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George Nakashima Lives on in These Forgotten Rug Designs

The textile work of American midcentury icon George Nakashima is resurrected in a new rug collection for Edward Fields, based in part on not-yet-produced designs he had developed for the bespoke carpet manufacturer in 1959. Nakashima himself had taken two styles through to the prototype phase before plans for production were halted.

Mira and Kevin Nakashima, George's children, oversaw the 21st-century design process subsequent to his passing in 1990. "It was fascinating," she says, "to watch the designers gather a thread of each color in the existing carpets, match it perfectly with their colors and carefully measure the worn pile so that the reproductions would be as authentic as possible to the originals."

Happy with the two resurrected styles, Mira Nakashima was elated to find an entire personal archive of unrealized rug designs and sketches. She was floored by their dynamic lines and bright tones. "I had never seen this side of my father's design eye before, as our existing carpets were quite subtle in color and form."

Despite being a prominent designer in the post-war era, Nakashima held fast to the handcrafted techniques of woodworking traditions while other producers turned their attentions toward mass production. He was fascinated by nature, especially the texture and contour of wood from trees. This earthy aesthetic comes through the carpet designs in their organic surface patterns with amorphous, imagined shapes.

· All George Nakashima posts [Curbed]
· All Interior Design posts [Curbed]