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Wednesday, April 16, 2014










A few weekends ago, my friend and I went down to Portland's Saturday Market. Our first stop was at a booth with these amazingly beautiful handwoven wool rugs from Oaxaca, Mexico. Since getting my new rug, I have found I am completely rug-obsessed and have an entirely new (renewed?) appreciation for them. Before this last rug I got, I have only ever purchased one really nice rug before, and that was so many years and "affordable" Ikea rugs ago, I forgot what an impact a beautiful rug can make. And not only that but that they really are not only a necessary home decor item, but can be a usable piece of art in your home. I am fairly sure the guy could see our eyes start to twinkle and sparkle as we made a b-line to his tent. 

He was kind enough to meet our enthusiasm over his work by giving us a little history of his craft and a lesson in the process of how the rugs are made. He pulled out a little jar of cochineal beetles, crushed them and told us that is how they get burgundy dye.  Then he mixed in a bit of lime and told us this is how they get red dye. He then added a bit of baking soda and made a purple dye. Everything is done by hand. They are handwoven by himself and his family who have been weaving for 3 generations now (the one pictured is one he personally made). Every design tells a story within it. When I asked about his prices to begin with, I will admit, I was a little deflated. But by the end of our conversation with him I couldn't believe they were priced so well for all the work that went into every step of making this beautiful artwork. And it wasn't just the work, but the passion, the pride and the story. You can't put a price on that. And in case you are wondering, yes, I am putting some money in my piggy bank for ones of these. I have literally been laying in bed at night imaging where I am going to put one when I get it. ...and mother's day is coming up...

For more information on these rugs please visit Bautistas Art. And if you are in Portland or coming to Portland and need a rug get down to Saturday Market stat!

11 comments:

  1. Oh Christine! Gorgeous, gorgeous photos, and gorgeous, gorgeous post! I love rugs and keep thinking about one similar to yours ever since you got. We have a rug hanging in our bedroom, need one for our living room, and I keep thinking about one for our kitchen. I think about a lot of things. :)

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  2. Wow, that's so flipping cool. And now I want one of those rugs made out of dead bug dye. :)

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  3. Beautiful. Im slightly rug obsessed myself!

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  4. We've all been so spoiled by IKEA's cheap prices that it's easy to forget that people hand make things still and put such love and effort into every single thing, and they're priced accordingly. (I know I literally just made the opposite argument on my blog yesterday with the splurge vs steal, oops). These photos are stunning, you are so lucky to have seen his magic up close like that. If the Mother's Day fairy doesn't bring you one of these, I have a feeling you'll be writing a very strongly worded letter to whoever is in charge ;) xo

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  5. How beautiful, and what a great experience to be shown a little bit of the process that goes into these beautiful rugs. I love the one in the background that has the birds on it. : )

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  6. I love how your photographs tell a bit of this man's craft. Beautiful!

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  7. Oh wow that is so interesting about he gets different color and yes hand craft items like that are generally very expensive and they should be. But if you save your money and buy lots of stuff at Ikea then you can splurge on something like this once in a while and have an honest to goodness keepsake.

    Allie of ALLIE NYC
    allienyc.com

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  8. I just saw your new rug and I love the way it looks in your house! I am addicted to rugs too and when the new floor goes in I'm going to have a really good excuse to shop for more. Looking forward to seeing which new one you get!
    xo Mary Jo

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  9. These are insanely beautiful. It is quite a craft, isn't it? I sometimes feel like there is a story behind rug....(and truly there really is)!

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  10. wow, what a fascinating story. I'd love to see something like that in real life. thanks for sharing xo

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