"Wider Than the Sky" - acrylic and ink on paper, 11" x 16". Ready to frame. Available here and at Artfinder.
"The brain is wider than the sky"
How much can one mind contain? It has been a glorious week of richly saturated experiences and really. really nice people. Where am I going to store all this in my head? Nooks and crannies filled with tidbits and nuggets. And a delightful story in the most unexpected of places.
I was recently introduced to the rugs of Morocco. And holy cow, that is a load of scrumptious eye candy. A couple small rugs snuck into our house...exquisite, vintage pieces which required special pads to be cut for them (hand woven rugs are generally asymmetrical and wonky, which I love.)
Wider Than The Sky
tiny tribal treasure front hall
jewel-tone beauty master bath
So I dutifully made the trek to southeast Portland to RayBurts, which the folks at Kat + Maouche assured me was THE PLACE to go for anything to do with the care of rugs. Whoa. A warehouse dedicated to tending our trodden treasures. What I wasn't prepared for were the three generations of rug wizards in the building, two of which gave me a tour of the facility and even the secret back rooms filled with rare thread and wool collected since the 1960's. I watched firsthand as a textile goddess hand-repaired a Persian (?) beauty. Rug wizard Matt demonstrated custom rug alterations and design, all of which take place on a massive floating wood floor which has been marked in grids for easy measuring. The floor holds the blade markings of a million rugs, I think. It is deeply scored and beautiful...like an ancient crone.
rug wizard Matt at work on the massive floating wood floor
wool thread from around the world
I watched environmentally friendly rug cleaning and drying, and was ASTONISHED by the complete lack of any chemical odor in the building. NO WAY! And I put my hands into tubs of rug cuttings from all around the world, painstakingly sorted and labeled as spare parts just in case a client needed a patch to match their own woven heirloom. It made me feel a little better about my own paper hoarding. You never know when you will need that tiny scrap.
What a joy to meet a family of textile whisperers! A local business, filled with pride and craftsmanship, generations old, and so friendly and generous with their time and knowledge. Which do I appreciate more - vintage Moroccan rugs or the people who tend them? Good thing I don't have to choose. :)