Friday, March 27, 2009
Seeing this rug in one of my grand-mother's spare bedrooms brought me to another time and place for a few moments. The rug itself comes from Maine, from the rural town named Mariaville where I grew up, from the house at the top of the hill (my parent's house is at the bottom of that hill) that once belonged to Tom and Velma. Our elderly neighbor Tom used to make these rugs before his death about 7 years ago? Was it really that long ago or not, I can't remember! I still visit his wife, Velma, now in her 90's, whenever I'm home. Velma's sweetness always seemed countered by the grumpy hermitness of Tom as I recall from my childhood years. Now, looking at this rug again as I upload my photos, I am struck by how special it was that Tom was making these beautiful, time-consuming rugs through the Maine winters. Yet I only remember seeing him out tilling his garden or chopping and stacking firewood, or cleaning out his shed. But he had this hidden, artistic talent and daily practice too that you wouldn't know. Was he making the rugs just to sell - as he sold to my parents and countless others? Who taught him? What made him start and when did he begin? Did he ever teach anyone else? Did he follow a pattern?