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FROM LOOM TO ROOM…Part Two

Part two of Edison’s blog post on behind the scene facts about the unique and timeless quality of your bespoke hand knotted rug.

Your Carpet could be an antique of the future.

Our carpets are made to the highest standards and are heirloom quality pieces that will be enjoyed and appreciated as much in the future as they are today. As a trained artist, Deirdre Dyson approaches every design as a work of art, each being able to compliment the breadth of different interior styles and trends. Hand knotted carpets also hold their value very well.

Deirdre Dyson LOOKING THROUGH (wall) and FLOATING GLASS  (floor) bespoke hand knotted wool and silk rugs. Copyright Deirdre Dyson Carpets Ltd

 

Quality materials make a quality product.

Quality is key. From Deirdre’s initial ideas and design sketches, to the materials employed and the skill of our weavers and London team, we make sure that only the best factors and considerations are invested into creating carpets for your home and interior space.

A design consultancy service is available at our London gallery which is located in the heart of the Chelsea Design Quarter. We are here to assist and guide you in making the right choice and using the best combinations of materials and colours (from 5,000 available colours).

The Tibetan wool used in our carpets are rich in natural oils, making them not only soft and naturally stain resistant but also very hardwearing. The superior Chinese silk that is incorporated into many of our designs is smooth, cooling and full of vibrancy.

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs
Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs

“Time is what we want most…and what we use best”.

Okay, so we’ve adapted the old saying by William Penn, but we think it describes our work ethic well, as every carpet creation requires time and consideration.

The design process in adapting and creating designs for our clientele takes as long as it takes to make our customers dream a reality but generally from sign off, a carpet will go into production and be ready within 3-4 months (as a general guide to lead time). We use the latest design technologies available in the carpet industry and for every carpet we make, a full-sized graph of the design is produced and hung from the back of the loom, for guidance precision. These graphic sheets look like works of art in their own right and are protected to ensure that they can’t be copied or reproduced elsewhere. We take copyright infringement very seriously

 

Deirdre’s original sketch for GOLDEN PHEASANT

Digital version of Deirdre’s original design

The finished hand knotted version of GOLDEN PHEASANT.  Copyright Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs

The finished carpet, hand knotted in graded wool with silk

At Deirdre Dyson carpets limited, we want to share with you as much useful information as possible, so our website is full of valuable tools, tips and advice. Take a look at the current collection or browse our extensive catalogue in the design library section. We’ve made finding a suitable design very easy. Our price calculator will help you cost up a design as well as offer some useful information on sizing. Please remember that nothing is set in stone as all of the designs available are bespoke and can be adapted which may affect the sqm price.

Why not take a closer look at the production process on our video links and find more information about Deirdre herself and what we’re generally up to by visiting the profile and blog pages which are regularly updated.

Deirdre Dyson EAGLE hand knotted graded wool and silk rug. Copyright Deirdre Dyson Carpets Ltd.

 

 

 

 

 


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Deirdre Dyson’s inspiration for the LOOKING GLASS rug collection

Deirdre’s 2020 collection has just launched at Maison et Objet, Paris.

These hand knotted designs were inspired by Deirdre’s observations of colours and forms through glass, glass objects and water.  Nine new designs take her carpets in an entirely different direction.

Read all about Deirdre’s inspiration for each carpet in the LOOKING GLASS Collection here in her own words:

Last summer I found myself mesmerised by everything I could see through glass and water, particularly on holiday where the sun made everything glitter.

I decided to try to make my designs seem ‘glassy’ even though I was working in wool!  If I failed, I might create something unexpected – I love the challenge of the unknown result and you only discover if you explore.

GLASS CUBES

I started with two little rectangular vases of different colour, photographed them and analysed the colours they created when they were overlapping each other.

I designed two simple geometric shapes representing the cubes and inserted the exact colours from my palette of wool poms to represent where the two colours overlapped which gives the illusion of looking through glass.

I finished the piece with wide silken borders to add the shine and glitter of glass.  I was hugely surprised and excited at the finished carpet which really looked glassy and also very three dimensional.  This encouraged me to explore several different ideas about glass.

