Thursday, March 18, 2021

From the Desktop of an Antique Rug Restorer


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

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