Monologue

Aesthetics and Luxury | Monologue

As the fanciful appreciation of craft and handwork ebbs and flows with the currents of economics, history, and taste, we, as both civilization and those of us who work, design, and toil in carpetry, must create and accept new models for our craft so that everyone benefits. That my friends, is de luxe.

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Meet Our Makers | Monologue

If the handknotted and handwork rug and carpet industry truly cares about craftsmanship and artistry, which is to say carpetry itself, I posit that it should then supplant egocentric marketing and advertising with that which truly honours those who craft the rugs and carpets we so love and appreciate. Isn’t it time that we truly meet our maker(s)?

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Proper Names | Monologue

In apparent reaction to the redeveloping tone and stance of The Ruggist, I was asked recently what things I think are imperative for the rug industry to change during these times of Covid. After the paramount and equal concerns of humanity and environment, foremost is that we must embrace honesty. Advertising and marketing, salesmanship, and yes of course my own critique of rugs and carpets must not only welcome the truth, but must also champion it above what is often not-so-politely called ‘bullshit.’ That era my friends has past; unfortunate as that may be as I myself have been know to write some great bee-ess.

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New Era | Monologue

Reflecting upon this moment in history, and moreover the demands it has placed on all of humanity, it has become clear we truly have little idea how to take care of ourselves. Yes, it is true we marginally know how to take care of some of it, but we unequivocally do not know how to take care of the disparate demands of society, civilization, and the individual. Look around with open eyes and that much is clear. Thus, for those who choose to work in the rug and carpet trade, there is – and perhaps there always was – a moral imperative to craft a luxurious product which respects not only the humans involved, but also the planet; the two are inextricably intertwined.

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Tapisserie Ras El Hanout, the Ras el Hanout Tapestry designed by Pierre Marie, made by Manufacture Robert Four in Aubusson, France. | Photograph courtesy of Pierre Marie.

Ras El Hanout | Pierre Marie

Pierre Marie was born in Nogent-Sur-Marne and as the child of ‘slightly hippie parents’ experienced a happy childhood filled with a passion for Disney animated films and ’an early enduring attraction to colour.’ Now as an accomplished designer in his early late thirties, he has prestigious collaborations with French brands such as Hermes and dyptique within his portfolio, or perhaps more accurately, oeuvre. He sees himself as an ‘artist-ornamentalist,’ that is it say, as Pierre Marie does, he is ‘Someone that has the talent and the knowledge to decorate any surface with a story, a pattern, a frieze. I would just say that some media are more hungry for drawing than others. And textile is definitely one of them.’

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Today we revisit one of my favourite past articles Today we revisit one of my favourite past articles, this one from 2017: ‘Vanquishing Manufactured Trends.’ Inspired by the uninspired prognostications of @pantone, I wrote this piece back in 2017 when the widely worshiped firm known for superior colour reference materials, decided that the ‘Colour of the Year’ would be ‘Ultraviolet.’ A false idol of colour forecasting, ‘Ultraviolet’ appeared to me to be nothing more than a rehash of paid consultancy work the firm did at the behest of the estate of the late, great musician Prince. As such, I question pretty much everything about the intent of Pantone, the societal leaches who manage the estate, and our own need to be told what colour is attractive and desirable this year. If you’re a design professional with a penchant for colour, please give the article a read and think again before you once again act like a lemming and promote the banality, homogeny, and wholly uninspired nature of forecast, predicted, or manufactured trends such as preördained colours of the year. If you’re as creative as you claim to be you will not be offended; if you are offended, well... ...as is said, ‘Do the maths!’ Read ‘Vanquishing Manufactured Trends’ today on The Ruggist, link in profile. Enjoy! #rugs #carpets #trends #colouroftheyear #coloroftheyear #coty #color #colour #forecasting #design #prince #banal #doyourownthing #interiors #interiordesign #interiorinspo #beinspired #leaddontfollow #themoreyouknow

