Hello! My name is Michael Christie and I am The Ruggist.
Welcome to the first instalment of a new feature I call ‘Monologue.’ Short, concise, micro-pod-casts in which I, not surprisingly, share my opinions and thoughts about myriad topics as they relate to and intersect with the trade of handknotted and handmade rugs and carpets. It’s a – wait for it – monologue in its simplest, albeit truncated, form.
Listen to Monologue!
Monologue – Episode 1 – Open Studio
We begin, as we must, at the beginning, the impetus for change which has seen The Ruggist evolve past what has been, transmogrified as it were into advocate for transcendental change which I believe is required if the craft of carpetry is to truly survive in these rapidly advancing and likewise socio-politically bewildering times. In short I work to more directly connect carpetry* to consumer while fostering an appreciation of handwërk in the 21st century.
The reasoning is simple enough for even the most obtuse amongst us. The success of the occidental trade of rugs and carpets has been predicated on criteria from past eras that no longer exist, yet legacy – and in many ways controlling – elements of this trade fail to adapt; lamenting instead that things are no longer as they once were. As a modernist I find this discouraging for while we should certainly learn from the past, we should not be bound to arbitrary rules and conventions simply because that is how ‘things are done.’
My first real concerted effort in this regard, to try new initiatives and approaches, is a project to reïncarnate the trade of handknotted rugs and carpets from Nepal. ‘Open Studio’ is a concept created by my friends and colleagues at Karnor Carpet Manufactory in Kathmandu in collaboration with their sister firm Zëko Design of Toronto. It seeks to introduce new designers to the intricacies of carpet making in order to foster new life, new energy, and new possibilities for Tibetan carpet making.
For my part, I will be there as erudite aficionado and learned liaison to guide creatives as they take a deep-dive into Tibetan carpet making. Open Studio takes place this autumn, 29 October 2023 through 10 November 2023 and I welcome any of you who wish to see novel approaches to carpetry take hold. The registration deadline is Friday, 18 August 2023 and more information can be found at karnorr.com or by messaging me.
This has been #monologuemonday.