Archive for the ‘Carpets’ Category:


Island to Island – Textile Tour in Eastern Indonesia

  ow does a journey begin? I know how my early travels in Turkey evolved but in this case this journey began not with a single step but instead with a book. How in fact does a book on  Qaraqalpaq textiles of western Uzbekistan lead to a journey in Indonesia? I met David and Sue  Richardson initially through their extensively researched publication on Central Asian textiles – Qaraqalpaqs of the Aral Delta. As we connected on social media I was intrigued by their technical passion for textiles and an upcoming textile tour of the Lesser Sunda Islands in Eastern Indonesia  that they had planned.  Needless to say, Jack and I marked our calendars anticipating our first travels in this varied culture. Sue and David partnered with a company from Bali named Seatrek and were the resident textile experts on board the Ombak Putih. The ship was a 42 meter sailing ship with twelve staterooms and a top notch crew of fourteen men. The service and culture on board was delightful relaxed and helpful. There was

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Carpet and Rug Cleaning after the Calgary Flood

o many old and antique rugs sourced by Leah and I in Istanbul have come to call Calgary, Alberta home.  Now after the record flood in Calgary we have had a call inquiring how to deal with the silt drenched carpets that were on the floors of homes recently flooded. Before I give some input on the question of what to do with soggy rugs let me say that Jack and I are so amazingly thankful that our own little late 1940’s home just several hundred metres from one of Calgary’s main rivers weathered the onslaught of the flood.  Our basement is

Anticipating a Visit to the David Collection of Islamic Art in Copenhagen

fter some time spent in Istanbul and Western Turkey this spring I have plans to revisit the David Collection in Copenhagen, Denmark.  I want another opportunity to  study this extraordinary collection of Islamic Art. Housed in a recently renovated space in central Copenhagen the museum is located in two early 19th c buildings thoughtfully conceived with series of intimate spaces to showcase an extensive collection and variety of art of the Islamic world.

A KILIM’S JOURNEY FROM ISTANBUL TO CANADA

osephine Powell used to tell me stories of the nomadic tribes of Turkey and their culture and weaving traditions.  Josephine would speak of the life in the summer camps as the people settled in the high mountain pastures for the flocks to graze while the women were weaving both carpets and kilims. A friend asked me the other day after reading my blog ‘what is a kilim?’  I explained that

CARPETS AND KILIMS – FROM THE SHEEP’S BACK TO YOUR FLOOR

    arpets stacked high, kilims by the meter, in Istanbul this wealth of colour, design, texture and tradition share a commonality of being made of wool.  Old and antique weavings or pieces right off of the loom all started out ‘on the hoof’, wool or hair on the backs of sheep or goats. I have a strong image of the first flock of sheep I saw grazing in the distance on a hillside in Cappadocia.  The shepherd was visible at the rear of the flock as they grazed against the surrealistic landscape that defines Cappadocia.  It seemed an ancient image to me.  In fact research would indicate that the practice of animal husbandry spans the past 8000 years in Anatolia. On our travels in Eastern Turkey one day as we were driving across the Mesopotamian plain towards Mardin my colleague Mehmet noticed

THROUGH THE LENS – TWO WOMEN LINKED BY PHOTOGRAPHY, FILM AND OUR FRIENDSHIP

  IN MEMORY OF: JOSEPHINE POWELL –  ETHNOGRAPHER, PHOTOGRAPHER AND KILIM SCHOLAR   1919-2007 and EVA MONLEY –  FILM PRODUCER    1924 – 2011 had an email last week that an old friend Eva Monley had died  in Nanyuki, Kenya of complications from a chest infection.  Eva was 88 years old. Five years ago another friend Josephine Powell died also at 87 years old from emphysema or COPD.  The death of Eva has made me reflect on the loss of both these women from my life. They never knew one another; lived and worked in different parts of the world; Josephine for a large portion of her life in Turkey and Central Asia and Eva often in Africa.   Their shared characters imprinted on me when I first met them in my mid forties. Together they shaped my perception of who I am as a woman and what life holds for me as woman who holds life. Eva was a film producer; Josephine an ethnographic photographer.  Both women had backbones of iron, determination, fierce independence and

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