Thursday, August 27, 2009

Too fine for the floor

I've been thinking today about the quotation I used as the title for Monday's post: too fine for the floor. It came to mind this morning when stymied at work by an IT situation, I went online to check out my favorites. I was looking at The Textile Blog's excellent post about the Pazyryk rug and I remembered how in my Monday post I used a picture of a woman who had a rug on the table, as was done in the late Medieval period in Europe, still is in the taverns of Amsterdam, because it was too good to be put on the floor.

I digress from the point when I say that what was more interesting about that photo was not the fine rug on the table but the peg rug used before the hearth. My grandmother made these and seeing one was, like Proust's madeleine, for me a gateway to the past. What was once a sign of thrift and poverty is now a craft. However, as I say, I digress.

The image above is from the Fort Street Studio's collection of hand-made silk rugs. I'm not given to wearing clothing with a logo and neither am I given to advertising for anyone for free, but the Fort Street Studio's collection is one of the most exquisite I've seen. I ordered a sample a few months ago for my resource library and I hope someday to use one of their rugs for a client or even for myself. To hell with the client, this is about me!

Anyone who remembers the Rya rugs of the 50s, 60s and 70s will appreciate the idea of hanging a rug on a wall: hand-made art. Fad and fashion have made rugs and carpets on a wall a thing of the dim tacky past, but in the case of the rug shown above for me there is a close connection with the work of Rothko: there's a seeping contemplative quality that in my opinion makes it too fine for the floor.

Too fine for the floor, indeed.


  1. Yes, this is a very beautiful rug,worthy of a place of honor. Rugs were most always respected in the Orient, if not necessarily contemplated, by the removal of shoes. I feel we are a little barbaric when we tramp on a fine rug with our street shoes. I do still like beautiful textiles on the walls. The tacky ones are easy enough to avoid.

  2. Indeed ~ a little hard to contemplate if it is on the floor! I also love the French tradition of using quilts on the table...

  3. I understand the appreciation of the beauty and time and effort that went into weaving the carpets and hanging them on a wall or displaying them on a table would reinforce this appreciation, but on a much more practical level many of the Persian carpets cost a small fortune and I know that if I'd spent that much on a carpet I wouldn't have let anyone wander over it with their hobnailed boots, it would definitely be firmly attached to the wall!