Monday, March 25, 2013


The carpet-ground shall be with leaves o'erspread,
And boughs shall weave a cov'ring for your head.

Virgil, The Pastorals  (translated by Dryden)

Years ago a friend asked me how to start decorating her home.  It was the first time I ever really thought about it as my life has been based on recombining the things I already own.  But, when I had to say something about what is important in a room I was quite certain it was the carpet first.  Every room I have ever admired in a shelter magazine has hardwood floors and a beautiful oriental carpet.  (I am not considering art in this category as I don't consider it decoration.)

The chair for Luca Ghini, sitting on top of the Herbarium, had less presence without a carpet under it.  His rug is the wonderful kind of fabric that changes color when it moves.  In this case it is a combination of  green and orange.
The theme had to be botanical so it is covered with leaves and grass and a red poppy button.  Many things are sewn onto the rug but other things are mobile and can be rearranged so it never gets boring.

There is a feather rug in the first Bird Temple in the room and there will be other carpets for the floors in upcoming temples.

The most recent rug is a pochoir (stencil print) called Forest Carpet, created for a portfolio assembled by the Muskegon Museum.  I have not done many prints since I graduated with a master's degree in printmaking and it was something of a struggle to accomplish a work I was happy with.  First was a woodcut which didn't work.  Then there were three or four designs for pochoirs based on other completed drawings and that didn't work.  Finally, while driving the car, a regular incubator for ideas, I decided on a new image that would be put together the way I do my drawings, one thing at a time.  It is not the normal way to do a print but it is the way I am most comfortable working.  The basic composition is a stencil built of dried ferns, then sprayed with acrylic paint.  Grasses were added as fringe on the ends.  One stick, 2 butterflies, vines, and numerous leaves were added till the image looked right.  It was an interesting experience and one that may lead to doing pochoir images in future books.

1 comment:

  1. I also start my decorating ideas with the carpets. Probably because doing the rest of it first and then trying to find the carpet to fit would be really hard.

    Can't wait to see everything in place!