Calico’s inaugural collection was inspired by a rare sample of antique paper found by chance in a New York curiosity shop. Moved by the intricate and evolving microcosmic shapes, we experimented with contemporizing the pattern, melding traditional marbling techniques with modern designs to create a series of unique signature styles—Wabi, Lunaris and Night.
Wabi’s fluid design is influenced by Wabi-Sabi and acknowledges the beauty in impermanence, transience, and imperfection. Lunaris’ intricate topographical pattern is the result of a detailed study of lunar photography. And Night’s distinctive motif was inspired by the rich marble in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, whose patterns we digitally transposed and transformed to bring out their ‘darker side.’
To adapt our handcrafted creations to customizable wallpaper, we partnered with Dieu Donné, a celebrated workspace dedicated to papermaking as a contemporary art form. Their skills and expertise enabled us to create the largest marbled papers that exist today. Together we rigorously tested materials until we finally settled on the perfect recipe for handmade cotton paper, which we use to create our large-scale original patterns.
The Calico collection’s three signature styles are strongly influenced by the Japanese philosophy captured by the phrase “mono no aware” (物の哀れ) which translates to “the pathos of things” or “a sensitivity to ephemera.” The collection was designed to express a recognition of the all-importance of minute details, and celebrate the smallest cell’s integral connection to the universe as a whole. Finding the beauty and connections in seeming contradictions, each pattern plays with the complimentary relationship between darkness and light.