eye heart hand
Kate D. Spain of eye heart hand, a Connecticut-based graphic design studio specializing in custom handmade 100% New Zealand wool rugs, says the name of her company captures her philosophy and vision. “eye heart hand celebrates the interconnectedness of the artist (eye), the sheep farmers (heart of the land) and artisans (the hands). We value each part of our collaboration.” Partnering with GoodWeave®, she continues, with its unmatched record for fairness, transparency and accountability, supports her company’s mission to help make the world a better place.
Of singular importance in the creation of eye heart hand products, Kate says, is the source of the wool used for her hand-numbered, hand-signed rugs. While it is not well known among the buying public, many rugs labeled “100% New Zealand wool” are, in fact, counterfeit. That, she points out, hurts farmers, the market price and customers, who are getting inferior products. eye heart hand scientifically verifies all its wool so its buyers can be sure that their rugs are not only beautiful, but also sourced from a single farm with ethical practices.
Kate, a graduate of the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, is well known for her cheery and often whimsical designs that appear on home and lifestyle products that range from wrapping paper to rugs. Those patterns and motifs, she says, are almost always inspired by the natural world, experiences gained from travels far from home as well as close by in her own garden. Her reverence for nature is certainly evident in the luxurious hand-tufted “Leaf,” with its curved stems and leaves in a palette of taupe or gray and unbleached natural wool. In fact, she says, the taupe version decorates her own home. She says the first time she and her business partner and husband Peter unrolled it, it was love at first sight. “The rug immediately transformed our space,” she says. “At the end of a busy day, it’s a joy to take your shoes off and feel its soft comfort under foot.” “Atrium” is another rug that references nature but in a very different style. While the pattern of the soft blue and natural tones of the textured Atrium is geometric, its interlocked squares and octagons actually form intricate eight- petaled flowers.
Kate is praised around the world for her designs and patterns, but perhaps more importantly, she is admired for her leadership and eye heart hand’s role in honoring the people and communities from the field to the loom. They, just as we do, she says, value and deserve clean air and water, good health, good education and good work. As Kate puts it, “Sometimes the urging of your conscience is so loud and impossible to ignore that it makes you restless enough to take action.”