Janice Feldman, Montecito resident and national furniture design icon, will celebrate the release of her new book, Loom: Woven Paper Furniture, on Tuesday, February 9 at Chaucer’s Books. Feldman is the president and founder of JANUS et Cie, an indoor and outdoor furniture company located in 13 locations around the United States and Mexico. One of her stores is in Los Angeles.
Born in Northern California, Feldman spent most of her childhood in the Los Angeles area. She said that besides a love of painting, she has always had a talent for constructing things: As a young girl, she was enrolled in a home economics class, but was eventually granted the right to be the first girl in a Los Angeles Unified School District wood shop class instead.
At age 20, Feldman left the Los Angeles College of Design to go to England and buy $10,000 worth of antiques for a friend, afterward driving a Volkswagen across Europe. She painted portraits for tourists in order to support her new and expensive interest: high-class hotels. Feldman said her exposure to these hotels was the beginning of an interest in interior design, one that would eventually lead to the founding of JANUS et Cie.
Thirty-two years later, JANUS et Cie has grown to become an international company servicing both residential and service-industry clients, and Feldman is releasing a book. Loom: Woven Paper Furniture describes how Feldman found a kitchen table and four chairs in her grandmother’s home, and, setting about to restore the pieces, discovered that they were made of paper. Eventually, this old kitchen table led Feldman to 20 years’ worth of subsequent discovery and the revival of a 104-year-old technique known as Lloyd Loom.
Lloyd Loom involves the weaving of a special paper twisted around wire on an apparatus much like a traditional fabric loom. This “fabric” is then finished and attached to a foundation. Lloyd Loom is thus made of recyclable material, and is very versatile and durable.
Feldman’s book explores the history of Lloyd Loom around the world. Meanwhile, back at home, JANUS et Cie has been busily producing Lloyd Loom pieces, with 135 styles in the collection today for both interior and exterior use.
Feldman has truly found what many dream of: a way to combine her various passions and make something of them. “I can’t wait to get up every morning and go to work,” said Feldman.