I hope you are ready for some rug-related eye candy--and a question maybe you can answer.
A couple of weeks ago I was out in Northampton and met with Pat Merritt from NY and AZ. Pat is the owner of Santa Rita Rugs (check out the wonderful rugs on her site). I met her at Margaret Arraj's fabulous Mill River Rug Studio (don't miss the rugs on her site, either) and had a chance to speak with both Pat and with Margaret, and tour Margaret's studio space (thank you Margaret for the tour). Both these artists are extraordinarily gifted and I hope you'll spend some time looking at their work. Both specialize in hooking rugs with yarn, rather than with wool strips. Both are prolific and creative. They are also two really nice people.
So my point? Pat was spending the day with Margaret, and had brought along with her the most amazing antique rug I've seen in a long while. Prepare to drool. Here it is:
Hard to know if it was intended to be a rug or a wall hanging, though I rather think the latter. Also hard to know its age. When I first saw it, I assumed it had been needlepointed, not hooked. But both Pat and Margaret assured me that it was a hooked rug. The pile is sooooooo low! And incredibly neat.
Here is Pat's description of what she knows about the rug--PLEASE NOTE THE QUESTION SHE"S ASKING, and if you can answer it, please do, in the Comments section. (Of course, I have her permission to post this)
24" x 62"
"Rug purchased at Sauder Village, rug is from Bucks Co PA, hooked with fairly fine yarn, quite meticulous work, gallery mounted. The vendor was Hidden Treasures by Kathy Graybill from East Waterford PA. She specializes in Fraktur furniture & also had some extremely nice antique hooked rugs.
"If anybody has a clue what the strange motif is in the center of the rug it would be great to know...I would like to know what the heck the thing in the middle is although it might just be a motif that somebody dreamed up in their head & not anything at all!"
Here's a better view of the center motif:
And some additional closeups of the rest of the rug. You should be able to see a larger view by clicking on either of these:
UPDATE! 9/29/15: Someone kindly referred me to this URL about Turkish Rug symbols. I think we are on track to discover the origins of this symbol. Check out that URL.
The hooking on this rug is exquisitely done--just flawless. Someone put a large amount of love, designing, care, attention, and craftsmanship into its making. I've no idea how old it is.
I had a serious case of rug envy after viewing this piece.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), a long-time meditator, a certified meditation teacher and coach, and focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society