WHO WE ARE  (page 9 of 15)

Weavers braiding extended kilim fringes on our Wheel carpet

Carpet scholar C.G. Ellis called the later Lotto field patterns “kilim” and “ornamented”, and the earlier patterns "Anatolian”.  Even though there are no existing old carpets that actually have an “Anatolian” field with this kind of Cartouche border, Chris made one, and is very happy with the result. 

“Vermeer might have agreed with us, as he shows the cartouche border pattern clearly, but the field pattern is  out of focus.  For me, he is saying, he likes this border but the field wasn't worth painting in detail.”   

Another example of how Chris deals with these challenges of tradition and innovation is in the condition of  the “corner solution”, where the major horizontal and vertical borders come together.  Classic Anatolian designs with completely resolved corner solutions are not unknown, but they are relatively rare.  He struggled with this for a long time, because he wanted to be accurate to the feel of the carpets, but it seemed willful to leave the corners unresolved, when most of the time, he could through his detailed drawings, work it out. 

Chris now typically uses two basic types of corner solutions, both of which can be seen in the antique carpets.  One turns the corner with a mitered motif that is structurally related to the design of the main border.  The other resolves the corner by running the horizontal line and the vertical line of the borders into one another like many of the antique carpets do, but in a more resolved way, so that the individual elements of the border are kept relatively whole rather than fragmented.   

Chris says “In the final analysis, we are not making copies, nor originals, rather we are designing our own carpets, with these classical designs as inspirations, coming from a dedicated quest towards understanding and appreciation of these timeless precedents.  When we do something different, we do it very consciously, still keeping to the spirit of the old carpets.  Thus we see ourselves as part of this craft tradition, picking up a dropped thread, in continuity with something that has gone on for thousands of years, and “Inshallah”, God willing, shall go on for thousands more.”   

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