Imprints in the ink: the Gator rug by Bill Amberg


An intimate evening provided the ideal backdrop for Bill Amberg to introduce Gator; a subtle and refined pattern taken directly from the print of an alligator skin.

On the evening, we invited Kelvyn Smith of Smiths Rules to present a live demonstration; creating a print from the actual alligator skin ‘plate’ used for the Gator rug.

This process began with Bill’s exploration to capture the textures and patterns of four skins; Bull, Alligator, Elephant and Buffalo. The intricacies of the leather proved a natural type of letterpress ‘plate’, allowing Kelvyn to experiment with the different skins according to its thickness and density. The nature of each material formed a varied outcome each time.

With the use of traditional methods of letterpress printing, Kelvyn carried out several experiments, lifting the paper to even out the skin’s natural difference in thickness and density until he reached the perfect print, which led to the formation of the design for the Gator rug.

Working once again with Christopher Sharp and The Rug Company was really the final piece of the puzzle. Over several months, Bill and the team at The Rug Company worked closely to develop the materials, shades and construction of the final product. The imprint of the alligator skin is beautifully interpreted on the hand-knotted Tibetan wool and silk rug, available to order in a custom size, shape, colour and scale.

The Gator is available exclusively at The Rug Company.

Architect: tbc

Date Completed: tbc

Client: tbc