SLIVERS

The next attempt led on from this overlapping idea.  I didn’t even need real glass, I just created four shapes, selected four colours and overlapped them creating the colour I imagined would occur if they existed.

What made this carpet successful was the grading I decided to do within each piece.  I had to select about 8 grades of each colour to grade from dark to light, and from the outside in, to give the illusion of seeing through the glass.

This was the first time that we had tried to grade within a random shape which was very difficult to specify for our craftspeople and a new challenge for them too.  Again they succeeded and have given me a new skill to work with in the future.

TRANSPARENT was designed from an existing vase with various shapes and colours in the glass.

I created my own shapes and colours and again looked for the overlapping colours that I knew would occur.  Because the inspiration was a vase I added some silk highlights to represent light against the outside of the vase.  Each of these highlights was a paler colour of the colour underneath.

LIGHT FRAGMENTS

I have a very simple water flask and thought of two different things that I could do with it.  One was to paint exactly what I could see inside through the water which were random abstract shapes and colours which looked distorted and bent through the water and also to add highlights again of paler colours and in silk as seen on the outside of the vase.

LOOKING THROUGH

The second idea was to paint what was behind the vase ie. boat rigging and blue cushions with reflections on a shiny table and then paint the distortions of these within the flask without drawing the outline of the flask.  I knew from exercises in my student days that without trying, the flask would slowly appear and it did, and it does in the carpet, although I made the colours within the flask a tiny bit paler to help it reveal itself.

 

FLOATING GLASS

Being on a boat made me think of all the bits of worn glass that we often find washed up on beaches so another idea was to include chinks of floating glass in a flowing, watery setting.

LIGHT BETWEEN

I had used a great deal of colour in the collection so finally decided to do some monochromatic grading with a path of light and two simple glassy bars in silk that you feel you can see through as they pass over the greys and light between.

This was an accidental idea caused by placing a plain glass bowl, which had a glass ball as its base, on top of a patterned glass plate.  This created a magnification which I decided to represent in silk with just a tiny lightening of the colour inside the area.

STAINED GLASS

On a visit to the Amalfi Cathedral and in one of the small rooms at the back behind all the magnificence of marble and gold was a small plain window high up with beautiful, simple pale colours.  The light behind it made it impossible to photograph but the colours stayed in my mind and I thought that in silk, it might make a lovely wall hanging for a windowless room.
Click here to view all Deirdre’s new designs online or contact us to arrange a viewing of the new collection at our Kings Road gallery.

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CDQ Autumn Event Collaboration with Stephenson Wright and Jan Erika revealed

We are huge fans of Interior Designers Stephenson Wright whose combined attention to detail, eye for colour and refined aesthetic translate their clients needs and requirements into beautiful homes.

Juliette and Natalie recently expanded their portfolio to include bespoke furniture design and have created a capsule collection which launched at this year’s Decorex.

Some of these beautiful and functional pieces such as their Plink and Plonk occasional tables and Barrel stools, are uniquely customised by Artist Jan Erika.

Jan is a prolific artist whose bold graphic style works brilliantly with these classic contemporary Stephenson Wright designs.

We love to celebrate all things handmade and bespoke and the launch of Chelsea Design Quarters Designers page, a directory of local Interior Designers celebrated by the CDQ Autumn Event allowed us to showcase the exceptional talent of Stephenson Wright and Jan Erika with Deirdre’s bold and vibrant MANDARIN wool and silk rug.

Edison’s concept of double height banners making the most of the gallery’s atrium ran to 19m and Jan’s bold ‘Zebramane’ brushstrokes create an eye catching backdrop for Deirdre’s rug from this year’s PLUMAGE Collection and Jan’s customised tops for Stephenson Wright’s Plink and Plonk tables, their black scalloped bases reflecting the monochrome banners and black detailing in Deirdre’s rug design.

The CDQ Autumn Event culminates in the CDQ Raffle on Thursday 21st November with an exclusive event at Tom Faulkner.

