It's Friday! How did that happen?? And how exactly did almost all of January happen?? I'm not sure about you but this month has been a quick one of getting back to school and work routines, volunteer work amping up for spring and summer event planning, and a lot of entertaining with the last of the holiday parties happening. I am looking forward to a slower routine today, writing here and then visiting the local rink tonight where sticks and pucks are happening. And in that spirit, with it being Friday!! and tomorrow's Saturday morning coffee, I thought I'd share some inspiration for us to sit for a while, and it's all in the form of hand-woven textiles. Today's post are the weavings here in our home, as family heirlooms. Tomorrow morning, I'll share some people and places I've recently come across in this big, old world of internet who make me swoon with their woven pieces.
I think we’ve all heard something to the effect, “Creativity’s best is borne out in the midst of limitations.” At the junction of very little room for anything beyond necessity and having fewer things with less room to place those things, cultures often produce some of their most valued crafts. Way back, the make-do mentality was prevalent and what you did have was cherished, cared for and kept. Partly because replacing it was an onerous burden and partly because the time required to make the first item and/or to create another item was a significant investment. Textiles were not readily available and certain skill sets, such as weaving and spinning, still existed in communities as the knowledge required for their manufacture was passed down from generation to generation. The result became beautiful, functional objects imbued with memory and meaning.
A small remnant of those traditions remains here. Think beautiful colour combinations, heavy textiles, wool, stitching, everything created with intention of maintaining a story, or memory and culture. Most of these were brought over from Romania in the early 20th century by my husband’s family, carried on trains and by wagon and back to these wooded, stony hills.
Called scoarte, and, according to my father-in-law, created as bench and wall coverings, these hand-woven, colour-lined textiles shouldn’t be separated from the cultures they came from. Simple houses, cold and drafty in winter, going out into the spring woods to collect mushrooms, an ever-beating distrust of "witch" houses deserted and still standing, maintaining cherished stands of lobada and dill in the summer garden, spoonful's of garlic on bowls of mashed beans, and the ever-circling Tradition are as much part of these pieces as the very cloth they are woven from. In that way, these pieces are not able to be replicated.
Some are colourfully striped and others are simple, monotones of natural wools.
Here, several bench runners were sewn together to make one of the heaviest, wool blankets I’ve ever felt. This thing has incredible weight! I think about what it must have been like to be curled up under that blanket on one of those bitterly cold, prairie nights. Would it have been warm? Or would the cold still have seeped through?
The weaving here and the needlework seen on other pieces still in my husband's family are remarkable and uncommon in today's world. I love that they are both beautiful and functional! It makes me mindful about what sorts of things we invite into our home. Will they last? Both in material, and manufacture? How about design? How does the piece function in your home?These questions are some of the very sources of inspiration for our products that are created here.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share these pieces. Each of them is a representation of lives lived, happiness and hard work, all the way through to today. I'm excited to share tomorrow a little round-up of other textiles. They'll be ones that speak to my heart in the same way as these do. Happiest Friday to you, lovies!