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INSPIRATION | March 21, 2023 | By Saxon Henry
Many of the pieces of rope-wrapped furnishings we offer are covered in Abaca fibers, which are gleaned from the plant of the same name. Native to the Philippines, it is quite similar to a banana tree and has been around for centuries. We have a number of new products that exhibit the art of the weave, which are joining a hefty lineup of popular offerings that includes our bestselling Olisa Pearl Bench, Olisa Console Table, Simo Accent Table, and Vilmar Floor Mirror shown in the image above. To illustrate just how incredibly well-executed these products are is a closeup of the surface of the Samal Screen below.
A closeup of our Samal Screen illustrates how uniformly our artisans wrap our products in rope.
This brief history of the rise of Abaca highlights why we continue to expand our offerings of rope-wrapped furnishings. Though the early harvesting of Abaca was labor-intensive and limited to the Philippines, the plants are now grown on large plantations in tropical zones and the harvesting has become mechanized. To create the rope that is wrapped around our furnishings, fibers are stripped from the leafy outer sheath of each plant’s trunk and then are scraped and allowed to dry, usually in the sun. Some processes now involve pulping to produce paper goods and similar flexible products such as vacuum cleaner bags and tea bags.
Abaca plants generally have a ten-year lifespan and because they grow quickly, they will sustain around six harvestings during that time. Among our new rope-wrapped furnishings is the Joppa and Jaru table lamps and the Passageway flush mount, each of which are described below.
The Currey & Company Joppa Table Lamp is one of the rope-wrapped furnishings in our lineup.
The Joppa Table Lamp has a tear-drop shaped body seamlessly wrapped in natural rope, a painstaking process that takes artisans many hours to achieve. A design detail that illustrates finesse is the narrow finial, also wrapped in rope, that fastens the light natural linen shade to the tan lamp. This is a sturdy rope lamp, as the material underneath that shapes it is terracotta.
The Passageway Flush Mount is a cleverly designed rope-wrapped ceiling light by Clarence Mallari. The warmth of the rope combined with the dorado gold finish contrasts the frosted glass globe to bring this design heft. One of the arms that hold the globe in place is removable to make changing the bulbs on this brown ceiling light easy.
The Jaru Table Lamp has a body made of cascading rounded shapes that are seamlessly wrapped in natural rope, a meticulous process that takes artisans many hours to achieve. A design detail that illustrates finesse is the orb finial, also wrapped in rope, that fastens the natural linen shade to the tan lamp.
The Olisa Cocktail Table shown with Olisa Bar Cart. Wallpaper by Thibaut.
With the earthy feel of rattan and wicker, the Olisa Cocktail Table is covered in braided abaca rope to bring a natural elegance to a room. The dexterity required to wrap a piece of furniture so skillfully makes this tan coffee table special. The glass top will protect the absorbent material from any smudges, drips, or splashes that inadvertently come with everyday life. The bottom shelf is perfect for stashing newspapers, books, or hobby-related materials. Also shown with the coffee table above is the Olisa Bar Cart, which has glass inserts on the upper and lower shelves to protect the absorbent material from liquid that would stain it if spilled drinks and spritzes of fruit escaped their intended glasses. The roller feet make this happy hour helpmate easy to move around, and it is narrow enough to place in hallways.
The Senegal Wall Sconce, designed by Clarence Mallari, is so geometrically simple, it will make itself at home in a number of design styles from contemporary to transitional and mid-century modern to traditional. Made of wrought iron that has been diligently wrapped in abaca rope, the baton-shaped stem balances an off-white shantung shade at absolutely the perfect spot to create a wonderful symmetry. The shade is narrow enough that this rope wall sconce is ADA compliant.
Rope-wrapped furnishings in this image are the Ibiza Chandelier and the Vilmar Floor Mirror.
Our Ibiza Chandelier is wrapped in Abaca rope to make this one of our fixtures that illustrate the skill of our talented artisans, as it takes dexterity and patience to cover a frame so seamlessly. The hardware on the nautical chandelier, in a dark contemporary gold leaf finish, echoes the warm tones in the rope. It is shown above with several other rope-wrapped products.
The Passageway Wall Sconce has so many layered details that exude texture, it is a design to study: the wall plate, central ring, and cup that holds the frosted glass globe are warm in a dorado gold finish; the rope-wrapped, pear-shaped element so cleverly dangles from the stem affixed to the wall plate; and the bottom finial unscrews to release one arm so that the glass globe can be removed to change the bulb. This rope wall sconce, designed by Clarence Mallari, will be a perfect choice for beachside condos and lakeside homes.
The Rolo Coat Rack is a seamless piece of artisanal quality, as the natural rope is carefully wrapped by hand around the telescoping legs, the disc that stabilizes them, and the five prongs that splay upward to hold coats, jackets, scarves, and tote bags. Underpinning the wrapped surfaces on the rope coat rack is solid wood to make this a sturdy helpmate in a foyer, an entryway, or a garden room.
The Samal Screen is a decorative screen with a metal frame that is painstakingly wrapped in rope by hand and then hand-trimmed. The formal arched design is reminiscent of gothic stained-glass windows but the natural material covering it brings the Samal a casual vibe.
The Kaipo Two-Drawer Chest is wrapped artistry with its exterior and drawer-fronts covered in Abaca rope. The heftier rope drawer-pulls give this piece a nautical feel. The rope chest is one of our artisanal pieces that requires great skill to create, as the sisal is meticulously hand-applied to each piece. We also offer the Kaipo as a nightstand. The Sisal plant is native to southern Mexico, though, like Abaca, it is now widely cultivated in other countries.
The Portmeirion Chandelier is both earthy and luminous in this setting.
During the pandemic, movies were one of Clarence Mallari’s sources for inspiration: “I became fascinated with the shape and function of a lifebuoy and wondered how I could translate it into lighting. It took me some time to come out with the design due to the fact that it was challenging to conceive and arduous to make.” The frame on this Portmeirion Chandelier is the result of his exploration. Made of wrought iron around which abaca rope has been wrapped for the nautical feel that inspired it, this small version of the Portmeirion has six lights, while the larger version has 12 lights, both of which are suspended on an aircraft cable to make the fixtures seem like they are floating in the sea.
That’s a Wrap!
There are a number of rope-wrapped offerings in this image that illustrate how Currey & Company artisans are adept at the technique.
We have so many other incredible products wrapped in rope, which you can find by typing rope in the search bar on our website, it’s definitely worth taking a look. A few others include our bestselling Mereworth Chandelier and the Nicosia Accent Table both above.
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