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The Homage to Maria Lai carpet, signed by Joias and designed by artist Stefania Spanu won the prestigious Carpet Design Awards 2023 as Best Design Studio Artist Rugs at DOMOTEX (Hannover, Germany), the most important international trade fair for handcrafted design products.

Domotex’s eighteenth edition (from 12 to 15 January 2023), titled ‘Floored by nature’, has sustainability as its key theme and returns to live exhibition after a two-year hiatus. The jury of the CDA, consisting of Jamie Metrick, editor-in-chief of Elte, acting as chairman, Nani Marquina from the Spanish brand bearing the same name, RugVista AB creative director Carin Terins, interior designer Sandra Keja-Planken and decor8 founder and publisher Holly Becker, awarded the prize and announced the winner yesterday Friday 13 January. The reason for the award is an astonishing execution that combines traditional techniques with a very modern design.

The carpet takes inspiration from the work by Maria Lai, artist from Ulassai, Legarsi alla montagna, translated into a new textile creation. Maria Lai’s famous 1981 creation is considered Italy’s first relational piece of art. It connected and united the small village of Ulassai to the mountain with a blue ribbon, creating an exceptional and unique encounter between art, people and landscape. “Homage to Maria Lai” captures the project’s essence with its graphic design, produced rigorously from Sardinian wool. The all-female operation comprising Elisabetta Usala, owner of Joias, designer Stefania Spanu, who designed the carpet, and the textile cooperative Su Marmuri, who wove it, elaborate the original work, obtaining the sought-after international recognition among the twenty-four finalists selected, as the only Italian company in the competition.

“It is a beautiful example of collaboration between business, design and craftsmanship that is not customary for Sardinia,” says Silvio Usala, owner with his daughter Elisabetta of the well-known brand Joias, “I genuinely believe that only united we can win”.

Joias, the brand that implemented the project, has been promoting art design made in Sardinia for more than ten years through the selection, storytelling and trade of unique works and artefacts made by the island’s most prestigious artisans. It designs and commissions unique creations and works that recount past, tradition and regional culture with new forms, capable of following new trends while enhancing the value of ancient crafts.

Joias – Elisabetta Usala corso Umberto I°, n.33 (08048) Tortolì (NU)

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