Spotlight On: CALVIRUGS

When José Calvi of Monterrey, Mexico-based CALVIRUGS turned his attention from architecture and sculpture to rug design, he had absolutely no idea just how much fun the new business would be. There’s the travel not only around North America but to Italy, South Africa, China, India and Nepal. There’s the design adventure as he re-imagines his sculptural work in hand woven wool, silk and hemp. But most of all, he says, there’s the joy of integrating art with social issues. “That’s where GoodWeave® comes in,” says José.

Growing up in Mexico, José had great respect for the handicrafts that surrounded him. In fact, it was while meditating seated on a handcrafted rug that he thought of making his own custom rugs. Always fascinated by rugged textures (as a sculptor he works in metal), he realized that, as a rug designer, he could use a wide range of new and old materials, finishes, knots and piles to create an endless variety of textures. He enlisted the help of his brothers, Carlos and Patricio, and CALVIRUGS was born.
An avid hiker, José is inspired by textures found in natural objects. He photographs plants, rocks and fields, then plays with the images to create rugs like those in his wool and silk “Bark” series. His designs are also derived from urban images such as oxidized sheet metal and old doors. And then there are the gentle influences of Japanese sand gardens, a “way of looking at the world” that José says inspired the silvery blue gray “Sazen.”

“My fascination with texture has led to some challenging projects,” he says, laughing. One client wanted him to duplicate a carved wood ceiling from a temple in India… including a relief of human figures. That took six months and was, he explains with characteristic understatement, “a rather nice challenge.” And then there was the client who wanted José to replicate in wool the view of the sea from the client’s apartment window. “Do you know how many colors and layers the sand, ocean and sky have?” he asks. With clients from all walks of life—industrialists, entertainers, politicians—José has lots of challenges. He meets them all with a smile and shrug. “Todos somos diferente; we’re all different.”

Considered a pioneer in bringing modern, artistic rugs to Mexico, José Calvi is most excited about his current project with the Mohair Council of America. This involves giving yarn to indigenous Mexican weavers to make rugs and blankets. The preservation of traditional crafts is important to José. “I want to honor and save the weaving culture and GoodWeave helps in that mission. It’s a good fit!”

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Rug Thumbnails

Retailers & Showrooms

Blend Design
Mexico City, Mexico
CALVIRUGS - Monterrey
Garza García, Mexico
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