My friends Jean and Murray just completed construction on their made by hand post-and-beam straw bale house. It has been a long process. Each step was special and unique. A few years ago Jean mentioned that she would love to have a rug handmade by Federico but wouldn’t be ready until they had finished putting the last coat of linseed oil on the North Carolina clay floor, got their furniture in place and could then begin to think about adding extra special touches including an area rug.
The clouds broke early on Sunday morning and the Carolina blue sky was sparklingly clear. It had been raining for days, light drizzle punctuated with steady downpours. Jean called to say she had made her decision and expressed to me the reasons why she chose the all natural undyed wool rug that would go in her exquisite cottage.
This rug is woven by a master who appreciates the relationship between human and the land, she said. The handmade rug is sitting on her handmade floor in the handmade cottage, anchored by a handmade table with forged metal legs and a cedar plank top. The aesthetic of knowing the origins of a rug, where it is made, that the wool is handshorn from sheep and then handcarded and spun fits with Jean’s worldview. Everything is connected and this glorious rug be more than decor. It adds meaning to Jean’s world that is an expression of the individual and the interdependence of community.
Together, we got down on the floor and explored the details of the weaving, the variation of pattern and color, the integration of different color yarns to create depth and variety, the feel of the wool smooth and sturdy. The natural wool is blue gray, tan, white, dark brown, light brown, steel gray and complements the rich, deep terra cotta floor mixed from Carolina clay by hand, then troweled by hand, then finished and polished with coats of linseed oil. The contrast is amazing. The circle is complete.