I really wanted to bring your attention to a wonderful site called Novica, incase you still had not come across it. Novica provide a wonderful way for local artists and crafts people around the world to showcase their homemade talents and beautiful quality items worldwide, without which they would only rely on local trade or tourism. The best part is that there is no charge for them to display their items on the website.
I was really touched when I came across the site a while ago now as it reminded me of a similar purchase I made in Bulgaria. We took a day trip into the REAL Bulgaria, away from all the tourist resorts into a lovely old small village where all the locals displayed their handmade crafts in front of their homes. It was a beautiful place and we loved going round each stall looking at all their wonderful produce. We decided on a small handmade rug which has been part of our home ever since and has always reminded us of the local folk. Unfortunately some years later now it's looking a little worse for wear but I begrudge parting with it, which is why when I came across the Novica site I completely understood the importance of buying these special, unique and hard to find goods that you probably could not get unless you were again on holiday.
I chose a beautiful wool Inca Cross rug from the Andes (Titled "Cruz Inca" in Spanish). I really liked the way the product page included information on the rug maker, Zosimo Laura, as well as being able to find other items made by him.
'Zosimo Laura was born in the department of Ayacucho, the capital of Peruvian handicrafts, on April 4, 1964. He comes from a respected family of weavers and, like his grandparents and brothers, he has learned the marvels of this art.
For Laura, his greatest inspiration is the pleasure his work produces in others. He intends to pass down the techniques used since ancient times by creating captivating products of superb quality.
Like many other residents of the Ayacucho countryside, Zosimo and his family were forced to abandon their homeland due to turmoil and violence. They moved to an urban center where they faced innumerable obstacles. However, Laura's dedication has allowed him to succeed in a new city. He says that soon he will teach his children the textile art, although they are still in school and too young to begin.
Zosimo utilizes alpaca, sheep wool, and cotton in the fabrication of his pieces, while both natural and synthetic dyes create the enthralling blend of colors. The two-pedaled loom is his primary tool.'
When the rug arrived it was wrapped so beautifully that I had to take a picture to show you.
I also received a lovely small gift card with the makers information and rug details as well as a postcard showing some alpacas.
'Precisely woven of virgin wool, the Andean cross was a sacred emblem for the Inca. Zosimo Laura combines brilliant colors for this beautiful scatter rug. It is edged with hand-tied fringe.'
The rug itself is absolutely beautiful, so well made and soft to the touch.
I was quite surprised by the rugs thickness. The colours of the rug really stand out and what makes it so much more special is knowing that it has come from traditional methods from a local crafter that will be helped with the purchase, just like I would have bought if I had been on holiday there.