Chella Teams With Ceramicist Roy Hamilton

Roy Hamilton's work is the basis for a new collection from Chella Textiles.

The stunning ceramic designs of Roy Hamilton have been translated beautifully into a new luxury-performance collection from Chella Textiles. Perfect for indoor or outdoor use in home or hospitality settings, the Roy Hamilton Collection captures the English-born artist’s unique ability to work in clay with a textile aesthetic in mind.

As Hamilton describes it, this collection was built differently from the way that most fabric collections are built. The collection consists of six high-end jacquard designs, ranging in scale from small to large, but each presented in the same six classic colorways.

“The color leads the way,” Hamilton says. “This is different from what you’ll see in many other collections, where you might have one design in six colorways, another design in eight colorways, etc., and sometimes, the designs don’t have anything to do with one another.”

For this collection, however, Hamilton says the thinking was, “Let’s approach this from another point of view, where you have six neutral tones of color—such as beige, taupe, gray and black/white—and use those colors as the basis of the collection.”

"Screenshot," from top to bottom, in Thistle, Honey,
Desert Sage, Sandstone, Ink and Argento.

The result is a more cohesive collection with inter-related designs, enabling interior designers and hospitality clients to mix and match selections in one of six neutral color schemes but in various scales of design. Since they are durable indoor/outdoor fabrics, they are very well suited for hospitality settings like pool/lounge areas, or for residential great or recreational rooms.

Hamilton describes just how easily these fabrics would work in a hospitality setting. “There’s a small-scale design for the bar stools, a larger-scale for the upholstered chair, even larger for the chaises around the pool area, and larger still for the umbrellas and the awnings. Each color family includes a textured plain (Screenshot), which complements the other soft-edge geometric designs giving the  designer the opportunity to select four, five or even all six designs and use them all in the same colorway. From a designer point-of-view, it certainly makes sense as a way to anchor a space.”

A Natural Storyteller

Chella is thrilled to have teamed with Hamilton to release this collection. Chella President Lee Menichella calls Hamilton a “natural storyteller” with a real love for design. “When he adapts his ceramics into textiles, the result is graphically strong, and so innovative,” Menichella says.

Hamilton’s career as an artisan and designer spans nearly 60 years. His work has graced some of the world’s most iconic brands, including dinnerware for Tiffany & Co., stationery for Saks Fifth Avenue, and linens, dinnerware and gift items for Mikasa. Additional noteworthy endeavors have included area rugs of Edward Fields, furnishing fabrics and wallcoverings for Donghia Textiles, and gourmet cookware for Hartstone.

These fabrics of upholstered furniture from Roy Hamilton's
NYC apartment include, from
left, Corner Decks, Shadow
Cast and Screenshot in the Ink colorway.

The Chella collection brings Hamilton full circle back to the place where he first started his career: in the world of fabrics. While a young man still in his native England, he began working in the textile industry. In the early 1960s, he moved to New York as a vice president for Liberty of London.

Eventually, however, Hamilton turned a hobby in pottery into a career in ceramics. He held a one-man show at the Elaine Benson Gallery in Bridgehampton in 1975, and two years later, moved to Los Angeles, where he established himself as one of the country’s most prominent artists in decorative custom ceramics. After spending more than three decades in Los Angeles, Hamilton moved back to New York in 2008 He now lives in Manhattan while retaining a studio in Brooklyn, where he works four days a week.

Hamilton’s decorative custom ceramics have been sought-after by some of the country’s most prominent decorators and architects, and his work has been installed in major hotels around the world ranging from the Bel Air and Century Plaza Towers in Los Angeles, the Hilton Towers in Chicago, and Disney properties in Florida and Paris, to exotic locales like Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bangkok, Taiwan, Taipei and Melbourne. His ceramics are featured in many of the world’s top collections, even represented in the Obama White House.

The six designs shown here in the Alabaster colorway. The
window seat features
the "Angular" pattern, and the pillows
feature the "Overlap" pattern.

Six Iconic Designs

The designs in the Roy Hamilton Collection for Chella represent some of the artist’s most iconic designs throughout his career. They include:

Screenshot: a design with a chameleon-like quality that allows it to read either as a pattern (from close-up) or as a solid (from farther away).

Shadow Cast: a design inspired by Hamilton’s signature linen-look ceramics finishing technique that plays creatively with the negative space.

Tiger Scan: a traditional damask design that conjures a tiger in motion, originally created by Hamilton as a rug design from Edward Fields in 1975.

Angular: a strong graphic pattern inspired by Hamilton’s classic Arrows design.

Overlap: a tribute to the traditional craft of hand-weaving, showcasing the soothing relationship between warp and weft.

Corner Deck: based on an existing design of Hamilton’s for barware tumblers, exuding a classic mid-century appeal.

Roy, working with his kiln, enjoys the challenge of working in other areas.

Chella will re-introduce this collection next spring in an expanded form, adding five vibrant color ways to address a demand for such hues in the hospitality market. “Hotels look for bolder, brighter colors such as reds, blues, peacocks and tans,” Hamilton reports.

While Hamilton is first and foremost a ceramicist, he appreciates the challenge of applying his artistic talents into other areas. “It’s certainly fun to work with the kiln, which is my day-to-day occupation,” he says. “But I also enjoy the opportunity to do something like the Chella collection. I try not to get locked into doing the same-old, same-old. It’s good to do something fresh every now and again.”


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