The gifted weaver of this rug is an older Navajo lady who doesn’t speak much English – her daughter does the talking for her.
However, her work speaks volumes in any language; beauty and excellence are universal.
Magnificent in size and design, as well as execution, this masterpiece of a rug is room size. Every element is crisp and clear.
The wool colors are natural, with some vegetal dyes – for example, the dark maroon parts and the peachy tan of the background area.
The weaver took her wool “from sheep to loom”, washing and carding the fleece, then spinning it into the yarn used in this exceptional rug.
Weaving the rug was just the final step in a long process.
It is the result of the design in her head, transferred directly to her hands on the loom – no pattern, no template.
Lighter colors are a combination of white and darker fleece; the dark brown and black are natural, although the black may also have been dark brown fleece, over-dyed with pinon pitch.
Inspired by oriental rugs shown to the Navajo weavers by traders around 1911, this design became a staple, traditional pattern.
Energized by the influx of tourists, the traders were eager to develop marketable designs. There with several variations, according to geographic area.
Oriental rugs were familiar to the wealthy of both coasts and the heartland, so the weavers were encouraged to incorporate those patterns in their own way.
Mexican Saltillo weaving patterns were another outside influence on this particular rug design.
Saltillos were historically influenced by the Arab culture of early Spain, and then imported to the New World by the conquistadores.
They usually featured a large center diamond shape with little points all around. Their roots, as well, were in Middle Eastern rug designs.
This splendid example of Two Grey Hills weaving seems to sparkle and twinkle, owing to the intricacy of the pattern and the placement of light and dark colors.
Finely woven, beautifully articulated elements and serene, but animated, colors give this superb rug its special cachet.
Striking, but not domineering, the subtle energy of the neutral colors and complex design will grace any decor – for generations to come.