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. 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. “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.”
CALVIRUGS currently has showrooms in Mexico City and Monterrey, as well as workshops in Monterrey, Oaxaca, Nepal and India. Their rugs have been exhibited in galleries, museums, trade fairs and design festivals, as well as architectural and interior design magazines. Their collections include collaborations with Mexican designers (such as Héctor Esrawe, Sally Azar and Emiliano Godoy) and national and international artists (including Francisco Toledo, James Hd Brown, Paloma Torres, Jan Hendrix and Francisco Larios). Likewise, Calvirugs frequently joins major projects of architecture and interior design by the likes of Ricardo Barroso, Salinas Lasheras, Treceavo Plano, Amín Suárez, Ernesto Vela, Cristina Lankenau, Gloria Cortina and Gilberto Rodríguez.
Calvirugs is the first company in Mexico to have the GoodWeave certification. In addition, through decent work and direct support, they seek to benefit the immediate communities where their workshops are located in India, Nepal and Mexico.
For more information, please visit calvirugs.com.