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Journal

Surface | The desert as muse

The Mokum Studio retreats inland, taking inspiration from the expansive desert landscape and the solitary artistic life of American modernist, Georgia O'Keeffe.

“As soon as I saw it, I knew I must have it," O'Keeffe said of Ghost Ranch, her adobe brick home near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

It took a decade for O’Keeffe to renovate the Abiquiú home where she spent her summers. The textural, soft edges of the sun-baked abode brick are complimented by natural materials, found objects, and sparse, considered furnishings. The inherently modern, minimalist aesthetic of Ghost Ranch transcends momentary trends and continues to influence contemporary interiors. 

Building on the Ikigai philosophy for a life of simplicity where joy is found when looking outside, the Mokum Studio present a custom colour palette focused on dusted desert shades and warm neutrals.

Inspired by desert landscapes and artistic brushwork the Surface Collection brings the colours, shapes and textures of Ghost Ranch and the surrounding environment to life in rustic, tactile, quality drapery and upholstery plains which harness a luxurious yet relaxed handle.

"I wish you could see what I see out the window — the earth pink and yellow cliffs to the north — the full pale moon about to go down in an early morning lavender sky … pink and purple hills in front and the scrubby fine dull green cedars — and a feeling of much space — It is a very beautiful world." Georgia O'Keeffe, 1942, letter to the painter Arthur Dove.

Alongside the influence of the home itself, the terrain of the Surface Collection is further shaped by O’Keeffe’s direct connection to the outdoors and dramatic desert location.

Growing up on the prairies of Wisconsin and later working as a teacher in isolated areas of South Carolina and Texas, the desert was a comfort to her. “Oh, the sun was hot, and the wind was hard, and you got cold in the winter. I was just crazy about all of it ... The beauty of that wild world.”

The desert has long been a muse for artists of all kinds. Raw dusty earth is touched by the expansive blue sky; a study in contrast where extreme beauty is found in an often brutal and harsh environment.

Our hero upholstery pattern, Santa Fe, takes inspiration from the plateaus and tableaus of the majestic desert, illustrating these geographical forms via tactile yarns and raw natural fibres. 

The textured plains form the foundation of the collection, utilising weave structures, complex yarns and finishing techniques to create dimensional surfaces which have been custom coloured to reflect the stark beauty of this landscape. 

Finally, the collection is completed by an abstract watercolour print that speaks to the brushwork of the artist. Abstraction has been lifted from a previous range to be reworked, over scaled, and printed onto soft natural linen.

Adobe

Named after the sun-dried mud brick walls of O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch home. 

Adobe is a contemporary plain drapery with an earthy, raw texture in keeping with the natural rustic theme of the collection.

The colour palette reflects the sun-bleached, sand-filled desert, with dusted light naturals, agave greens, earthen neutrals, and rust tones. Adobe is enhanced by the natural weathered aesthetic produced by the addition of linen fibre, along with stonewash finishing, creating a sublimely soft handle for this predominantly synthetic cloth.

O'Keeffe

The interlacing weave structure and stonewash finish create a highly dimensional, shabby and relaxed continuous drapery. Woven in 100% linen, subtly toned contrasting yarn colours create even more visual depth. Coloured in chalky neutrals and earthen tones, O’Keeffe offers a twist on contemporary drapery plains.

Ocean

Our beloved Mokum Classic, Ocean, has been renewed and extended with the addition of six nuanced neutral shades. Ocean is a soft 100% linen, continuous drapery with an antiqued appearance. 

The dappled surface is achieved through a watermark-like binding pattern, woven in subtle colours to add a tactile interest to our enticing contemporary plain.

Totto

Totto is woven in single warm, cream colourway and utilises a leno weave to create a stable woven structure for the heavy boucle yarn. Totto builds on our love affair with boucle within a softly tactile and luxurious wide drapery, and references Georgia O’Keeffe’s middle name.

Abstraction

Our Canvas artwork has been enlarged and printed onto an extra wide 100% linen base cloth. The layered watercolour brush strokes are beautifully captured via the digital printing to create a soft contemporary window treatment.

Presented in five considered shades; a warm calico, dusted earthenware, clear sky blue, organic smoke, and dramatic rusted basalt.

Santa Fe

Named after the town near Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic Ghost Ranch dwelling, Santa Fe is our hero upholstery jacquard. Taking inspiration from the mesas, plains and plateaus of the majestic desert, these geographical forms are illustrated via tactile yarns and natural raw fibres. 

In a heavy, carpet like construction this complex and weighty weave with its thick boucle yarn sits beautifully alongside boucle plains and has been woven in two naturalistic colours. First is our pure neutral, Bone, where cream shades subtly shift in tone, defining the soft shapes of the landscape. The second colourway, Dust, is directly influenced by the red dust palette of the desert, which mixes with raw linen and cream tones to create a unique patterned upholstery.

Pueblo

Pueblo is our substantial new plain upholstery, whose name is derived from traditional Adobe buildings.

Woven in a blend of natural and synthetic fibres, this robust, washable upholstery has been expertly stonewashed giving it a relaxed handle and dusted palette.

Pueblo has been custom coloured in an expansive palette, ranging from pure neutrals, desert infused tones, mineral based blues and greens, through to deep earth-based browns and charcoals. The heavily textured cloth and earth infused palette reflects the dry surfaces and parched tones of New Mexico.

Evolving palettes of dirty, natural colours are centred on warm terracotta, bronze, and brick shades that are accented by optimistic pops of bold yellow, clean peachy pink, and clear sky blue.

The Surface Collection seeks to express Georgia O’Keeffe’s great love of the natural desert environment and its enduring ability to act as a muse for designers and artists. Not only inspiring their work but also creating unlimited joy.

Related

Day for Good

People & Places

To activate our culture and values, the team at James Dunlop Textiles have set aside one day in the year to step outside of the office, showroom, or warehouse and give back to our wider community.

By forming cross-functional teams we foster our internal community whilst contributing to our external community.

The Day for Good initiative is a step towards meeting our Sustainable Future goals. We are aware of the impact the textile industry has on our environment, and we are prepared to do our part to make a difference and reduce our environmental impact.