Colourful Textiles Of Ferren Gipson

Ferren Gipson has had a busy few years. The author and art historian moved into a new home amid the recent times in 2020, renovating the place with her husband, Tom Lloyd, a technology marketer, while writing two books, the Ultimate Art Museum and the new Women’s Work. The latter –an exploration of practices commonly considered feminine, such as textiles-inspired Ferren to pursue quilting, a craft that connects her to the artists in her pages. Her house could then be a place where she and Tom mainly live with their son, Winter, and golden doodle, Bobby, but it’s also a creative space in many ways, where she draws and sews, and the pair turns records as part of makeshift DJ sets in the living room.

In addition to her writing, Ferren hosts the Art Matters podcast and previously served on the Board of Art History Link-Up, which currently supports Inigo, our companion brand. Her home is also a testament to her enthusiasm for Arts and crafts, with her vibrant handmade quilts thrown on furniture and walls slowly but surely filling with paintings. During a delicious breakfast with fruit, croissants and coffee, Ferren and Tom talk to us about their decoration process and their intention to fill the house with the work of underrepresented artists.

Ferren: “this house was not even mentioned when we bought it. We lived two doors down in a very small apartment and, at the time, with the onset of the recent times and everyone at home, we wanted more space. We listed our last apartment and it didn’t sell at first, and this one, which was previously for sale and on offer, didn’t sell either. Then I contacted the realtor after everything had failed and we had it. It just worked.

“First of all, I really liked the stairs. It was just airy and bright. It’s bare now, but we want to make it an art wall. And I liked how spacious the apartment was. But it didn’t look like it does now.”

Tom :” I think three students rented it before we came to live here, so it was less loved. There was no power, the kitchen was closed, and the refrigerator was practically in the living space.”

Ferren: “the kitchen was very 1990s – it was a reddish color with dark wood. There weren’t the right devices; you could see the water heater, but you couldn’t see the numbers on the oven button. Oddly enough, it is larger than our previous kitchen – and our last one was small! – but there was less storage. The kitchen was our top priority.

“When we Decorated, we said ‘Not everything can be a star zijn.Er must be places where the eyes can rest. For example, the terrazzo floor is an inconspicuous star. When the tiles arrived, we thought ‘” Is it going to be hectic? Is that crazy?”But once assembled, the floor is quite calm.”

Tom: “the carpet in our living room is a star. That gets the most attention and then everything else plays into it in one way or another.”

Ferren: “I have a growing list of things I like in terms of design, like curved tiles in the kitchen. I had seen a picture of them somewhere and I had never seen anything like it. They are quite unusual. I went on a crazy hunt to find them. Once assembled, I noticed how strongly they emphasize the verticality of the room. It feels like bamboo.”

Ferren: “I have a growing list of things I like in terms of design, like curved tiles in the kitchen. I had seen a picture of them somewhere and I had never seen anything like it. They are quite unusual. I went on a crazy hunt to find them. Once assembled, I noticed how strongly they emphasize the verticality of the room. It feels like bamboo.”

Tom: “Ferren is the creative one. Above all, I trust his vision.”

Ferren: “I start by putting together a mood board, then I let Tom get feedback. He usually says the right thing. My design influences are Japanese and Scandinavian design, in addition to minimalism, but also color and maximalism. I am also inspired by old commercial buildings and schools, which is why I love the brick around the fireplace.

“I wanted the office to feel like it belonged to a design firm. I wrote my two books there. Having the office is fun because it puts you in work mode. I usually set a daily schedule and goals that I need to achieve. With my first book, the deadline was tight, so I wrote eight hours a day-while the renovation was also being done.

“I’m breaking up at lunch. I go out of the office and have lunch at the dinner table. Space is so important when writing – Not only bodily, but also mentally. For example, I write something and come back to it after with a new perspective.

“The office is also where I do my sewing and textile work. I came to my quilting practice through my last book. I sewed a little in high school, but I wasn’t good at it. Then I took it back when my son was born to make clothes for him. I always liked the idea of quilting because my father’s mother and grandmother quilted, but I didn’t understand how to adapt the pieces and I was intimidated by the practice.

“When I wrote Women’s work, I realized that so many of the women mentioned came to their textile practice because of the women in their lives. I felt like I had a tangible need to connect with their experiences – I needed to reach out to them to understand their mindset and their work. But quilting has also allowed me to connect with the women in my own family.

“Now it has become a practice, where I push my own work and see what I can go with. My work is quite organic – I have a bunch of squares that I just move. I don’t start with a plan, I spread everything out on the floor and go from there. The first quilt I made was for my son and is on his bed. Quilting is also a way for me to relax in the House.

“When I finish work for today, I like to sit on the couch with a glass of plonk and decompress. The three of us – Tom, Winter and I-can spread it out, but still have our own space. The other place that really attracts me, especially at this time of year, is the corner of the dining table by the window. The sun comes through in the morning and I like to sit there and bask in the warmth like a cat.”

Tom: “our room is beautiful because it’s just for us. We have a child and a dog, so we wanted to create a space that feels really calm and mature. The grays and texture of the whitewashed walls are very relaxing. Also we visited hotels and loved the rooms and we wanted to make that again, with the high bed and the TV.

Ferren :” I studied art history by chance. I loved world history and I thought art history would be similar. I love stories and symbolism in art. We are in the early stages of our collection. The piece above the sofa, by the artist Joy Yamusangie, was our first major purchase. Their work is so interesting. We are happy to have him in our house.

“We select art for our home based on what we want, but we have a weakness for female artists and artists of color. This is something we want to prioritize. The temptation is to buy as many things as possible as quickly as possible, but really, you want to sit down with the art, love it and take the time to build a collection.”

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