Bethan Laura Wood collaborates with Christopher Farr to show the prototype CF Editions rug ‘Jelly Salad’, during London Design Festival 2022.
Continuing Bethan’s exploration of food presentation and representation, ‘Jelly Salad’ is a joyous gathering of abstracted vegetables suspended in a jelly sea, immortalised in the form of a Christopher Farr Editions rug. Made using the hooked rug technique, varying heights and textures are achieved by cutting looped areas made from strips of fabric to create textural definition.
Measuring 1.2 x 1.8m, the rug design will be available in two colourways, Lime Jelly and Lemon Jelly. CF Editions rugs, including ‘Jelly Salad’, unlike the made to order and bespoke rug design offering, are kept in stock and available through retailers. The rugs will retail at £975, making them accessible to a wider audience.
Inspired by the American roots of the technique and the fact the cut fabric curls reminded Bethan so much of sliced cabbage, she delved into her library of drawings, photographs connected to food presentation and found the world of the ‘Jell-o Salad’ a fantastic companion.
The USA has a tradition of ‘Jell-o creations’, that can be seen to reflect the economy, industrialisation and the development of ‘domestic science’ over the 20th century. ‘Jell-o’ foods and the optimism they could promise for Bethan reaches a psychedelic peek in the saturated colour photography of vintage cook books. It’s food in technicolour! Dyed and puréed food stuffs were piped, preened, around wobbling cast blocks of vibrating coloured jelly and transformed into their most futuristic versions. With no shame to their artificial nature, these extraordinary gelatin concoctions are snap shot of a culinary movement which has since long gone out of fashion.
It is this ‘jelly universe’ that appeals to Bethan, leading her to create the CF Editions rug design to appear as a savoury snack; chopped green olives, celery, fringed-edge cucumber, courgette and julienne red pepper, as if suspended in aspic.
“I love the weird mix of natural and processed in the universe of the ‘Jelly Salad’ and its connection to the popular culture and changes in domestic landscape. When the hook rug samples reminded me of cut savoy cabbage I thought the two could be a perfect recipe together to create a fun family of carpets.”
Bethan Laura Wood
In developing the rug, Christopher Farr co-founder Matthew Bourne knew that the piece had to be non-conformist, and suggested working with the hooked rug technique. For Bethan, it was interesting to work within CF Editions, to allow a more accessible price point to her highly collectible gallery pieces. Constantly experimenting with different materials and how to translate her patterns, Bethan was drawn to this technique, as she could see how well the curved forms could be achieved, and especially when cut low the layers of curling fabric reminded her of delicate cabbage.
Images by Tom Mannion.