Today we revisit one of my favourite past articles, this one from 2017: ‘Vanquishing Manufactured Trends.’ Inspired by the uninspired prognostications of @pantone, I wrote this piece back in 2017 when the widely worshiped firm known for superior colour reference materials, decided that the ‘Colour of the Year’ would be ‘Ultraviolet.’ A false idol of colour forecasting, ‘Ultraviolet’ appeared to me to be nothing more than a rehash of paid consultancy work the firm did at the behest of the estate of the late, great musician Prince. As such, I question pretty much everything about the intent of Pantone, the societal leaches who manage the estate, and our own need to be told what colour is attractive and desirable this year. If you’re a design professional with a penchant for colour, please give the article a read and think again before you once again act like a lemming and promote the banality, homogeny, and wholly uninspired nature of forecast, predicted, or manufactured trends such as preördained colours of the year. If you’re as creative as you claim to be you will not be offended; if you are offended, well... ...as is said, ‘Do the maths!’ Read ‘Vanquishing Manufactured Trends’ today on The Ruggist, link in profile. Enjoy! #rugs #carpets #trends #colouroftheyear #coloroftheyear #coty #color #colour #forecasting #design #prince #banal #doyourownthing #interiors #interiordesign #interiorinspo #beinspired #leaddontfollow #themoreyouknow ...

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One of my favourite places in the entire world (so One of my favourite places in the entire world (so far): Swayambunath at Sunrise. On any given trip to Kathmandu, probably two-thirds of the days I am there, I will depart my apartment before dawn in order to walk the two kilometres and 423 stairs to the temple. I use this time to reflect upon my role and place in the grand scheme of existence.

Today, far away from the fluid harmony of Kathmandu, this role, the mission if you will, seems oddly clear. I am here to help my friends, colleagues, and strangers within the rug and carpet making community of Nepal. Specifically we must do everything we can to ensure that the marketing and advertising messages of the past thirty years - ‘Our weavers are the best!,’ et cetera - are not just hollow messages of virtue signalling. Instead, we must actively and aggressively assist in preserving weaving in Nepal - if indeed we actually support the industry, ‘our’ manufactories as we say with colonial overtones.

That is it. A simple reminder that those who make the rugs and carpets we so love, enjoy, market, and sell - often at ridiculously high and somewhat exploitive prices not always reflective of value - are the ones most endangered by economic disruption. Weavers and virtually all workers involved in the rug and carpet trade are paid per square meter. If there are no rugs and carpets being made, there are no wages. This is the universal problem of those - such as weavers - who work for daily wages. If you are having your rugs and carpets knotted in Nepal, reach out to your manufacturer, find out what financial assistance you can provide, what innovative changes can be made, simply what can be done, and genuinely support the people upon whom our indulgent Western existence is dependant. Otherwise, you’re just another economic colonialist exploiting the developing world. Are we in this together, or (k)not? #rugs #carpets #kathmandu #weaving #handknotted #fortheloveofcarpets #swayambunath unath #timeforchange #supporthandmade #thefutureiscraft #embracethejourney #givebacktonepal #design #interiors

One of my favourite places in the entire world (so far): Swayambunath at Sunrise. On any given trip to Kathmandu, probably two-thirds of the days I am there, I will depart my apartment before dawn in order to walk the two kilometres and 423 stairs to the temple. I use this time to reflect upon my role and place in the grand scheme of existence.

Today, far away from the fluid harmony of Kathmandu, this role, the mission if you will, seems oddly clear. I am here to help my friends, colleagues, and strangers within the rug and carpet making community of Nepal. Specifically we must do everything we can to ensure that the marketing and advertising messages of the past thirty years - ‘Our weavers are the best!,’ et cetera - are not just hollow messages of virtue signalling. Instead, we must actively and aggressively assist in preserving weaving in Nepal - if indeed we actually support the industry, ‘our’ manufactories as we say with colonial overtones.

