Friday, March 19, 2021
Thursday, March 18, 2021
This is one of my favorite views in the entire world. And I am beyond grateful that it is of my own desktop. I know that I am beyond blessed to love my work as much as I do. I don't know what cosmic lottery I won to get to do what I love - to do for work what I would do anyway as a hobby. But I remind myself every day that this is truly a gift. Especially this year during what was such a challenging year for so many, I am grateful that I had this craft to turn to - to drown out all the worries.
It is hard to put into words what I love so much about restoring rugs. Part of it is purely sensorial. I love the different textures. I love feeling the yarns between my fingers - the coarse wool, the smooth silk, the delicate antique yarns, the robust freshly dyed yarn. I love seeing the vibrant electric colors of Moroccan rugs against the muted rich jewel tones of antique Persian rugs. I even love the quiet hush of my hand rubbing against the knotted pile of a beautiful hand knotted rug. I feel a deep sense of gratification as my work is slowly visually manifested into a pattern replacing a hole or a tear that had long ago compromised a beautiful piece. And I feel a strange, but strong, connection to the weaver whom I will never meet, but whose work I hold in my hands for weeks, sometimes months. I think about her life (because it is almost always a her) and wonder what her life was like, what she wanted to express in her art, what each placement of a motif meant to her. I wonder if she meant to sell this rug - if she helped pay for something for her home with what she got for it, or if somehow this rug was meant for herself or her family and over the years, a grandchild sold it for something for his or her home. It is almost always impossible to ever know, but I imagine all these scenarios through each knot and each loop. And for hours, weeks, months, and years, this is what I do. And it is among my life's greatest gifts. ---www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Monday, March 15, 2021
When a rug is knotted, or reknotted in the case of a rug restoration project, a weaver will use long yarns to knot wool motifs against a grid-like warp and weft. The yarns have to be long-ish for a weaver to be able to manipulate them. Because of their length, the knotted motifs close to the base of the rug are not always very clear to a weaver. Only after the reknotting is done will a weaver cut the excess yarn down so that the pile is of a uniform (short) length. The shearing can be done either with scissors or with a mechanical shearing tool shown above. No matter how it is done, the shearing allows for the pattern to reveal itself more clearly. This is a very enjoyable part of a restoration project as the shearing makes it look like the pattern somehow magically appears (and it also signifies the project is almost done!). ---www.traditionalrugrepair.com
Tuesday, March 9, 2021