A 1920s Navajo rug hung in my parents' house for as long as I can remember. My mother, a cultural anthropologist, bought it while doing field research in Santa Fe. It was one of a kind, an intriguing piece of art and history and culture.
I was reminded of this recently when I walked into the Elizabeth Eakins rug studio in South Norwalk. Near the entrance were piles of small hand-woven rugs, each a unique color and pattern, which lured me with their textural pleasures. Meanwhile, pots of vegetable dye simmered on a stove while women sitting on the studio floor carefully bound the edges of a gorgeous rug that had been woven by hand. I stood in awe as I watched a rug come to life with custom-colored yarns, each hand- dyed and beautiful alone but magical when woven together.
In the Stamford showroom of J.D. Staron, I was instantly transported to exotic carpet bazaars of distant lands. There, velvety-soft rugs—vibrant florals, bold moderns and muted neutrals—showcased different weaves from around the world. Every piece of art holds stories of their provenance, a far-off place where centuries-old traditions look at home here in Connecticut. Both Elizabeth Eakins and Jakub Staron are weavers by training and put their years of experience into every rug.
I have been thinking about the results of a master craftsman's skill, and how the finished product is truly a labor of love—it is February, after all! And whether it is the art of the rug, jewelry or chocolate (hint, hint, hint), we live in a state where talented people practice their skills and a receptive audience is eager to support them. But beyond the sheer beauty of the product, these masterpieces are truly unique—at the bare minimum they're special because they're not found anywhere else. The greatest luxury this Valentine's Day is something made by hand and from the heart.
Editor in Chief
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