The story starts with a rug. In 1997, Bennett bought an antique Tibetan rug. He lived with it and after a few months thought, "I could make a better one." That single idea was the catalyst for Bennett Bean Studio rugs.
Over the next nine years, Bennett began his adventure in making rugs. He describes this experience by saying, "Making these rugs has been a little like falling in love; it starts with a chance event and then begins to take over your life. Each year you learn more and relationship becomes richer." As implied by this quote, the rugs began as only one of a number of projects in studio. 'Bennett Bean Studio' rugs came into their own in 2003 with the recognition of the "Red Zed" rug in the Metropolitan Home's Design 100. Since that time their design and production has become a main focus of Bennett's. This focus sharpened in late 2004 when Elizabeth Rand became a part of the studio. Her arrival helped clarify the direction that the studio would take and gave the project renewed energy.
These design collections are the result of collaboration between two people, Bennett Bean and Elizabeth Rand. It's the constant byplay between two artists with contrasting points of view that creates this unique body of work; maturity balancing youth, experience contrasting with fresh perspective, additive versus subtractive work processes.
BENNETT BEAN is a quintessential American polymath. He is best known as a ceramic artist; but works in a range of media including stone, precious metals, paper, parchment and painting. He was formally trained in fine art and has been making things, prolifically, since 1960, full time in studio for that last 25 years. His work is represented by numerous galleries as well as in major museum collections nationwide including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the White House Art Collection. Visit bennettbean.com to learn more.
ELIZABETH RAND received her training at Kansas City Art Institute in Fiber. Her experience in textile techniques and as a mixed media artist supports her contribution to both the concept and creation of these designs.