By purchasing a ticket you support the invaluable work of homeless charity Glass Door and get the chance to win a selection of superb prizes donated by CDQ members such as a night at The Bath Priory on a revolutionary Ammique bed, a Martin Brudnizki Studio light donated by  Drummonds Bathrooms a Baby Soho Drum stool by George Smith, door knobs from Haute Deco , Stephenson Wright limited edition gin bottle customised by Jan, a Lily Cocktail table by  Tom Faulkner Tickets can be purchased here

 


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The Platner Chair – A Modern Classic

A classic design is something that every time you look at it, you accept it as it is and you see no way of improving it

Warren Platner

Some of our favourite imagery from this year’s PLUMAGE Rug Collection photo shoot has to be these exquisite shots of Deirdre’s GOLDEN PHEASANT rug, styled by Louisa Grey and photographed by Michael Sinclair.

Elle Decoration described the above image as ‘Studio 54-esque‘ with the vintage brass desk sourced by Louisa and the iconic Platner armchair upholstered in dusky pink, picking up one of the vibrant wool grades in the carpet design.

The chair was originally designed for Knoll by Warren Platner in 1966 and is still in production today.

The striking sculptural form is created by curved steel rods on a semi-circular frame and is a classic of mid-Century modernist design, described by Platner as ‘decorative, gentle [and] graceful’

The construction is hugely complex and technically challenging – the bases are made of hundreds of rods, and for some versions, more than 1,000 welds are required in construction but the effect is simply stunning and has stood the test of time.

Platner was an American Architect and Interior Designer and designed up until his death in 2006.  One of his most famous interiors was the original Windows on the World restaurant on top of New York’s World Trade Center North Tower, which incorporated several different variations on this chair in the reception areas.

Described as looking like a ‘shiny sheaf of wheat’ in the original Knoll catalogue,  the structure adapted to love seat, stool and fully upholstered easy chair and ottoman versions which combined lightweight form with comfort.  The design was also adapted as tables with the same cylindrical base and even lamp stands in myriad different metals and finishes.

 

 


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BEHIND EVERY GREAT RUG, THERE HAS TO BE A GREAT COLOUR CHOICE

A hand knotted rug is a significant investment, the time, effort and skill involved in creating your custom rug or carpet cannot be rushed and depends on the highest-level artisan skills of our Nepalese weavers.

Hand knotting has always been Deirdre Dyson’s preferred method of rug manufacture and as a skilled artist, the choice and selection of colour is imperative.

The processes involved in creating a hand knotted rug cannot be rushed, starting with the initial design consultation and design work which takes as long as required to realise your perfect rug design and colourways.

BESPOKE involves a considered tailoring of a specific design to meet the requirements of each and every customer. Choosing the correct colours so that each carpet compliments rather than fights with your space is crucial.

The finished rug should feel that it belongs, just like the shawl for a dress or a style of shade for a lamp base, this element of the design process is probably the most important part of a carpets’ creative journey.

All of our hand knotted rugs are created from or inspired by one of Deirdre’s original rug designs in your preferred size and our hand knotted rugs are woven in 100% Tibetan wool and/or Chinese silk with the direct input of Deirdre and her experienced team.

With over 5,000 available colours, it can seem quite overwhelming when faced with such a selection. But our trained expert eyes are here to help, guide and assist you in your selection.

RED RATED

Take the colour red for example. We have many to choose from ranging from vibrant to muted, creamy to spicy, those that sit back or those that jump out; there are more variants of red than you could dare to imagine.

Selecting the right tone to match to your curtain fabric, a painting on the wall or not to fight too much with that grey sofa are some of the considerations we take into account when developing your bespoke carpet.

Our colour reference library is made up of ‘poms’ that are perfectly proportioned to take on our consultations and to use freely around the design studio at 554 Kings Road. An industry standard reference tool, our library is the equivalent of Pantone for the fashion world and is regularly updated and constantly expanding.

A selection of Deirdre’s designs incorporating a red colour palette clearly demonstrates the variations of effect on the finished piece. From the sublime grading of reds to blues in the DUSK design and the transition from reds to pinks in ROMANCE are studied, soft and fluid.

ROMANCE

Whereas RUBY and SHIMMER use contrast of reds to emphasis shape, direction and geometry.