That is it. A simple reminder that those who make the rugs and carpets we so love, enjoy, market, and sell - often at ridiculously high and somewhat exploitive prices not always reflective of value - are the ones most endangered by economic disruption. Weavers and virtually all workers involved in the rug and carpet trade are paid per square meter. If there are no rugs and carpets being made, there are no wages. This is the universal problem of those - such as weavers - who work for daily wages. If you are having your rugs and carpets knotted in Nepal, reach out to your manufacturer, find out what financial assistance you can provide, what innovative changes can be made, simply what can be done, and genuinely support the people upon whom our indulgent Western existence is dependant. Otherwise, you’re just another economic colonialist exploiting the developing world. Are we in this together, or (k)not? #rugs #carpets #kathmandu #weaving #handknotted #fortheloveofcarpets #swayambunath unath #timeforchange #supporthandmade #thefutureiscraft #embracethejourney #givebacktonepal #design #interiors
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A remark made by a colleague the other day has sta A remark made by a colleague the other day has stayed top of mind since. My commentary was described as having an ‘enlightened sentiment,’ and now I wonder if that was meant as praise - for realising perspective is critical to understanding - or critique - for implying that if everything is exceptional, nothing is. And what precisely is wrong with the latter? Why not strive for superior quality across the board, with fair and equitable treatment of labourers, paramount respect for the environment, and new ways of working which eschew former models still riddled with vestigial processes and - quite frankly - unnecessary waste? That is what I had meant to imply; that exceptionalism as a malignant tumour of thought has had its time and we must now ask, ‘How can we do better?’ Some already have and those are the people I (generally) talk about and now only wish to align myself with. Said another way, the exceptional should be rare, but the overall process must be of high transcendent standards. I wasn’t quite so direct last November when I sat down for a filmed interview in a beautiful Kathmandu garden, but the sentiment was the same. Who wants to work with me as I promote the best practices we, as a society, as a civilisation, can conjure? 🙋🏻‍♂️ #rugs #carpets #handknotted #wool #kathmandu #handwork #equity #design #colour #color #interiors #exceptionalism #simplythebest #designer #livableluxury #arsgratiaartis #craft #arsetmetiers #fortheloveofcarpets #worthwalkingon #genchigenbutsu #smileyoureoncamera

A remark made by a colleague the other day has stayed top of mind since. My commentary was described as having an ‘enlightened sentiment,’ and now I wonder if that was meant as praise - for realising perspective is critical to understanding - or critique - for implying that if everything is exceptional, nothing is. And what precisely is wrong with the latter? Why not strive for superior quality across the board, with fair and equitable treatment of labourers, paramount respect for the environment, and new ways of working which eschew former models still riddled with vestigial processes and - quite frankly - unnecessary waste? That is what I had meant to imply; that exceptionalism as a malignant tumour of thought has had its time and we must now ask, ‘How can we do better?’ Some already have and those are the people I (generally) talk about and now only wish to align myself with. Said another way, the exceptional should be rare, but the overall process must be of high transcendent standards. I wasn’t quite so direct last November when I sat down for a filmed interview in a beautiful Kathmandu garden, but the sentiment was the same. Who wants to work with me as I promote the best practices we, as a society, as a civilisation, can conjure? 🙋🏻‍♂️ #rugs #carpets #handknotted #wool #kathmandu #handwork #equity #design #colour #color #interiors #exceptionalism #simplythebest #designer #livableluxury #arsgratiaartis #craft #arsetmetiers #fortheloveofcarpets #worthwalkingon #genchigenbutsu #smileyoureoncamera ...

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I’ve always loved the exceptional. Said with the I’ve always loved the exceptional. Said with the same tone, meaning, and unabashed pride as my fellow Americans when speaking of ‘American Exceptionalism,’ until I moved outside of United States I never realised the dichotomy of both the expression, and exceptionalism. In standard usage it has come to mean the above average, the rare, the recherché. THE standout rising above all others. Exempli gratia: The carpet shown being washed is an exceptional example of Nepali-Tibetan carpetry. (I love it so!!!) At the same time the carpet is truly not an exception. It is made the same way countless other carpets have been made by this manufacturer and so in many ways, it is also average. This is the unironic vernacular of ‘American Exceptionalism.’ Always exalting praise, rarely the realisation that when everything is amazing, nothing is, and never, ever, ever expressing the subpar. I’m reminded of the oughts, when countless showroom owners told me the one thing I needed know about their showroom was that it, and apparently it alone, was not like other showrooms. 😳🤔🤫 This mindset has plagued my writing and appreciation of rugs and carpets for years, it is also what has brought me notoriety, such that it is. So here we are understanding new paradigms, attempting to reconcile the oft manufactured and faux exceptionalism of many of these - and indeed other wares - with the now far more readily apparent needs and wants of civilisation. What exceptional thing will you now do to better the rug and carpet trade?

