YEREVAN — The Armenian brand Ochre launched a collection of artist-designed artisan-made hand-woven natural wool blankets. The products’ designs are created by the contemporary Armenian artists and the production is carried out by the artisans at Amasia Wool Factory (Shirak region, Armenia).
The products represent the result of the exploration of local craftsmanship traditions. The artists Aleksey Manukyan (Gyumri, Armenia), Gohar Martirosyan (Armenia, France) and Sereg Navasardyan (Yerevan, Armenia) explored the possibilities of the wool and its texture and offered visual essays and sketches for its surface. Together with textile experts and artisans from Goris and Amasia, they transferred their artistic ideas to the surface of the blankets. As a result, hand-woven wool blankets were created using 100 percent Amasia Wools weft and 100 percent cotton warp.
The blankets can be used both for decoration and as bedspreads. The wool used in production is undyed wool of natural tints (from beige to dark brown) with addition of wool dyed with natural pigments. Wool fibers are incredibly long-lasting, they are distinguished by high elasticity, low crease and they hold their shape perfectly, thus products made from them are not only beautiful, but also practical.
The wool used in production is pure Armenian wool sourced from shepherds in Shirak, where the village residents have been breeding sheep for centuries. The local sheep wool is long and thick; it is processed at the Amasia Wool factory, where it is washed with eco-friendly soaps, treated with modern carding technologies. The key value of OCHRE is a careful attitude towards nature and a strong sense of responsibility towards the well-being of the people involved in the production.
The products designed by OCHRE combine functionality, aesthetics, respect for the environment and local craftsmanship traditions. OCHRE creates objects of everyday use that serve as a source of comfort and also express the unique vision of the artists and bring joy and happiness, very similar to that of owning a work of art.
Ochre was established in 2020 as an arts-based social enterprise with the aim of merging creative ideas and artisanal resources in order to craft artist-designed, artisan-made products for everyday use. It was founded to create new, commercially-oriented products together with artists and artisans with the ultimate aim of using the profits generated to support independent artistic production and social goals. The company strives to support all stakeholders from artisans and residents of the regions where the production is located, to the end users and artists involved in the project.