Hands-On: Designer Mae Engelgeer

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Studio Mae Engelgeer

mae-2By the very nature of their purpose and use, textiles are an extraordinarily tactile medium, and for designer Mae Engelgeer, they have proven the perfect embodiment of her lifelong fascination with soft materials and textures.

“For as long as I can remember, I have been a person who likes to touch everything,” says the Netherlands-based designer, who points to the literal feel and texture of a finished design as among its most important elements.

“All components have to come together harmoniously,” Engelgeer explains. “Graphic pattern, color direction, composition, technique, the selections of the yarns – it’s a symbiotic process in which one choice influences another.”

Such harmony comes to the fore in the designer’s new collection – LEVEL – for Wolf- Gordon. The minimalistic line offers a decidedly chic statement, but as it was created for the commercial market, its construction was developed with the rigors of that market in mind.Working on LEVEL afforded Engelgeer the opportunity to create a whole world in textile.

Scene – Porcelain paperweight Photograph by James Stokes
Scene – Porcelain paperweight
Photograph by James Stokes

Engelgeer began this project as she would any other: by looking at where she is at the moment in terms of feelings, interests, beliefs and style. At the time Wolf-Gordon approached the designer, she was “playing with the element of a simple, minimalistic line, inspired by architecture and repeating patterns,” she tells. “The game for me is to find the right combination of material, graphic composition and colors.”

Beyond the textiles that have made her name, Engelgeer has expanded into ceramics that are further visual evidence of her leanings toward designs that are organic, modern and a bit playful. She also has thoughts of trying new materials and designing items like a sofa and glass pieces.

“I draw inspiration from everything I see,” the designer shares. “For a visual person, inspiration can come from simple, everyday things, like the color of a napkin in a restaurant. It’s always about the excitement of a new project. The material can be anything as long as I can express my vision in it, but textiles will always be my first and true love.”

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