While in Istanbul Chris & his
wife Biliana and tried to find contemporary versions of the classic carpets. The few
they found literally paled in comparison to the originals. When
they spoke to rug dealers about this, the dealers sympathized.
Some suggested that the intense colors and intricate designs of these antique rugs
were too strong, they don't fit contemporary taste for a more
subdued, "background" carpet.
So Chris gave up on this
quest. He purchased some modest "Village" and "Tribal" design
rugs and resigned himself to appreciating these classic carpets
in books and museums.
Still, as over the years
Chris continued to draw these patterns, studying
their history, color and geometry, knot by knot, warp and weft,
he cultivated an even deeper appreciation of the intentions and
genius of their designers, dyers and weavers.
"As I made more elaborate
drawings, I began to think about how I might actually make some
real carpets. At first this seemed like something crazy,
but I persisted."
In 2005 he was introduced to
two families of carpet makers, one in Anatolia and one in the
Caucasus, and started to work with them, combining their
manufacturing expertise with his passion for these patterns.
Together, since then, they
have further refined the designs and the technical aspects of
production, including the wool quality, natural dye colors,
foundation structure, finishing (selvedges, kilims, and
fringes) shearing and washing.
Chris says "I have also been very fortunate to
have been encouraged and mentored by many wonderful people in
the carpet world as well,, including Stefano Ionescu, Alberto
Boralevi, Mark Topolian, Larry Feldman, Murat Kupcu, Dennis
Dodds, Jim Dixon, Susan and Fred Ingham, and Ali Riza Tuna. And of course I owe
an infinite debt of gratitude to Christopher Alexander, who
really started me on this quest."
Now Chris' vision of reviving
these classical carpets is being fully shared with a broader