Archive for October, 2011:


  KASHMIRI SHAWLS – A TEXTILE OF MAGNIFICENCE ow strong must one be to lift a carpet? How much strength to move a kilim? A hand loomed saddle cover? Or perhaps to hold the whisper light heft of a kashmiri shawl? Last week I had wonderful days in Los Angeles and San Francisco visiting with collectors, viewing museum collections, attending a dealers fair and hearing lectures on various related topics. The morning after my arrival in LA I attended a lecture delivered to the Textile Museum of America’s Southern California Associates by Dr David Reisbord on the subject of Kashmiri shawls. It was a time to learn and to be amazed by the technical complexities of this weaving tradition. Both men and women have worn these diaphanous and colorful shawls through the centuries with the oldest known pieces dating to the mid 17th c.   A Tibetan ibex was the source for the incredibly fine wool used to weave these textiles. The ‘shatoush’ or the fleece from the underbelly of the animal was so fine

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Too Many Photos? Never!
Carpets, Textiles, Travels & Family.
How I keep it all straight.

have spent this morning at the computer wading through 29,605 images.  Hard to imagine that I have spent countless hours deleting photos of blurry carpets, tatty textiles, out of focus ambitiously artistic travel shots and unflattering photos of family and friends and still have 30,000 images to deal with. The survivors remain; images that I have not had the heart to delete that reference travel throughout the furthest reaches of Turkey; photos of rugs, textiles and ethnographic ephemera often captured in dark and cramped shops where the possibilities of including the whole carpet in one frame do not exist.  There are also the photos of our first grandchild, images that are not great works of art but reference the months and years that are passing at an astonishing rate. The good news is that four years ago my son Chris a professional photographer trained me on Adobe Lightroom and although I cannot say that I have attributed keywords to every image I can in fact search for the vast majority of the slightly less than 30 thousand pictures

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am haunted by textile images  which float in my mind.  Men on horseback. Throned figures.  Phoenixes and Sphinxes. Last month in St Petersburg on a visit to the Hermitage I anticipated seeing the much published Pazyryk carpet – the earliest knotted example dating back to the 4th century BC.   What I didn’t anticipate was having my heart and soul invaded by the beauty of a monumental felt (4.5 m x 5 m) from the same archeological find.  I had seen images of this felt published in Hali – the quintessential publication for carpets, textiles and Islamic Art but