#rugs #carpets #fortheloveofcarpets #colour #color #worthwalkingon #handknotted #carpetry #craft #arsetmetiers #kathmandu #nepal #wool #design #interiors #rethinktherug #handwork #exceptional #orknot

I’ve always loved the exceptional. Said with the same tone, meaning, and unabashed pride as my fellow Americans when speaking of ‘American Exceptionalism,’ until I moved outside of United States I never realised the dichotomy of both the expression, and exceptionalism. In standard usage it has come to mean the above average, the rare, the recherché. THE standout rising above all others. Exempli gratia: The carpet shown being washed is an exceptional example of Nepali-Tibetan carpetry. (I love it so!!!) At the same time the carpet is truly not an exception. It is made the same way countless other carpets have been made by this manufacturer and so in many ways, it is also average. This is the unironic vernacular of ‘American Exceptionalism.’ Always exalting praise, rarely the realisation that when everything is amazing, nothing is, and never, ever, ever expressing the subpar. I’m reminded of the oughts, when countless showroom owners told me the one thing I needed know about their showroom was that it, and apparently it alone, was not like other showrooms. 😳🤔🤫 This mindset has plagued my writing and appreciation of rugs and carpets for years, it is also what has brought me notoriety, such that it is. So here we are understanding new paradigms, attempting to reconcile the oft manufactured and faux exceptionalism of many of these - and indeed other wares - with the now far more readily apparent needs and wants of civilisation. What exceptional thing will you now do to better the rug and carpet trade?

#rugs #carpets #fortheloveofcarpets #colour #color #worthwalkingon #handknotted #carpetry #craft #arsetmetiers #kathmandu #nepal #wool #design #interiors #rethinktherug #handwork #exceptional #orknot
...

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‘…the best carpets for a new era.’ What, pra ‘…the best carpets for a new era.’ What, pray tell, does this even mean?

Reflecting upon this moment in history, and moreover the demands it has placed on all of humanity, it has become clear we truly have little idea how to take care of ourselves. Yes, it is true we marginally know how to take care of some of it, but we unequivocally do not know how to take care of the disparate demands of society, civilization, and the individual. Look around with open eyes and that much is clear. Thus, for those who choose to work in the rug and carpet trade, there is - and perhaps there always was - a moral imperative to craft a luxurious product which respects not only the humans involved, but also the planet; the two are inextricably intertwined.

That is what ‘best carpets’ means. Those which respect both humans and the earth.

En masse, this will require new manners of distribution, new methods of production, new concepts of wealth, and new ideas about aesthetics and luxury. It will require treating workers of all levels equitably, and it must all be done so in a manner compatible with the needs of the planet and the environment. Simply put, no longer can we exploit impoverished workers to make a beautiful carpet that will simply be discarded at the whims of so-called fashionable society. So for those of you making and selling carpets which can be composted and returned to the earth, or are designed, crafted, and disposed of in accordance with the principles of circular design, I offer commendations, for you are leading the way. For the rest of you, particularly those firms making plastic rugs - cheap, expensive, or otherwise - whose only destiny is a landfill, or those making tufted (or any) rugs which cannot be readily deconstructed and recycled, or those feigning deference to the demands of customers, I say simply this, ‘Rethink what you are doing. You’re killing this planet in the name of vanity.’ #rugs #carpets #design #interiors #responsibledesign #reaponsibleluxury #circulareconomy #circulardesign #fortheloveofcarpets #interiordesign #colour #color #earth #saveourplanet #saveourselves #rethinktherug #interiordesigner #luxury #craftresponsibly #genchigenbutsu

‘…the best carpets for a new era.’ What, pray tell, does this even mean?

Reflecting upon this moment in history, and moreover the demands it has placed on all of humanity, it has become clear we truly have little idea how to take care of ourselves. Yes, it is true we marginally know how to take care of some of it, but we unequivocally do not know how to take care of the disparate demands of society, civilization, and the individual. Look around with open eyes and that much is clear. Thus, for those who choose to work in the rug and carpet trade, there is - and perhaps there always was - a moral imperative to craft a luxurious product which respects not only the humans involved, but also the planet; the two are inextricably intertwined.

That is what ‘best carpets’ means. Those which respect both humans and the earth.

En masse, this will require new manners of distribution, new methods of production, new concepts of wealth, and new ideas about aesthetics and luxury. It will require treating workers of all levels equitably, and it must all be done so in a manner compatible with the needs of the planet and the environment. Simply put, no longer can we exploit impoverished workers to make a beautiful carpet that will simply be discarded at the whims of so-called fashionable society. So for those of you making and selling carpets which can be composted and returned to the earth, or are designed, crafted, and disposed of in accordance with the principles of circular design, I offer commendations, for you are leading the way. For the rest of you, particularly those firms making plastic rugs - cheap, expensive, or otherwise - whose only destiny is a landfill, or those making tufted (or any) rugs which cannot be readily deconstructed and recycled, or those feigning deference to the demands of customers, I say simply this, ‘Rethink what you are doing. You’re killing this planet in the name of vanity.’ #rugs #carpets #design #interiors #responsibledesign #reaponsibleluxury #circulareconomy #circulardesign #fortheloveofcarpets #interiordesign #colour #color #earth #saveourplanet #saveourselves #rethinktherug #interiordesigner #luxury #craftresponsibly #genchigenbutsu
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Kathmandu Vignette (2019) Taken last November whi Kathmandu Vignette (2019)

