Crayon Artel Untitled II: created in collaboration with London-based, Polish/German artist, Anna Walach.
Crayon Artel Untitled II: created in collaboration with London-based, Polish/German artist, Anna Walach.
Image: Supplied

Born in SA, Edward Wakefield has always been focused on the big picture of fashion trends, hype, and the encompassing culture.

The young entrepreneur started reselling Yeezys in high school, progressed to working at Palace Skateboards in London, and now travels across the Silk Road with his latest venture, Crayon Artel.

Inspired by the history imbued within the millions of wool and silk knots of a Persian carpet, Wakefield, and his small team, based in Iran, Turkey, Australia, and the UK, incorporate contemporary design — from the art, photography, and academic worlds  into bespoke, one-of-a-kind creations.

Crayon Artel’s carpets are completely and authentically Persian, and as far as we can tell, we have no competitors within this field,” says Wakefield.

“We are thinking outside the 2,500-year-old framework of Persian craftsmanship. It’s incredibly hard to manufacture carpets in Iran, given the sanctions and the political and economic instability. A lot of people end up making their carpets in India because it’s cheaper and there are fewer restrictions, but with the costs to culture and craftsmanship,” he says.

Crayon Artel Mr. Happy Face: created in collaboration with South African-based artist, Tanja Margetts.
Crayon Artel Mr. Happy Face: created in collaboration with South African-based artist, Tanja Margetts.
Image: Supplied

A luxurious narrative, one of modern technology, art, both old and new, and a deep reverence for the crafts of yesteryear affords clients an unheard-of exclusivity. Crayon Artel uses the same knotting technique as the Pazyryk carpet, the oldest discovered, as the foundation of its all-inclusive offering.

“The client’s individuality is completely considered. Each and every knot is intentionally placed to reflect their vision and sense of self,” says Wakefield.

Crayon Artel’s team is hands-on throughout the process of translating the artwork, and sourcing the naturally dyed, premium materials, ensuring that the design is accurately articulated. Viewing the carpets as a piece of history and a part of the enduring legacy, as well as a means to express one’s unique personality, or brand, gives the start-up its cutting-edge in the field of bespoke home-art.

Crayon Artel Mr. Happy Face: created in collaboration with South African-based artist, Tanja Margetts.
Crayon Artel Mr. Happy Face: created in collaboration with South African-based artist, Tanja Margetts.
Image: Supplied

“This is the next stage of the Persian carpet’s evolutionary cycle. ‘Traditional’ art is often limited to the wall and viewed with the same physical perspective by each person, but when art is on the floor it must make sense both as an artwork and as a piece of design that is used and viewed in multiple different ways,” says Wakefield.

Details, which are digitally rendered to reflect the client’s wishes, or sourced from artists, or notable archive of licensing rights that Crayon Artel has acquired, are woven through the fingertips of craftspeople who possess the skill that has been passed down from generation to generation, to do so.

“A lot of the work we do is closely linked with digital art, and the model of NFTs, which plays into our ethos of juxtaposing the past and the future, bringing them together in the present,” Wakefield says.

“Our carpets are unique, down to the very knot; we allow a previously inaccessible luxury to be realised in a true reflection of our contemporary culture. The crafting technique is incredibly beautiful and truly human, and very grounding.

“In an age where everything is digital, or mass produced and ephemeral, our Persian carpet are created, almost in protest to this, as artworks that will, literally, still be around 100 years from now.”

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