It is to open the first volume of its “artist notebooks” that Atelier Tortil presents TERRA, carpets designed by the architect and designer Charlotte Biltgen who draws her inspiration from the
mystery of an artistic craft born in Japan.
Interview by Serge GLEIZES
How was this collection born?
Charlotte Biltgen: From a meeting. I had been looking to create a line of rugs for a year but didn't know how to proceed. It was then that I met Jean-Pierre who helped me develop this idea and interpret it in a textile creation.
What is Terra’s inspiration?
Charlotte Biltgen: Raku, a Japanese technique for firing ceramics at low temperatures which gives rise to enameled pieces whose surfaces crack and take on different
shapes and tones.
Jean-Pierre Tortil: The exciting side of this meeting lay in Charlotte's vision during the presentation of these drawings. The challenge was to transcribe the effects of raku, its cracks, its nuances of color and light into the textile. Our discussions led us to develop the drawings in three dimensions, then to produce them using the Hand Tuft technique, ideal for staying as close as possible to Charlotte's vision and playing freely on the effects of textures, color gradients and reliefs... In order to play on the effects of material and rendering, we used different types of yarns such as wool, worsted, semi-combed, felted... Tencel, mercerized cotton, sisal, as well as some technical fibers such as nylon called Gleam.
Charlotte Biltgen: For this collection, I actually focused on the effects of material and embroidery, on the reliefs generated by the different carpet techniques that Jean-
Pierre introduced me. A handmade design brings a particular vibration which is felt in the weaving.
An inspiration that is also found in the names of the rugs?
Charlotte Biltgen: Indeed, to name them, we were inspired by the names of Japanese volcanoes Usu, Asama, Kazan, and therefore the synergy between earth and fire, two elements which evoke the
raku, a living matter born from fusion. The three weaves are available in mineral colors, kaolin, clay, bronze as well as in a blue gray flint tone. They could be
square, rectangular or even free form, to adapt to any type of decor and room.