Compiled by Kadie Yale | Photography courtesy of Lanark Wallcovering
POP ART AS
+ Q+A A s the latest in Lanark Wallcoverings’ The Vault Collection, which takes inspiration from design elements such as architecture and couture fashion,
Merino is an experiment in playfulness, vibrancy, and abstraction. Created using
3-D printing software that produces crisp and sophisticated deep emboss textures,
the line provides designers with a pop art-inspired take on luxe wallcoverings.
i+s spoke with Kathy Wisniski, designer for Lanark Wallcovering, to find out more
about this beautiful pattern, currently available in 10 colorways.
WHEN WAS MERINO DEVELOPED?
Late 2017 through mid-2018.
HOW DID THE NAME FOR MERINO COME ABOUT?
One of our trend categories for the Vault brand was called “Menswear.” Our
inspiration wall for this grouping comprised of images of modern textiles from
bespoke suiting to current streetwear styles. I wanted to create designs that
showcased a cutting-edge type of menswear style, through decorative print and
texture. Merino Silk was our working name for the horizontal thread emboss. We
usually change the working name, but we felt it fit perfectly with the design so we kept it.
WHO DESIGNED MERINO?
We worked closely with the manufacturer in the Netherlands to create the silk texture,
and I created the coordinating print.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND MERINO?
The Merino Silk was created with the core idea of having a detailed fiber texture
treated with a unique, modern tech finish. I wanted the customer to see the stitching
in the weft, as if it was literally a 3-D printed textile come to life. For the coordinate,
Merino, I wanted to create a new type of “menswear” decorative print. I painted
abstract shapes in CAD and then manipulated the shapes to create the final esoteric
look. It has a very chameleon-like appearance which, to me, is the key thing about
this design (which I love!). It’s part wool tapestry, part camouflage, and part floral. But
it’s not a literal version of any one of those.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST HURDLE IN BRINGING MERINO TO LIFE?
Getting the contrast level between the matte and metallic inks to be in perfect
balance, to flow together well during production. Other than that, the design was so
much fun to create, color, and print.
HOW WAS THE RESPONSE TO MERINO
So far, very positive. People seem to love how modern and abstract it is, yet it feels
like a classic texture.
WHAT IS YOUR HOPE FOR MERINO?
I hope designers will be able to use Merino and Merino Silk in a variety of creative
projects. That’s my ultimate hope for the design—that designers love how it looks
installed and want to use it again and again. If that happens, then I’ve done my job well.
ARE THERE ANY CHANGES TO MERINO ON THE HORIZON?
Not right now since it just launched, but if it does well we could always experiment
with new colorway options. Exploring with hues and inks all over again. That would
WHAT’S SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT MERINO?
As I was designing the coordinating print pattern, I noticed that some abstract
flower shapes were being created. I liked how it looked in the design and the flowers
reminded me of Andy Warhol’s “Flowers” prints from the 1960’s. I liked the fact that a
little pop art is in the design. That happened totally by accident, a happy accident.