Knoll: Our Work’s Worth Waiting For

Charming and savvy detail from Ana Araujo’s new book on the work of Florence Knoll, “No Compromise”: In 1964, the company Knoll released this letter it says it received from one of its textile suppliers, running it as a print ad (one assumes full-page):

Dear Sir, Thank you for your letter of the 6th of October which we have received today. Please be assured that we have not forgotten about you. We have only one weaver making this cloth. He is rather more of an artist than a practical man and he has an artist’s temperament. In other words he makes the colour that he wants to make and not necessarily the colours we want to have from him, and if it is a nice day he will go fishing or shooting leaving the weaving for another day. You will agree that this is not very business-like and from our point of view it is impossible, but the fact is that if we want this cloth, which we do very much, we just have to put up with it. From past experience we would say that it is no use asking him to submit patterns of his future colourings as he will be unable to tell us what these are to be. The sort of thing that happens is that we get a letter from him saying that yesterday he saw a piece of rock covered with Lichen in a most beautiful colour. Sure enough in a few weeks we will get a Brown/Green mixed tweed of this colouring and this is what we mean when we say that he is an artist rather more than a weaver. With the colder winter weather approaching perhaps this man will get down doing some work to keep himself warm, we can only hope.

Beneath the letter was the tag line, “It’s worth waiting for a good catch.”

Stephen Schenkenberg @schenkenberg