Hi Jacqueline, I am so happy to see you preserving these aspects of our heritage. I remember the work from Allsides workroom so well. But I was fascinated to see that the rugs are getting new life. My grandmother (a devoted advocate of craft in Port Maria and Galina (St. Mary), first worked at Designs for Living (somehow connected to Noel Coward) in Port Maria and she had us (her grandchildren) and young women from all over the districts learning straw crafts as members of her groups (church and women’s federation). They made most items from plaited straw and I know these memories led directly to a few of my poems. I do remember making these rugs that she called hairpin rugs because we made them from scraps (left over from sewing). We cut the scraps into strips and then attached the strips to crocus bags cut in rectangles and other shapes. We used the hairpins to make holes in the crocus bags and then we strung the strips (as many different colours as possible) through and then tied them in knots on the “wrong” side. I don’t know if this is the method used in the mats in your shop, but the products looked the same. Keep up your great preservation work and all your other adventures! — Frances Coke.
I love traditional textile arts. The hand-tied, woven floor mat that I purchased from Antillean Home Goods is exuberant in its color patterns of knotted cloth strips. I prefer to use the lovely mat for a wall-hanging. It adds beauty, delight and texture to my living room art works. I appreciate it also because of the craft and time that the artist put into the mat’s creation.
My first job as a young woman was being a sign painter in a lumberyard yard. I also lived in Jamaica for a while and enjoyed the hand painted signs on some restaurants and roadside stands and stores. When I saw artist Kemel Rankine’s sign that made use of one of my favorite proverbs, I knew that it would be my first purchase from Antillean Home Goods. The sign reads “Rain Ah Fall But Dutty Still Tuff.” Meaning that even though it’s raining, the ground is still hard. Even in the best of times, there is hardship. The sign has a prominent place on the wall near my home desk, to remind me to persevere. — Loretta
Beautiful imaginative crafts
I just bought a mat as a wall piece and
I love it
Colors and materials are bright and textural
Beautiful handcrafted mats
The colors are lively and the fabrics
I will mount the mat on the wall
as an art piece — Elaine K