Not only has he orchestrated interiors for hotels, offices and residences throughout the world, he has designed flatware for Sasaki, crystal for Steuben, lighting, linens and contract furniture. Now he’s come forward with an avant-garde rug collection for Tufenkian Carpets' contemporary line.
“James Tufenkian said he wanted a line of contemporary carpets that stand as an artistic concept and speak of an era—the type of rug that 30 years from now would stand as a 2000 icon because it represents a certain period in history. It’s just like when people today look for 1970s rugs because they have a certain look and are the symbol of an era,” Wolf says. So rather than look at old rugs to come up with derivative patterns, the designer tuned his antenna to art and photography.
“I had a postcard of a Monet painting that I liked—Streets of Paris—so I took one corner of the image, cut it, enlarged it, cut it again and just kept doing that until I found a pattern that seemed interesting,” Wolf says. His own pictures of cracked earth in Zambia inspired another rug design, Crack Up, which bears an amazing resemblance to the surface of dried earth with fissures passing through it.
Wolf designed the carpets to have a very unique deep texture that is accomplished through the combination of silk and wool yarns that are knotted, some thick and some thin. “The silk takes on different shades as you walk across the rug, and patterns disappear and reappear,” describes Wolf.
The rugs are part of Tufenkian’s Designers Reserve Collection, which is hand-knotted in Nepal using the fleece of Himalayan mountain sheep. Tufenkian produces other collections, including traditional Armenian and Caucasian carpets.