The History of Encyclopédie

In 1751 Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert began publishing their monumental, multi-volume work: the Encyclopédie ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers.  Frustrated by what they saw as the excessive authority of the clergy, the monarchy and the craft guilds, and of the tendency to suppress the dissemination of knowledge from scientific and empirical study, they decided to construct a gigantic compendium of all human knowledge in hopes that it would lead to a better informed and more productive populace, freed as they would now be from superstition and ignorance. Banned in France by the king because of its exploration of politically volatile themes, the Encyclopedie was printed clandestinely in Switzerland and then smuggled section by section back to Paris. The 28th and final volume appeared in 1772.  The Encyclopédie was revolutionary in its elevation of craft alongside science and the arts, while also serving as the most famous document of the French Enlightenment. It served as a catalyst for resistance to the monarchy, and ultimately the unfolding of the revolution in France.

Inspired by Diderot and D’Alembert’s courageous challenge to suppressed knowledge and scientific understanding, we present contemporary articles and musings that touch on the three facets of Diderot’s seminal work: arts, crafts and sciences.

Chinese Village Keeps Alive a Tradition of Indigo Dyeing

In Dali, where nearly every family grows its own rice and indigo, “having a loom is just as important as having a cow.” See more at  The New York Times…

ERDEN’s International Debut: Willer

ERDEN will be launching our first collection of flat weaves and pile carpets at Willer in London’s Kensington on March 1st,…

Canis Familiaris at Westminster

Beautiful shots of the fiber most familiar to a lot of us. The Afghan hound’s coat looks a bit like that of a Suri alpaca or Angora goat. There is a…

ERDEN Launches at Twentieth LA

ERDEN will launch our first collection of flatweaves and pile carpets at Twentieth’s showroom in LA the week of March 20th, 2017. Stay tuned for further…

Photographic Journal, Kathmandu by ERDEN Artisan

ERDEN Artisan, David Anderson, traveled to Nepal this past December to be introduced to the people weaving ERDEN’s pile rugs. Time away from the looms…

Peter Pap’s San Francisco Exhibit

From Hali Magazine: Over the past few years, US dealer Peter Pap has provided collectors with an alternative path to disposing of pieces from their…

A Science Lab For Stinky Cheese

From The New York Times: There’s no sign announcing that you’ve arrived at Jasper Hill Farm, a creamery in the Northeast Kingdom, as Vermonters call that…

Bumsuk Choi: Factory Worker Turned Acclaimed Designer

From The New York Times: When he first showed his designs in New York eight years ago, Bumsuk Choi and his label, General Idea, were already well known in…

Studio Visit: Antonia Contro

Had the distinct pleasure of visiting Antonia Contro’s beautiful Chicago studio.  While there was much to be inspired by, and very good coffee to drink,…

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