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1840 Journal

Meet the artisans, discover their expertise, and share their passion.


Haut Beau | Handwoven rugs Haut Beau | Handwoven rugs

Pave your own road to success, or rugs, for that matter.

Meet Alec, the founder and designer of Haut Beau. With a free spirit and an open mind, he creates rugs that are part of an exploration of structure, colour, pattern and composition.

Haut Beau | Alec Sutherland Haut Beau | Alec Sutherland

In summer of 2015, Alec decided to stop college to fulfil his passion elsewhere. There was no enjoyment to create during that part of his life, so he began to explore his options. After working as an usher, tree planter and even firefighter, he then found a passion in knitting and weaving, where he would then create his own company. Later on, he decided to go back to school and study textiles at Concordia University and the Centre des Textiles Contemporains de Montréal. Alongside, he would submit his work to various design shows around the city. The acceptance was assurance from outside worlds, inspiring him to continue to pursue his passion of handweaving rugs. 

“You don’t have to follow norms. Doing something out of the regular system, out of place is what’ll make you get out of your comfort zone.”

Haut Beau | Woven rugs Haut Beau | Woven rugs

For Alec, rugs serve a useful purpose and have many artistic elements. His idea is to use his emotions in his work and not focus on just one element, in order to avoid having his process becoming redundant. An emotional person, he takes inspiration from his feelings and then translates them into art. “I like the artistic movement and the process behind my work. I like to be discrete, revisit changes and see where I can move differently. You know, not everything has to have a backstory. Art is simply the residue of my process.”

Haut Beau | Woven rugs Haut Beau | Woven rugs

All Alec's rugs are handwoven in his Montreal studio and he sources his materials from New Brunswick, ensuring the quality control in each piece. Weaving is a practice that not everyone is familiar with, which is what Alec wants to illustrate in his work. He's constantly evolving and exploring in his endless pursuit to do what he loves.

“The day I'm not 100% satisfied, I'll have to do something else so it won't feel destructive.”