Taken last November while my thoughts and plans were on a different trajectory, this photograph of a dear friend and colleague’s showroom in Kathmandu now offers inspiration as we collectively contemplate the future of rugs and carpets. Every carpet shown represents the untold - until now - vanguard efforts of a manufactory to craft not only the best quality carpetry, but to do so in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Not because regulations or laws require, but simply because it was and is the right thing to do. Unfortunately these details are oft and intentionally overlooked by the masses, glossed over in favour of lower price, cheaper quality, and exploitive practices. This latter must now cease and desist - even if this means foregoing handknotted rug sales - and we must embrace the former. In a time that requires novelty, #fortheloveofcarpets it is time to #rethinktherug . My apologies to @_cover_magazine_ for stealing the clever phrasing. 📸: @rupeshmaharjan_ #rugs #carpets #carpetry #colour #color #design #handknotted #wool #silk #kathmandu #nepal #handwork #sustainableliving #naturalfibres #environmentallyfriendly #thinkcritically #worthwalkingon #interiors #simplythebest #acceptonlythebest

Kathmandu Vignette (2019)

Taken last November while my thoughts and plans were on a different trajectory, this photograph of a dear friend and colleague’s showroom in Kathmandu now offers inspiration as we collectively contemplate the future of rugs and carpets. Every carpet shown represents the untold - until now - vanguard efforts of a manufactory to craft not only the best quality carpetry, but to do so in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Not because regulations or laws require, but simply because it was and is the right thing to do. Unfortunately these details are oft and intentionally overlooked by the masses, glossed over in favour of lower price, cheaper quality, and exploitive practices. This latter must now cease and desist - even if this means foregoing handknotted rug sales - and we must embrace the former. In a time that requires novelty, #fortheloveofcarpets it is time to #rethinktherug . My apologies to @_cover_magazine_ for stealing the clever phrasing. 📸: @rupeshmaharjan_ #rugs #carpets #carpetry #colour #color #design #handknotted #wool #silk #kathmandu #nepal #handwork #sustainableliving #naturalfibres #environmentallyfriendly #thinkcritically #worthwalkingon #interiors #simplythebest #acceptonlythebest
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Are you the menacing wave? Perhaps the small boat Are you the menacing wave? Perhaps the small boat facing peril? The two are not mutually exclusive and both perspectives are not only valid but also offer insight into the interpretation of ‘The Great Wave,’ as either original print or modern rug reproduction. Dutifully replicated by a skilled Nepali rug maker at the behest of @ukheritagerugs, ‘Wave’ - as the rug version is known - truly begs one to ask in a manner suitable for three-year-olds everywhere, ‘Why?’ Why license a public domain design from the @britishmuseum? Why do we feel the need to endlessly revisit and remake great past work instead of creating our own? And, most importantly to this rug and carpet snob, ‘Why isn’t the genre of rug design treated with more respect?’ Simply applying ‘design to canvas,’ which is to say copying artwork from one medium onto another without regard for the intrinsic qualities of the medium itself, as was done here is sophomoric at best, decidedly twee and fetishized at worst. ‘Wave’ as a rug is masterfully crafted but this has nothing to do with anyone in the United Kingdom, The British Museum, Hokusai,  nor especially this ‘stern and discerning’ critic. If we are to adapt the rug and carpet industry to the wants and needs, and indeed the sensibilities of this era - as we are now required to, due to factors beyond our control - then perspectives must shift away from empire and colonialism. After all, at any moment the volcano in the distance might decide to interject itself into the well made plans of fisherman and sea alike. Read ‘Empire in Retrospect’ on The Ruggist, link in profile. #rugs #carpets #fortheloveofcarpets #thegreatwaveoffkanagawa #thegreatwave #handknotted #nepal #kathmandu #wool #silk #woodblockprint #reproduction #knockoff #design #designer #artcritique #interior #fishing #volcano #wave #criticalthinking #themoreyouknow🌈 #genchigenbutsu

