Sitting Comfortably

In addition to her work as a respected artist, Claire de Jong has been very busy of late with her complementary project JONG! Design.

Originally conceived together with her husband James Carr-Jones, who played a pivotal role in some of the most interesting leftfield design projects by internationally renowned luxury brands such as Hermès, JONG! Design had an understandable period of being put on hold following James’ tragic death.

More recently Claire has revived the design brand with renewed vigour. JONG! Design sees Claire realising her singular designs for contemporary furniture, lighting and fittings in collaboration with local Antwerp artisans and craftspeople specialised in working with metal, wood and the other quality materials in which the pieces are realised; similarly for their expertise in fabrication necessary for their production.

Focussing heavily on bespoke and limited edition pieces, many of the unique designs for furniture share a formal and aesthetic quality with Claire’s works as an artist. Nonetheless, the embedded narratives that often inhabit her seemingly abstract works are also often a part of the designs.

Take, for example the Karl Pouffke, an elegant pouffe that seems to be a classic piece of modernist furniture realised in steel and high-end wool. But the full truth is actually a little more colorful—or perhaps not given the charcoal grey dominant colourway. On learning more, however, it turns out that all of the hand-stitched wool fabric used for the seating cover is a vintage fabric made exclusively for Chanel during Kaiser Karl’s tenure, lovingly sourced from specialist suppliers in Belgium.

While one-offs and unique pieces have been the defining DNA of the brand up until now, JONG! Design will soon reveal it’s first prêt-à-porter range with a strong emphasis on sustainability and even a stab at flat-pack pieces easily shipped around the world. We all await eagerly…

Dutch artist and designer Claire de Jong grew up in Cape Town where she studied painting at the Michaelis School of Fine Art—one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the country—before heading for Europe for a modelling career. After her stint as “the neck of De Beers”, she lived and worked in London as an artist for a twenty-year period that saw her show in some of the seminal exhibitions by the notorious “Brit Art” set. Subsequent to her marriage to James Carr-Jones, the couple first moved to Paris before relocating almost a decade ago to Antwerp, finding the ethos and integrity of the city’s art and design scene more in keeping with their collective aspirations and spirit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.