RUBY

SHIMMER

Just as much work and consideration goes into every rug we make for our customers as goes into making our original examples which are on display at the Kings Road gallery.

HEIRLOOMS

Ultimately Deirdre Dyson’s rugs are heirlooms and designed to last.

Wool and silk are by nature robust materials and by following our care instructions these rugs can be enjoyed for generations.

When you buy a bespoke hand knotted rug you are purchasing a contemporary collectable, an artwork for the floor which transcends trends and changing fashions.

 


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Win an Original Deirdre Dyson Rug and Benefit GoodWeave

 

In just a few short weeks, the winners of GoodWeave’s rug raffle will be announced!  Have you entered yet?

In celebration of GoodWeave’s 25th anniversary, Deirdre Dyson has donated her GOLDEN STONE rug (top right) valued at £4,314 to their annual raffle.

Inspired by the seashores of The Pearl Islands of Panama, GOLDEN STONE is hand-knotted in Tibetan wool and Chinese silk in shades of cream, gold, brown and coral. It measures 1.70 x 2.35m. For just a £20 charitable donation, you have a chance to own this luxury GoodWeave certified rug.

While Deirdre Dyson‘s design is stunning, we think the back of this rug is just as beautiful. On the underside, you will find a numbered GoodWeave label, meaning that independent inspectors ensured the rug’s manufacturing process met the highest ethical standards of production.

All proceeds benefit GoodWeave’s programmes for vulnerable and rescued children.

We  hope you enter to win GoodWeave’s charity raffle today! With every £20 ticket purchased, you improve your odds of winning and become a part of a beautiful story of freedom for children in Nepal, India, and Afghanistan. And remember, for every £80 worth of tickets you purchase, you’ll receive an extra one for free!

www.goodweave.org/raffle

 


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Edison’s musings on the iconic Fashion Photographer Guy Bourdin

As winter draws ever closer, it’s crazy to think how quickly the time has passed and that Maison 2020 is just around the corner.

It only seems like yesterday that we were on location at some fabulous properties, taking lifestyle images for Deirdre’s successful ‘Plumage Rug Collection’ styled by Louisa Grey.

In fact, that was a year ago and looking back at some of the wonderful photography by Michael Sinclair, I noticed a Guy Bourdin photograph pictured on one of the walls next to Deirdre’s QUILLS carpet.

How fitting, seeing that London Fashion Week is currently in full swing.

Considered as one of the important founders of contemporary photography, Bourdin’s images are highly charged and highly provocative; full of sensual and mysterious narrative but remaining colourful and often playful.

His advertising campaigns became synonymous with haute-couture whilst the product always came secondary to the image.

Even Madonna paid homage to Guy Bourdin in her 2003 ‘Hollywood’ music video, drawing direct inspiration from his most iconic images.


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5 Luxury Rugs to Breathe Life into Your Living Space

There is no better way to bring life to your interior than commission a perfectly proportioned hand knotted luxury rug, custom designed and coloured to suit your space.

The right rug anchors a room, can create a template for the colours used in an interior, frame a piece of furniture, ‘zone’ a space or be a focal point in itself.  Within Deirdre Dyson’s Rug Collection there is something for every scheme.

We’ve selected five of Deirdre Dyson’s luxurious bespoke hand knotted rugs to show how the right design can really bring a space to life.

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Plumes

PLUMES

This dynamic design uses three colours, one wool and two silk, making it an easy rug to incorporate into any interior.

It’s the intricacy of this hand knotted rug that truly brings it to life, with a lower pile height and the careful carving of elements, this fine rug sits comfortably in a traditional or contemporary context.

Here it looks perfect in the modernist Ahm House with a classic Arne Jacobsen Egg chair anchoring this restful seating area.

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Attitude

ATTITUDE

An apparently simple design that actually uses five colours in the silk ‘bars’ which can reflect the colours used in your interior, dialling up or down the colour to suit the mood of the room.

In this light and airy open plan penthouse apartment, a range of blues reflect not only the blue supporting columns and the furniture and accessories selected by the owner but also the sky outside.