Are you the menacing wave? Perhaps the small boat facing peril? The two are not mutually exclusive and both perspectives are not only valid but also offer insight into the interpretation of ‘The Great Wave,’ as either original print or modern rug reproduction. Dutifully replicated by a skilled Nepali rug maker at the behest of @ukheritagerugs, ‘Wave’ - as the rug version is known - truly begs one to ask in a manner suitable for three-year-olds everywhere, ‘Why?’ Why license a public domain design from the @britishmuseum? Why do we feel the need to endlessly revisit and remake great past work instead of creating our own? And, most importantly to this rug and carpet snob, ‘Why isn’t the genre of rug design treated with more respect?’ Simply applying ‘design to canvas,’ which is to say copying artwork from one medium onto another without regard for the intrinsic qualities of the medium itself, as was done here is sophomoric at best, decidedly twee and fetishized at worst. ‘Wave’ as a rug is masterfully crafted but this has nothing to do with anyone in the United Kingdom, The British Museum, Hokusai, nor especially this ‘stern and discerning’ critic. If we are to adapt the rug and carpet industry to the wants and needs, and indeed the sensibilities of this era - as we are now required to, due to factors beyond our control - then perspectives must shift away from empire and colonialism. After all, at any moment the volcano in the distance might decide to interject itself into the well made plans of fisherman and sea alike. Read ‘Empire in Retrospect’ on The Ruggist, link in profile. #rugs #carpets #fortheloveofcarpets #thegreatwaveoffkanagawa #thegreatwave #handknotted #nepal #kathmandu #wool #silk #woodblockprint #reproduction #knockoff #design #designer #artcritique #interior #fishing #volcano #wave #criticalthinking #themoreyouknow🌈 #genchigenbutsu ...

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Shibori Style | An Exploration

From Nathan Tucker of Lapchi’s Rug Design Studio in Chicago, Illinois: ‘I guess when it comes to reïnterpreting a certain medium or artistry into handknotted carpets, there’s always going to be a challenge, depending on how close of an analogue to the original inspiration you’re trying to achieve. In shibori’s case, the general patterning is something that’s pretty easy to recreate with a graphed knot. Specifically, the itajime technique of shibori is something you see a lot of; the more geometric style of block/resist dying.’

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Brave Conversations | Over Coffee

It began innocently enough as I was preparing in May of 2018 to travel to Portland, Oregon to observe and document the making of ‘Intimacy Portland,’ a joint project between Christiane Millinger Handmade Rugs and Rug Star by Jürgen Dahlmanns. I was conducting field research for the article and eventual presentation ‘Inside Intimacy Portland’ for Rug Insider Magazine and – as one did in 2018 and still does in 2020 – I was browsing the titles available for download on Netflix; plane travel after all can be notoriously monotonous. One documentary quickly caught my attention: ‘Coffee for All,’ or ‘Caffè Sospeso’ as originally titled. I downloaded it partially out of sincere interest, partially out of the serendipitous nature of traveling to a renown coffee mecca: Portland, Oregon. The short film proved to be the entrée which has refocused my life.

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Fruition | Handknotted Nylon Part 5 of 5

To explore the creation of a new product is to take a step away from what has been into the unknown, the perhaps unfathomable, the hitherto unrealized. It requires a degree of modernism and a progressive mindset insomuch that conservatism simply tends to favour the status quo. With that comes a degree of irony associated with rug makers of today who while immediately embracing the aesthetics du jour, also favour steadfast traditional techniques even at the expense of efficacy and efficiency, socio-economic concerns, and as is relevant to ‘Nylon Engulfed’ the prototype handknotted carpet made of ECONYL® regenerated nylon, contemporary environmental and climatological concerns.

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The Handmade Carpet | A Review

The nearly three-hundred pages of text and imagery of ‘The Handmade Carpet’ contain a wealth of knowledge accumulated over the long and storied careers of the authors Fritz Langauer and Ernst A. Swietly. The assertive authors undoubtably put forth superior and exhaustive efforts in compiling what amounts to multiple lifetimes of experience, information, expertise, commentary, and so forth as they attempt to explain, as the subtitle of the tome – ‘A Comprehensive Guide to Contemporary Rugs’ – purports, contemporary rugs and carpets. In the final analysis however, it must be stated that while the volumn is indeed comprehensive in regard to certain aspects of contemporary carpetry, it likewise lacks in its treatment of contemporary as the word has come to be employed in the colloquial of today.

