Whether on my own volition as commentator via former incarnations of this website (Please see the Archive section for past blog posts.) or as paid contributor to other publications including COVER and Hali Magazines, or during my time as contract Editor of the trade publication Rug Insider, I have written extensively on the handknotted and handmade rug and carpet trade.
In the early years of The Ruggist (2008-2015) my writing was highly irreverent and ‘about’ the rug and carpet trade, written as it was from the perspective of a former showroom manager with an eye toward what one might purchase to kit out and equip a well stocked trade-only handknotted rug and carpet showroom. Over time (2015-2022) and concurrent with the rug trade press’ then embrace of my writing, the style slowly transitioned to be more professional in tone and character. But this era was a bit of a façade if you will; a time in which The Ruggist was writing ‘for’ the industry, not about the industry. Industry said as it is favouring the position of the import and wholesale trade, not necessarily production and weaving.
I decided it was best for my own creativity and calling – such that that is a thing – for me to say good-bye to this era; to do away with the façade of The Ruggist. And while one might argue the insignificance of the truthfully mild inconvenience of editing ones thoughts, if we are to except handknotted carpets as art, we likewise must accept writing as art. And good art, the best art, is unfiltered and raw. In all honestly however I think both weaving and writing are, in addition to art, craft as well, and I consider myself a far better craftsman than artist.
With the pandemic era (2020-2023) and learning how to weave came fresh perspective on what it means to be ‘essential’ and moreover, how we choose to treat those in society upon whom we simultaneously depend and undervalue. And this was before the mainstream launch of generative artificial intelligence which caused me to seriously question the purpose of ‘trade style’ writing, as I’ll call it; a machine will soon do that work I am afraid, and so I must endeavour to remain superior – in some manner – in skill to that of a machine. I must, as fanatics like myself ague, imbue soul into our art, be it carpet or writing; this sentiment taken from my presentation ‘Weavers are (K)not Robots.’
I realized I care too much about the primacy of handwërk and craft to write ‘for’ an industry which, broadly speaking, exploits the informally educated so that the economically privileged can live a decadent lifestyle. We must acknowledge the singular moment this era offers humanity, and we must choose to talk ‘about’ things for only then will we solve the problems necessity requires of us if we are to right civilization’s relationship with nature and truthfully, one another. That is what I, Michael Christie, writing as The Ruggist, now strive for; at least in my small corner of the world.
Freelance Editorial Writing
In the modern era (2023-current) I have reïncarnated my past irreverence, intentionally breaching the protectionistic and colonial norms of ‘for the industry,’ for those methods, while perfectly acceptable – perhaps even appropriate – in past eras are now out of place in this ever more connected world. In combination with all I have learnt in twenty-seven (27) plus years working in the rug and carpet trade, my intent – such that it is – is to bring a well-informed voice ‘about’ the anachronistic world of carpetry.
If you’ve read this far and find my thoughts appealing, and if your publication – print, digital, or otherwise – is in need of exceptionally considered viewpoints on carpetry and the nature of weaving in the 21st century, please contact me to discuss how my voice will add to the mosaic from which positive, human first, change arrises.
These articles appeared originally on The Ruggist and have been updated so as to keep both the formatting as well as information therein relevant. Generally speaking these article reflect foundational thoughts which influence my current work.
These articles appeared originally in various publications, mostly print, as noted on on each article. Every attempt has been made to ensure this selection exhaustive and fully reflective of the type of freelance editorial I have written in the past.
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Calling as art the vast majority of rugs and carpets made today is intellectually dishonest and in truth no different than calling mass produced paintings from China that have ‘just the right hint of blue that ties the room together’ art as well. There are of course rare exceptions but in a world driven by…
Pierre Marie sees himself as an ‘artist-ornamentalist,’ which 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…
This article came to be quite serendipitously in March 2023 while I was already in Kathmandu, Nepal for field work related to Establishing Trade for …