The carpet also zones the seating area bordered by an L shaped sofa, whilst glass coffee tables are cleverly used so the view of the entire rug design is unobstructed, adding to the light and airy feel of the space.

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Forest Mosaic

FOREST MOSAIC

What better way to breathe life into a room than bring the outside in?  The rich palette of green silks used in FOREST MOSAIC would bring an organic freshness to any interior, particularly restful tones for a bedroom or sitting room.

Mosaic is one of Deirdre’s signature motifs and the intricacy of mosaic carpets allow the introduction of several colours which can have varying tonal shifts – for instance ROSE MOSAIC uses graduated reds and pinks whilst the mosaic effect adds a contemporary edge to the floral theme.

 

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Harlequin

HARLEQUIN

This modernist hallway is lifted by the bold primary colours in Deirdre’s HARLEQUIN hand knotted rug from this year’s PLUMAGE Collection.

The pops of red, black and white provide focal points and elements of drama contrasting with the strong blue shades in its wool/silk mix background and work perfectly with the stark simplicity of the brickwork walls and carefully selected furniture and objets.

 

 

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Dawn

DAWN

The graded silk copper bars in this hand knotted design reflect the burnished metal fence enclosing the patio outside and the graded blue wool reflects the sky.

Referencing the outside expands the sense of space in this narrow room, cleverly creating an optical illusion as the design is also reflected in the large expanse of glass.

Deirdre Dyson’s colour choices in this rug lifts this otherwise stark garden room and gives focus and softness to a space that could otherwise seem austere and unwelcoming.  The perfect place to relax on the classic Eames lounge chairs!

Interested in seeing more?


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The Design Process – your carpet from inspiration to delivery…

Every Deirdre Dyson carpet or rug is by its nature unique.

HARELQUIN hand knotted wool and silk rug from this years Plumage Rug Collection

As an entirely bespoke product, no two designs will ever be exactly the same, whether hand knotted or gun tufted, Deirdre’s carpets are made to last and the ancient processes involved in their manufacture take time.

Each year Deirdre creates a new themed rug collection, but these designs are just the starting point, Deirdre Dyson rugs are infinitely customisable – colours, size, composition and the design itself can all be altered to suit a client’s exact requirements.

Whether Deirdre’s colour choices are perfect for your scheme or if you want to create your custom version of a rug design, the process remains the same and the result is a luxurious, heirloom quality rug or carpet of your own.

THE CREATION OF A COLLECTION:

Deirdre colouring her initial sketch for her CORAL rug design

Deirdre’s carpets begin with a simple, hand coloured, pencil drawing.

Over the year’s Deirdre has sought inspiration in nature, the sky, sea and shoreline, stones, flowers, leaves and trees to the abstract – geometric and organic forms or the refraction of light.

Deirdre has complete creative control over every design in her annual rug collections.

Working with her Designer Nichola to digitise the design, together they refine it if necessary and add Deirdre’s carefully selected colours to precisely match her vision for that rug.

Colour is of course key. Deirdre selects from over 5,000 colour poms in wool and silk – her ‘paint box’.

Some of the 5,000 wool and silk poms from which Deirdre selects the colourways for each collection rug

This is a considered process, where the colours are observed in different lights and times of day to accurately reflect their relationship with each other and realise Deirdre’s concept perfectly.

Deirdre’s eye for colour is fundamental – as a Fine Artist she has both the innate skill and technical knowledge to find just the right juxtaposition of colours or the perfect tones to create an intricate colour grade (the subtle change of colour from dark to light as seen in rug designs such as EAGLE pictured below)

Detail of grading on Deirdre Dyson’s EAGLE hand knotted rug

Digitally colour matching Deirdre’s pom selection is a highly skilled task, Nichola has worked with Deirdre for almost twenty years and no amount of technology can mimic her colour matching abilities, which again can take days to refine, dependant on the hours of daylight available and how the colours appear in different lights, both on screen and in print.

Nichola’s accurate digital versions of the rug designs are stored for future adaptation and exact colour-perfect print versions are approved by Deirdre (or a client) before manufacture.

