These designers make textiles as authentic and noble as art – business of home | Candle Made Easy

Bridgett Cochran and Kelly PorterCourtesy of Porter Teleo

Authenticity is key for Bridget Cochran and Kelly Porter. Rather than being inspired by current interior trends, the duo behind Kansas City, Missouri-based surface design brand Porter Teleo aim to create ornate, carefully crafted fabrics and wallcoverings for everyday use. “We’re not out to recreate trends,” says Cochran business of the house. “Our goal is to bring truly unique and beautiful patterns into the world.”

The couple have always been fascinated by interesting and effective textiles. Porter, who studied at the Kansas City Art Institute before earning a master’s degree in fine arts from the State University of New York at Buffalo, spent her undergraduate years honing her printmaking, including etching, woodcut, and lithography. Although she earned her living as a college professor and sold her paintings in galleries across the country, it was Cochran, then working as an interior designer, that motivated her to think beyond her artwork. “Bridgett started educating me about the home furnishing industry and soon we had a common idea of ​​a whole new type of textile that could fuse visual art and design,” she says. “It was a natural progression for me to delve into exploring more pattern-driven ways to create images and artwork.”

These designers make textiles as authentic and noble as art

Porter Teleo Synergy wall covering in a bedroom designed by Tara Kantor Interiors.Adam Machia

In 2005 they launched Porter Teleo (‘telos’ is Greek for end or purpose) with a range of six bespoke wallcovering patterns printed panel by panel on an etching press. They decided to switch to exclusively hand-painted designs not long after. “Painting instead of printing opened up so many new ways to express aesthetic nuance, which made our look unique and desirable,” says Porter. “We’re trying to educate designers on the difference between a traceable printed repeat and an organically produced pattern that has continuity but doesn’t avoid tracing. [The latter] creates a very different feeling in a space, something that is so rare and special.”

All Porter Teleo products begin as original works of art – a series of dreamy motifs inspired by the natural environment and transformed into hand-drawn and painted patterns before being cast in multiple colourways. “Once a collection is finalized in color and pattern, Kelly and I spend days working directly with our production artists to give them a full understanding of the artwork they will be creating,” says Cochran. “The launch of new collections is a very rewarding experience for our entire team and something we all look forward to.”

About a season after Porter Teleo launched a wallcovering collection, the brand interprets the patterns in hand-painted textiles. “We work with fine linen, cotton, natural silk and other organic fibers,” says Porter. “The fabric itself must be beautiful before we ever touch it with our inks, paints or dyes.”

These designers make textiles as authentic and noble as art

Tangled wallcovering by Porter TeleoMelanie Morris

More recently, the company has ventured into commercial spaces, launching its first-ever line of hospitality-grade textiles and wallcoverings, offering a bespoke experience to match that of their customers. “We’ve spent the past three years undertaking countless edits and revisions to create a durable product with the authentic look and feel that Porter Teleo has become known for,” says Cochran of the series. “Each pattern in the line began with a hand-painted yardage in our studio. Our goal was to create the perfect composition with almost imperceptible repetitions so that our hotel customers have the same feeling of walking in a work of art.”

The brand also offers custom artwork. “Our customers can choose one of our large-scale samples from cross-sections, or create something completely unique for their space,” explains Cochran. “Once the images are selected, they can be digitally printed onto matte art paper or painted onto canvas that meets specifications by our artist team.”

In May, Porter Teleo introduces a new collection featuring five patterns punctuated by florals, foliage, architectural ornaments and metallic threads that create a reflective finish. The pair are also hoping to expand into wall and floor tiles at some point in the not too distant future. “At a time when human connection holds so much value, our hand-painted products offer a much-needed break from mass production and the mundane,” says Porter. “Nobody wants to get lost in a sea of ​​sameness.”

If you want to know more about Porter Teleo, visit the brand’s website or follow her on Instagram.

Homepage Photo: Silk Scarf in Cadmium Wallcovering by Porter Teleo | Courtesy of Porter Teleo

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