Sunday, May 16, 2010

Red Spruce Rugs

I first read about Red Spruce Rugs several months ago in a magazine and have been meaning to blog about them here, since I feel the craft and design behind these handmade, hooked rugs is extraordinary. Based in Nova Scotia, Canada, Red Spruce Rugs have harnessed traditional hooked-rug methods (long-entrenched in Nova Scotia's history) and employ them using modern design, creating unique and visionary patterns on their creations. The company's founder, Michael Christie, is responsible for most of the designs, including the colours, the dyeing techniques, as well as the interior design consultation for commissioned works. His website,, is a marvelous trove of thoughts about rugs and rug-making, the creative process and the love of design. (Did you know, by the way, that people who hook rugs actually like being called hookers?) I've selected some of my favourite designs from Red Spruce Rugs and I urge you to visit the website to view more examples and learn more aobut the long tradition of hooking rugs.
The scallop motif is universal in nature, having appeared historically in geographies as disparate as Nova Scotia and Japan. The calming pattern and warm pinks are reminiscent of sunrises and sunsets.
The stark silhouette of birds against a sunset-tinted sky is striking.
For this rug, the inspiration was an unlikely source: the colour dots used by optometrists to test for colour blindness!

The inspiration behind this rug was the pattern on a 19th Century brass-cast door knob. Stylized floral motifs and geometric patterns add depth and interest.

This design is reminiscent of old Scandanavian or Dutch motifs, while also employing an Eastern influence with its mandala pattern.

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