MANUFACTURE:

Once the design is finished to Deirdre’s exacting standard, it is sent to our trusted weavers in Nepal or, if gun tufted in 100% wool, to our manufacturers in Yorkshire.

We have long standing relationships with both and Deirdre has a strong, personal rapport with each. Communicating new design ideas involves close discussions regarding the technical elements involved.

The gun tufting process which uses 100% wool and is suitable for some designs.

Gun tufting is by far the quicker option (though no less careful and considered) and generally the suggested method of production for commercial projects or areas with higher footfall.

Given the limitations of tufting however, not all designs are suitable for this type of manufacture.

As with hand knotting quality control is paramount, with colour meticulously matched and designs executed to millimetre perfection.

HAND KNOTTING:

However, Deirdre Dyson is primarily known for her hand knotted rugs and has built her brand’s reputation on their luxurious quality.

The vast majority of bespoke rugs and all collection carpets are hand knotted by our weavers in Nepal using traditional techniques which are indigenous to the area and have been passed down through the generations.

Hand knotting creates a dense, luxurious pile but allows for the finest of detail and subtle colour transitions which are impossible to replicate by machine.

The art of hand knotting not only takes skill and patience, it involves age old techniques and tools which have remained unchanged over centuries.

One of our skilled weavers at work.

Climate is crucial to the process, as heat and sunshine is essential; from fixing dyes to drying and stretching the finished carpet, therefore the Monsoon season from June to August prolongs production time.

Additionally, weavers observe religious holidays and don’t work during these periods (particularly in January and February)  Ultimately these carpets are intrinsically linked with Nepalese traditions and the Nepalese way of life.

Deirdre Dyson is a long-time partner of Goodweave ensuring no child labour is involved in rug making and that the highest level of work practices and standards are maintained for weavers and their families.

DYEING:

All Deirdre’s chosen colours are colour matched exactly, amazingly this is all done by the highly skilled dye master by eye.

Raw yarn being dyed to exactly the right shade.

The dye master mixes scrupulously measured quantities of pigments to create accurate dyes.  The hand carded Tibetan wool and Chinese silk is then turned by hand in vats of the dye until precisely the right shade is achieved.

The dyed yarn is then allowed to dry naturally.  As it dries the heat of the sun fixes the dye which is then spun by hand to the correct ply and thickness.

Dyed yarn drying in the sun.

MAPPING:

Meanwhile, exact mapping of the design has taken place to create a template which hangs above the loom from which the weavers work.

This intricate graph carefully maps the position of every knot and colour change within the design, all painstakingly reproduced from Deirdre’s original and replicated by the weavers by eye.

WEAVING:

The hand knotting process itself is incredible to watch, the speed and dexterity of our weavers is truly astonishing, especially where there are complex grades (such as SEA WASH  pictured on the loom below) or intricately detailed carpets with fine lines (such as PLUMES)

Deirdre Dyson’s SEAWASH rug on the loom

The weaver’s create knots on the vertical ‘warp’ threads using a metal rod, an incredible 100 knots fit the area of a postage stamp which gives an indication of the intricacy involved.

Once a row is complete it is hammered tightly on to the row below and the yarn is cut to create a rough pile.

FINISHING:

When weaving is complete, each carpet is carefully washed, stretched and dried in the open air then precisely trimmed by hand to the correct pile height.

The fascinating and intricate carving process then takes place, where specific design elements are carefully clipped around to create definition.

Finally, the carpet is bound around the edges with matching yarn and our leather Deirdre Dyson label is attached.

Deirdre Dyson Exclusive Carpets and Rugs Label

Once approved, the carpet is then ready for packing and shipping back to our gallery in London.

A standard size rug will take approximately 14-16 weeks to complete from artwork sign off – with the production time rising depending on size and complexity of design.

Each element in the creation of your rug involves skill and a level of precision which cannot be rushed, this is ultimately an artisan process assisted by technology but not necessarily expedited by it.

The crucial elements of rug design and making are slow and considered and stand out in our world of mass production and instant gratification, the wait is worth it and the result is of the highest quality and designed to last a lifetime.