with WE MAKE CARPETS on Jung Katz

Interview with WE MAKE CARPETS on Jung Katz
Photographs by Wouter Kooken
What’s your process like?
Normally it start with a question of a museum, gallery, shop or other institute. Most of the time we get a certain space, room or spot to work with and a cart blanche on what to make in it. Sometimes someone suggests a material, but most of the time we decide not to work with this. We visit the location with the three of us and try to come up with a material that suits the place. Of course we have a wish list of materials we would love to work with one day, so sometimes this list provides a suitable option. Then we look at parts of the location that we can make use of, for example a big pillar in the room can become part of the carpet when we work around it, this makes the viewers ask themselves what was there first, the carpet or the pillar. Than the exact spot is chosen and we make a calculation on how much material we will need (we became quite good in it, we used to buy often to less or to much). Depending on the amount of material and time we try to find a shop or online store closest to the source. Most of the time the colors we use are just the colors that these shops provide. Having the material we start by taping the measures of the place where the carpet is going to be on the floor or wall. We provide this of a grid so the carpet lays or hangs straight and has a symmetrical pattern. Then we start making some samples of how the objects can be putted next to each other to form a pattern. We don’t make a design in advance we just start creating patterns that become a laying or hanging carpet. We make small samples around the spot where the insulation is going to be and decide what to use and what not. Then days of monkish work, the same action over and over.

 

Check out the websites of the artists behind, WE MAKE CARPETSBob Waarenburg, Marcia Nolte, and Stijn van der Vleuten.
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