This Fall 2021, Hartmann&Forbes is proud to announce the launch of its first collection with Portland, Oregon-based interior designer Max Humphrey. Max sat down with Rebecca Welch, Director of Product Development for Hartmann&Forbes to discuss the design process.
Raymond Paul Schneider: When did you first start to develop this new collection?
MH: Rebecca’s first email to me was in August 2020. We started design review in September 2020. It was a very fast process.
RPS: What was the overall timeline from conception to achieving the final design?
RW: Four months – it was lightning fast.
MH: I love a deadline.
RW: Max knew exactly which patterns he wanted to do.
MH: I saw the initial handwoven designs in early December, and I loved them. For me, that’s when I know the partnership is good. It clicks immediately.
RPS: What was your initial inspiration, and where did the idea(s) come from?
MH: I’m inspired by nostalgia, specifically my childhood growing up in New England and connecting that to my current life in the Pacific Northwest. I’m inspired by my youth but also by what I see outside my window every day in Oregon.
RPS: Please describe your overall creative and design process.
MH: I’m not very inspiration-based; I’m very visual. I was cutting out designs with construction paper and scissors to get the correct scale. Creatively I was inspired by vintage textiles that I’ve been collecting over the years.
RW: Once Max provided his designs, I went through the process of interpreting and translating them for the loom. I determined the type of loom, which raw fibers for texture and warp threads for color would best bring his designs to life. All of these details are then provided to our weave masters to handloom the initial designs for review.
RPS: Did you have a specific audience or theme that you had in mind?
MH: I think about what I want to use in a project – what’s missing in the marketplace. This is my opportunity to make the perfect version of what I’m always looking for, like the perfect gingham. I’m my own audience. I would use all of these – that’s why we’re shooting these at my house! But also, I do want them to be universal enough that anybody that got the reference points would want to use them.
RPS: Did you utilize a new technique or technology to conceptualize this product?
RW: Three of Max’s Designs (Cross, Cableknit, and Quilt) were the perfect opportunity to use a Jacquard loom, which we had been testing. The Jacquard loom allows us the freedom to do more complicated and detailed designs. We have been thrilled with the results.
RPS: Describe your overall brand DNA and Ethos.
RW: Hartmann&Forbes offers the industry’s largest collection of natural, handwoven designs for your window and a unique assortment of natural handcrafted wallcoverings. Our broad range of designs presents an honest reinterpretation of nature’s raw beauty. A passion for handweaving, design exploration, and a lifelong love of nature continues to fuel the evolution of our collections.
With uncompromising, hand-worked detail, every piece we produce is finished to custom specifications by master craftspeople using the highest-quality components. Our boutique approach enables a level of customization and workmanship unique in today’s marketplace.
Hartmann & Forbes is available through Designer Library in Washington DC and showrooms nationwide.
Click here to see more of our “Anatomy of a Design” series.
Like what you see? Get it first with a subscription to aspire design and home magazine.