Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rug Of The Week - Heart Rugs

by John Aldrich

"I may not be able to make the biggest or straightest rugs any more, but I still need to eat."

This paraphrases something that Linda hears frequently from our aging weavers. Whether because of arthritis and declining health, failing eyesight, or other reasons, weavers find it increasingly challenging to set up their looms and continue to pursue this activity that has been an integral part of their lives since childhood. Many continue to weave because it is such an important part of who they are, and others, who have supported their families over the years through the sale of rugs, must still have the means to obtain the basic necessities of life.

The output from the looms of these weavers is frequently not perfect. The edges may not be square; the rugs are usually of smaller dimensions; the designs may be simpler. If the weaver has failing vision she may turn to brighter colors so she can better see what she is weaving. One of our weavers, who is blind, creates all-white rugs that are beautiful.

Regardless of how the rug looks, it still represents the heart of the weaver and the best she can do. We like to call these "heart rugs". There is a special table at the rug show to feature these rugs. They are frequently made with hand spun yarn from the weaver's own flock. Touching these rugs allows one to feel the hands and heart of the weaver.

Roseline Jackson is one of these weavers. She used to be a regular at the rug show, but isn't able to come any more because of her age and health. But she still comes to the Teesto food run where she typically has one or two new rugs for us to add to the catalog.

Roseline calls this rug a Greyhills:

As Greyhills rugs go, this is a simple design that uses relatively few colors. Yet it's a very appealing rug that anyone would be proud to own. Knowing that the purchase of this rug will help allow Roseline to continue weaving and to provide her with food makes it just that much more special.

Roseline's rug measures 22" x 40", and she is asking $400 for it. See the catalog listing here.

There are a number of other rugs by Roseline in the current catalog. To see them, type "Roseline Jackson" in the search field of any page on our site.

Here is a photo of Roseline at the May 2011 Teesto food run. She had just received a special Mother's Day gift box.

See this 2010 post for more information about the rug catalog.

Notes: Every effort has been made to photograph and present the rugs with as accurate rendition of color as possible. It's not possible, however, to be certain that your computer won't show some variance. Where two prices are listed in the catalog, the higher represents what the weaver hopes to receive and the lower, the minimum she will accept. As has always been the case at ANE all the proceeds of every rug sale go entirely to the weaver. Prices are set by the weaver, and since there is no "middleman" they are typically very reasonable.

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