What is most interesting about ‘Menagerie’ is the overall composition and juxtaposition utilizing elements that are, in reality, quite texturally distinct. Large and looming elephants with their eraser like skin. Pouncing Cheetahs with ostentatiously soft and contemporaneously verboten pelts. Peacocks with wispy and delicate feathers. Verdant and fern like foliage swaying gently in a cool forest breeze. All of these elements rendered and re-imagined in luscious and variable combinations of Tibetan wool, silk, and natural nettle fibres.
It was with great fanfare that Pantone announced: ‘For the first time, the blending of two shades – Rose Quartz and Serenity are chosen as the PANTONE Color of the Year’ for 2016. As has come to be expected there was an immediate flourish of social media and the subsequent announcement from industry insiders announcing their partnerships and ‘Color of the Year’ themed and coloured products. Sephora has introduced the ‘Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year 2016’ makeup collection including Rose Quartz or Serenity coloured lipsticks. Perfect for those occasions when you cannot decide whether you want that healthy rosey glow or that ‘perhaps I should not have fallen through the ice and frozen to death’ tint on your lips, I say with no small degree of sarcasm. Kitchenaid was quick to announce that – thankfully – Color of the Year versions of their iconic stand mixer are available, though the Guava Glaze, a warm pink tone based on Rose Quartz (likely so named for certain reasons involving lame application of Copyright and Trademark laws), will not be available until summer 2016. Quelle horreur! To say that The Ruggist is underwhelmed by this selection and its seemingly apparent lemming like following would be an understatement.
How we choose to describe the texture and feel of rugs and carpets speaks volumes to what we most cherish and on first glance it would appear as though anything describable as smooth ranks highly amongst those things. Smooth as glass. Smooth as a baby’s bottom. Smooth as silk. Smooth as velvet, though rarely is the type of velvet mentioned. Each describes something as smooth – that is to say as relatively even and not rough, yet each of these various similes conveys important and subtle differences. Smooth as glass is certainly a desirable characteristic when describing a paint finish, but to describe a carpet, likely not. Carpets should be smooth like velvet! Yes, velvety smooth. Preferably linen velvet. That kind of velvet smoothness, or is it ‘chippy and brittle’? But what about other descriptions? ‘It’s like butta!’, shaggy, wispy, cloud like, durable, pliable, to name but a few. All of which describe what is known as the hand of the carpet and they invite the casual observer to ‘Come on now touch me!’ – quoting the Doors to convey the degree of sensuality carpets with exceptional hand possess.
It’s frustratingly cliché, but it’s the rug industry. The later half of that sentence has been uttered innumerable times as justification of some archaic practice that while remaining perfectly entrenched in the rug industry is not quite at home in our current times. Some are egregiously out of touch, others quaint and endearing. It is, after all, the rug industry and we must accept it for what it is or so goes the conventional wisdom. The problems – seemingly infinite as they might be – occur when convention, tradition, and ‘because that is the way we’ve always done it’ meet the modern legal structure in which we have chosen to live. As previously discussed in nauseating detail and considerable length (both on The Ruggist and in COVER) the issue of Copyright in the rug industry is not the simple black or white issue many would have you believe. Even if it were black and white (or is that white and black?), which hue of black and which hue of white are we discussing exactly? So many possibilities that we shan’t touch upon today; the position of The Ruggist is clear: Do not copy. Copy being – of course – a heavily nuanced word. It is however, the complete and utter lack of nuance that once again brings the issue of Copyright back to this electronic page.
Around this past Labour Day I had the pleasure of corresponding with a long term friend and colleague named Tom DeMarco. Through a series of emails we discussed his carpet ethos and methodology and how the decisions he makes regarding his carpet construction contribute not only to their quality, but also to their mysterious je ne sais quoi of desirability. Without further adieu, I present a unique behind the scenes look at the creative process that defines one man’s vision for making an authentic carpet in this day and age. Ladies and gentlemen: Kooches.
‘It was the loveliest party that I’ve ever attended, if anything was broken I’m sure it could be mended.’ – They Might Be Giants. This opening quote, like so many random quotes, has been taken out of its original context and dropped headfirst into the void allowing for a new meaning more suited to the purpose at hand. For unlike the song from which the line originates, there are no socially inappropriate connotations to be had, only the simple sincerity of the words at face value: It was a lovely party – hosted by the passionate Christiane Millinger – and with certainty had any carpet inexplicably sustained damage the fastidious Ms. Millinger would have been able to execute the repair.