lizan freijsen transforms mold stains and lichene into hand-tufted carpets

lizan freijsen transforms mold stains and lichene into hand-tufted carpets

fascinated by fungi, mold, and moisture stains, lizan freijsen inverts our obsession with banning these from our everyday environments by turning them into beautiful textiles, such as carpets, blankets, and wall decorations. the dutch artist captures a moment in time and transforms something ugly into valuable objects through a unique production process that combines her long-term research on color and form with the time-consuming craft of hand tufting.

lizan freijsen transforms mold stains and fungi into hand-tufted carpetsall images © studio lizan freijsen

fungi carpet in zomersneeuw, belmonte, wageningen



‘I started working on this theme when leakages and stains begun to appear in my garden shed,’ explains freijsen to designboom, who first met the rotterdam-based artist two years ago, ‘as the dreadful stains were developing over time they almost appeared as a painting from nature, and I decided to transform that fear into security. contrary to stains, carpets are beautiful and you want to include them in your house.’ the textiles embody the hidden beauty freijsen finds in decay, imperfection, and urban nature, while they also pose a contrasting response to the over-controlled society in which we live.

the hole moss carpet



for the production of these textiles, the dutch artist has developed a new craft in collaboration with hester onijs and karen zeedijk of the textile museum in tilburg, the netherlands. ‘when I first started making the carpets, people advised me to go to china as it is very expensive to produce them in europe,’ freijsen notes, ‘but I felt that if I did that it would be someone else’s work and not mine, as I would only have to send an image and then the final product would be sent back to me. so I decided to develop the craft myself – in the netherlands there is only a handful of people who are still able to do produce carpets, if they stop then there will be no carpet industry here anymore.’

lizan freijsen transforms mold stains and fungi into hand-tufted carpetsthe living surface studio by lizan freijsen. photo by lotte van stekelenburg (also header image)




‘I always work with photography as a tool to translate and study this phenomenon,’ explains freijsen of her design process, which involves capturing the stains, tracing over them and enlarging them before turning them into objects. more images of her photo-archive and documentation of her work can be found in her recently published book, the living surface.

frame moss blanket

the carpets presented at object rotterdam 2018

production of the fungi carpet, beiriz tapetes, portugal

all carpets are hand-tufted

lizan freijsen transforms mold stains and fungi into hand-tufted carpetsfreijsen with the final fungi carpet, beiriz tapetes, portugal

production of the fungi carpet, beiriz tapetes, portugal

detail of the fungi carpet in zomersneeuw, belmonte, wageningen

the fungi carpet in zomersneeuw, belmonte, wageningen

photography research of white lichen from the archive the final white lichen carpet

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    art news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    492,671 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample