Tom Lerental is inspired by the architecture of textiles. Instead of focusing her attention solely on innovative materials and patterns, the Boston-based founder of Tomma Bloom also likes to think beyond the loom on form. “Traditionally, textiles are a flat medium,” she says Home business. “My work reinvents them into 3D structures.”
Born in Tel Aviv and raised in central Israel, Lerental grew up surrounded by art and design. “My grandmother was a textile artist,” she says. “I spent my childhood working with her, obsessed with all the details, textures and colors.” Building on this rich family history, she studied textile design at Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art in Ramat Gan, Israel, before completing a Master of Arts in Multidisciplinary Art at Tel Aviv University. “I was immersed in the tools of the trade and curious about how I could use them to transform traditional textiles into tangible experiences,” says Lerental.
After graduating, Lerental moved to New York, where she lived off commissions and freelance projects before launching Tomma Bloom in 2019. Although she moved to Boston soon after, she presented her inaugural collection , Sonia & René, at WantedDesign Manhattan in 2021 for rave reviews. “It’s a contemporary take on the art deco aesthetic with nine fabrics and a pair of artist-inspired 3D wall tile designs Sonia Delaunaybold geometric paintings and the tiny embellishments of Rein Lalique‘s glass designs,” she says of the series.
All of Lerental’s designs begin with mixed-media compositions that she creates by hand using cut-out paper and gouache. Once she has chosen a certain configuration, the design is photographed and then digitally manipulated before being printed in small batches on 100% cotton fabric. “This [process] allows me to deconstruct traditional shapes and forms and rework them into something more contemporary,” she says.
All of Lerental’s designs begin with mixed-media compositions that she creates by hand using cut-out paper and gouache. Once she has chosen a certain configuration, the design is photographed and then digitally manipulated before being printed in small batches on 100% cotton fabric.
To forge her imaginative wall designs, she relies on CAD software and a 3D printer to translate the patterns into distinct molds which she uses to hand-cast each individual tile. “The tiles are made of polymer-modified gypsum that is suitable for both indoors and outdoors,” she explains. “And since each mold is unique, each tile can be customized in any size or color to create a seamless 3D repeat.”
Although form reigns supreme for Lerental, color, especially eye-catching hues such as cobalt blue, bright orange and fuchsia, also plays a key role in his designs. “Color has a transformative power and therefore serves as a medium through which I can explore different shapes and patterns,” she says.
On May 15, Lerental will launch its latest collection, Meta Ornament, at WantedDesign Manhattan during the NYCxDesign Festival. The series includes 10 kaleidoscopic upholstery fabrics as well as four wall tile designs made of MDF and plaster. “I wanted to dive deeper into ornamental textiles,” she says. “By incorporating hard, non-traditional materials into my designs, I give them a modern feel.”
If you want to know more about Tomma Bloom, visit the brand’s website or follow them on Instagram.
Homepage Photo: Rhythm Two, Dots and Grid Upholstery Fabric by Tomma Bloom | Roni Cnanni