WHO WE ARE  (page 3 of 15)

Istanbul, where our story begins...

As Chris has worked as an architect and designer for many years, he has always had a tremendous appreciation for traditional craftsmanship and design.  He understands that the often anonymous craftspeople who put their heart and souls into their making of useful and beautiful things are an essential part of the world's material culture.  So he had always been drawn to "Oriental" carpets, initially without really understanding the tradition and craft involved, rather just marveling at the magic of beautiful designs, textures, and colors. 

He was especially fascinated by the classical Anatolian carpets, these designs that had been so striking at the time of their inception, that they were imported in large numbers into Europe, over hundreds of years, where they were also appreciated and painted by celebrated Western artists, like Lotto and Holbein, by whose names we now call them. 

These carpet designs are a particularly relevant testimony to the power of great art to span across seemingly unbridgeable cultural boundaries. 

Chris has also been deeply influenced by his studies with the architect Christopher Alexander,  author of “A Pattern Language” and "The Nature of Order".  Alexander has assembled a renowned collection of early Turkish rugs.  His book “A Foreshadowing of 21st Century Art” is  both a documentation of his collection and a compelling and provacative theory about the intention, genesis, and potential future of this mode of pattern making.

In the Summer of 2001, Chris and his wife Biliana were in Istanbul, Turkey, on their honeymoon.  In addition to exploring the streets of this incredible and vital city, the Topkapi Palace, and the mosques of the architect Sinan, with their soaring structure, sinuous spaces and  shimmering Iznik tile work, and partaking of the generous hospitality of the Turkish people, they spent a lot of time looking at carpets, in the shops around Sultanahmet, and in the Grand Bazaar. 

But it was to the classic carpets in the Vakiflar and the Turkish and Islamic Museum (TIEM), with their bold colors and fantastic geometry that they kept coming back.

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