Posted on: April 30, 2018
Staff Pick – Rupture
“My favorite rug at the moment is Rupture from our Galaxy series. Its balanced and intricate design paired with its use of color has always attracted me to this piece.”
Rupture is a truly unique piece from my favorite Orley Shabahang collection – the Galaxy series. Like many of the carpets from this collection, the erratic nature of the shapes and movement in Rupture is subdued by the overall balance found through symmetry. In a way, it visually plays on the idea of applying order to chaos by mirroring out-of-this-world motifs over the carpets horizontal axis so that they no longer feel as radical and create more of a calming effect. By doing that, the experience of the design is vastly different when one focuses on the intricacy of the details versus looking at the carpet as a whole. Both ways, however, offer nuances with every encounter and that’s why I have never grown tired of looking at this rug.
I also love this rug because it shows the artistry and talent of the people involved throughout every step of Orley Shabahang’s process. The richness of the organic vegetable dyes on handspun wool are impactful because of the phenomenal abrash, or striation of color, and the exuberance of the colors themselves. The blue background is colored with indigo, a dye that can be very volatile as it works quickly. The skill of Orley Shabahang’s master dyers is proven when one understands that indigo can dramatically change the color of wool within a few seconds. An even greater difficulty with vegetable dyes is found with the color green. Because green is created by mixing blue and yellow, the master dyer has to recognize the character of the strong indigo and the soft dyer’s weed or pomegranate rind and work within that context to acquire the desired color. The great thing about the naturally achieved abrash in Orley Shabahang carpets is that it softens the colors while also texturizing it, which accentuates the impressiveness of the rug.
Additionally, Rupture is the perfect expression of the expertise of Orley Shabahang’s weavers. Historically, the motifs in Persian carpets are outlined with a secondary color. This helps the weaver as they weave row by row because it guides them to what is coming in the next row. In this design by Bahram Shabahang, however, there is a fluidity in the movement of shape and color because it is not bound. This means that the weaver has to be even more present with her work as she knots her way through the carpet. Only an artisan weaver with true mastery could achieve this level of design.
In a home, Rupture lends itself well to a variety of styles. I could see it with minimal and modern furniture and accessories, allowing the rug to be the statement piece in the room. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, a room could also be designed to embrace the unconventionality of the design with decor that plays off of its funky motifs and colorway.