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Domotex Hannover 2019 Complimentary / Free Admission | The Ruggist

With Compliments! | Domotex

For most people in the Northern Hemisphere the arrival of January signals Winter’s grasp has firmly taken hold, yet for itinerant rug and carpet buyers eager to spot the latest trends, find an antique gem in the rough, or explore the innovations which will drive the future of rugs and flooring, January can mean only one thing: Domotex. Billed by the organizers as ‘The World of Flooring’ the original fair in Hannover, Germany as well as the complementary regional shows including Domotex Turkey in Gaziantep, Turkey, Domotex Asia/ChinaFloor in Shanghai, China, and the soon to be inaugurated Domotex USA in Atlanta, United States, certainly live up to, if not exceed, this moniker. The January 2019 fair in Hannover will host over 1,600 exhibitors who will – assuming past trends hold – attract approximately 45,000 buyers representing in total over 100 countries from around the world. In short, it’s big, it’s important, and if you are serious about rugs and carpets, it’s a must attend. The Ruggist will be there for the duration of Domotex 2019 which runs Friday, 11 January through Monday, 14 January, 2019.

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Born in the Purple - Viron Erol Vert - Art Carpets - The Ruggist

Born in the Purple | Viron Vert

Like many topics related to the esoteric world of handmade rugs and carpets – and indeed of civilization broadly – different perspectives, different attitudes, different life experiences, different perceptions of the one true reality all influence how one reacts. Art, specifically the notion of carpets and rugs as art is by no means an exception, and it is this idea which routinely finds its way into the marketing and sales of rugs and carpets. ‘Art for the floor.’ and countless of other permutations of this tagline exist today just as they indubitably have existed since mankind first discovered the trade of rugs could be profitable. But ‘art’ is no clearly defined term. Contemporary usage leads one to understand many skills, artforms, and crafts as art. Cooking for example, or painting, or sculpture, to name but a few. Art, perhaps in an elitist attempt to winnow away the chaff, is also categorized into distinct sub-groups. Fine art, decorative art, folk art, classical art, again to name but a few.

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Embargo On... Again | Iran Sanctions - The Ruggist

Embargo On… Again | Iran Sanctions

Pursuant to this directive once the first wind-down period ends on 6 August 2018, the government of the United States will revoke several JCPOA related authorizations regarding sanctions on Iran, namely: The importation into the United States of Iranian origin carpets and foodstuffs and certain related financial transactions pursuant to general licenses under the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 560 (ITSR). Further information regarding sanctions can be found from the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). In short, importation of Iranian made carpets into the United States after 6 August 2018 will – once again – be illegal. No other country currently has plans to enact an embargo on Iranian made carpets.

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Kyle and Kath - Jan Kath Design and Avenues World School launch Crossroads & Avenues. This project is a creative collaboration between the children of Avenues: The World School of New York City and the Kesang Primary School of Kathmandu. This global project brings together the creativity of children from opposite sides of the world in order to explore their cultural views and interpretations of design as seen through a child's eye. The result: fresh and original Nepali-Tibetan carpets. | The Ruggist.

Crossroads and Avenues | Excelsior!

Kyle and Kath – Jan Kath Design New York and Avenues the World School quietly launched the Crossroads and Avenues design project in January 2018. The brainchild of Kyle Clarkson, Managing Partner and designer at the firm, Crossroads and Avenues extends an ongoing multi-year program in which Kyle and Kath hosts schoolchildren educating them on the art, craft, and design of handmade carpets. During these class visits, children learn about the art of handknotted carpets and are given the freedom to imagine and create their own carpet design. ‘The kids have had such fun creating their own designs that I was inspired to take it to the next level and produce a few of their designs at our factory in Nepal.’ says Clarkson of the effort. Originally envisioned as a way to expose handwork to students whose lives are admittedly removed from such work, the project – with the encouragement and support of Avenues: The World School of New York City – quickly developed into a global collaboration bringing together disparate cultures and interpretations of design; all through the as of yet unjaded eyes of children.

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Iranian Moderne as represented by the carpet 'Miran' by Farahan Carpet. | Image courtesy of Farahan Carpet. | The Ruggist.

