California Rug Project
The Making of a Masterpiece
The vision for the California Rug was a masterwork to showcase California’s stories, legends, and lore using wholly native materials. The figurative rug design features the figure of Queen Califia surrounded by various symbols of the Golden State’s rich cultural history. Over 50 miles of Central Valley cotton along with 600 pounds of fleece from 15 different breeds of California-raised sheep were required to create this 5′x15′ hand-knotted pile rug. Entirely hand-knotted, the California Rug took 22 years to complete.
The Making of the Rug
Made exclusively from California plant and protein fiber and all natural dyes, the California Rug was woven on a handmade loom constructed of native salvaged wood. The California Rug is a new nomadic rug using the Ghiordes knot in the Caucasian tradition and the depressed warp comes from Persia. The shed system and lacing the warp to the loom are of Navajo origin. Embossing the design is achieved by contour-cutting the pile in the Chinese and Tibetan traditions.
Vicki Fraser, Textile Artist
Born in 1944 in Merced, California, and educated around the world, Vicki Fraser studied textile art in London, England.
In 1982, she worked as a restorer at Oriental Carpet Restoration in London, where she apprenticed under skilled craftsmen and honed the Ghiordes knotting technique employed in the making of the California Rug.
More About the Artist