WHO WE ARE  (page 6 of 15)


Ibrahim & Mustafa, our Master Dyer, working on colors Muhammad, Mustafa's son, learning the craft

Classical Carpets is obviously not the first company to make carpets that are inspired by older rugs.  The use of older designs in this way has been going on since carpets were first made, it has always been a part of the history of arts and crafts, this dynamic between precedent and innovation. 

When Chris first got interested in these classical designs he looked all over the world for well made reproductions of these particular patterns.  What few he found was very disappointing, the few reproductions were often of second rate examples, as if designers and manufacturers are indeed looking at the older designs, but they aren’t being very discriminating about what they choose to reproduce.  There often seems to be little deep appreciation of the actual development of the design motifs or real understanding of the structural qualities of the geometries.  Some of that is probably intentional, as there has been a perception that the larger market for newly made, traditionally styled carpets demands the less sophisticated and simplified “tribal” or village types or at the other extreme, for the more sophisticated curvilinear and floral "Persians".

Chris has set out to do something different, however, that is, to start with the most highly developed examples of these venerated patterns as inspiration for his work.  Each of his designs can be traced back to specific carpets that are considered to be the prime models of their kind, often the exact same design configurations that appear in the Renaissance paintings.    

Chris thoroughly analyzes these particular carpets, knot by knot, preparing drawings, called cartoons, that are extremely precise.  For him, this is not just a scholarly academic exercise, although it does require some intellectual rigor, it is foremost a quest for beauty, and the desire to share these incredible textiles again with the world.

"Alexander said 'the carpets are my teachers'.  When we look at them, really look at them, we can see in their color and geometry and texture a vision of beauty and order of a very high level, and this beauty is only fully manifested when it is shared selflessly with others.  My carpet mentors have also done this for me, and so it is my duty, and pleasure to do the same".

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