Iranian Moderne | Farahan Carpet

Persian and Oriental are two terms whose use in reference to rugs and carpets conjures mental images of familiar designs such as Tabriz, Kashan, Heriz, and Kerman even if the proper names remain unfamiliar or unknown. These designs, just like many others originating in either Iran itself, the geography of the former Persian Empire, and indeed in Central-Asia broadly have also come to be known as so-called Traditional carpets with all three terms used more or less interchangeably, in part due to the region’s former centuries spanning dominance of carpet production and trade. So while there inarguably remain innumerable examples of equally as traditional weaving and design the world over, the aesthetics of Persia have come to monopolize what is known as Traditional, Oriental, or Persian (T.O.P.) design, at least in rugs and carpets from the Western perspective.

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Jan Kath has introduced a new carpet named 'Magic View II' which is a fusion of Magic View and Cloud. | The Ruggist

Magic View II | Jan Kath

As the early 21st century begins to wane many of the innovations which have propelled the art of carpetry to its current zenith have passed from novel to commonplace. The technology which brought forth the rise of photorealism in carpets is now pervasive; its functionality enjoyed by countless carpet makers and designers the world over – regardless of their artistic or aesthetic merits. This is the natural state of progress, yet as any connoisseur knows there can be and is great divide between technical and artistic acclaim. In short, just because one can manipulate an image via computer and make it into a carpet does not mean one should. However, time and time again the firm of Jan Kath has demonstrated an adept ability to find balance between technical achievement and artistic merit; this is the nexus point, the so-called ‘sweet spot’, and in its latest manifestation it presents itself as the enchanting ‘Magic View II’.

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Ragmate is the 2018 evolution of the successful Ragamuf Chair Cover of 2017. Image courtesy of Ragmate. | The Ruggist

Avant-garde Rugs for a Modern Crisis | Ragmate

While the Ragmate Collection of cushion (toss pillow) covers, throw rugs, floor rugs and wall rugs possesses the same endearing shaggy texture as the original Ragamuf, the technique of manufacture differs. Instead of being handknotted to a stretchy substrate – as was the process for the Ragamufs designed by Finnish designer Tuula Pöyhönen – Ragmates are instead knotted to a stable net, which is a ‘very old and common technique, at least in Finland’ according to Leskelä. Utilizing waste textiles from the fashion industry, Ragmate is the realization of the long-held dream of Leskelä and the result of her endeavours to help those in need. ‘I want to use my skills and expertise so that as many female refugees as possible will have the chance to improve their condition to survive in their lives.’ Each individual and unique Ragmate (no two are the same) bears attribution for the Syrian refugee who handknotted it and in some instances even offers inspirational thoughts from the same.

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UK Heritage Rugs as featured on The Ruggist

Empire in Retrospect | UK Heritage Rugs

In speaking with UK Heritage Rugs’ Principal Brian Sales during Domotex it was apparent his passion, no, his calling, no, his mandate was not to be euphemistically inspired by the work of others – as is the purported case of so many who knock-off the work of others, but rather it was to honour the originals. By working closely with the curators who oversee the works his firm licenses Sales was able to ensure – as best possible given no-one involved created the originals – the carpets present the artwork in a manner befitting the originals’ museum quality status, however the reader prefers to interpret that. Without hesitation Sales has succeeded in this regard, though whether or not the firm’s carpets themselves are ‘museum quality’ is an academic question left for the reader and future curators.

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The Handmade Carpet | A Review

The nearly three-hundred pages of text and imagery of ‘The Handmade Carpet’ contain a wealth of knowledge accumulated over the long and storied careers of the authors Fritz Langauer and Ernst A. Swietly. The assertive authors undoubtably put forth superior and exhaustive efforts in compiling what amounts to multiple lifetimes of experience, information, expertise, commentary, and so forth as they attempt to explain, as the subtitle of the tome – ‘A Comprehensive Guide to Contemporary Rugs’ – purports, contemporary rugs and carpets. In the final analysis however, it must be stated that while the volumn is indeed comprehensive in regard to certain aspects of contemporary carpetry, it likewise lacks in its treatment of contemporary as the word has come to be employed in the colloquial of today.

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Do We Need More Design? | Op-Ed

Lately I have been asking myself this question over and over again. Perhaps because I live in a design-obsessed city, as revealed by everything from the foam patterns on one’s morning cappuccino to the style of pyjamas one wears at night. Perhaps because we just experienced ‘Milan Design Week’, a stellar event which exhibits – on a grand, theatrical scale – the myriad of possible configurations of this word ‘design’. Perhaps because furniture design has become more responsive to commercial tastes, therefore influencing designers to come up with more of the same, without much venturing into unchartered territories.

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