“The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.” Benjamin Disraeli
Our greatest privilege as designers is to inspire our clients, but how exciting it is when the roles reverse for a moment and we are the ones who become enlightened. Such was the case for me recently.
Desiring a distinctive interior, my new (totally stylish) client suggested we use a boucherouite rug in her living area. Admittedly, it had been years since I had heard the term “boucherouite”, let alone think to use one in a space. Our conversation led me to do a little research, which then led me to share these “rediscovered riches” with you:
Boucherouite, (pronounced boo-shay-REET) is a word derived from a Moroccan-Arabic phrase for torn and reused clothing. In often very modest households, Berbere women weave carpets out of discarded scraps of material. Contrary to most European weaving techniques, based on preconceived patterns; the Berbere women weave through movement of their fingers, with no drawings or predefined designs. A thousand scraps of cotton, nylon and occasionally wool are woven into these fabulous decorative creations. The contrast between the poverty of the materials used and the richness of the final composition adds to these awe-inspiring works of modern art.
As Frédéric Damgaard notes in his excellent book Tapis et tissages, l’art des femmes berbères au Maroc: “It is easy to compare a Berbere woman in front of her loom to a pianist in front of his piano. Both compose a beautiful melody with rhythms and harmonies, colors and notes. Their scores remain flexible leaving space for personal improvisation. Both have access to large repertoires that can be interpreted according to personal whim and sensitivity.”
Whether or not one finds boucherouite work aesthetically pleasing, surely they can appreciate their quirky character, and the stories that are most assuredly woven throughout these rags to richly artistic treasures.
Be inspired...share the riches another has woven into your life.