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Posts Tagged ‘local business’

Habibi Bazaar

Photo: Bianca Velasquez.
A rug called “Evil Eye,” by Pamela El Gergi.

Today’s story about beautiful craft rugs is reminding me of a college friend who was really into interior decorating. As a hobby. She got so enthusiastic about Scandinavian rya rugs that she began designing and selling her own. Nowadays, when I’m supposed to be replacing rugs with floor coverings that older people won’t trip on, I’m wishing that I had bought one one of her ryas. I could at least hang it on the wall if I was afraid of tripping. Like other crafts, rugs can hold a lot of meaning.

Bianca Velasquez reports at Hyperallergic about Utah-based Lebanese American artist Pamela El Gergi who “modernizes traditional rug-making as a way to stay connected to her heritage.

“A sweeping reclamation of traditional craftsmanship is taking place around the world,” Velasquez says, “with artists forming communities around their uses of stained glass, jewelry, beading, and textiles. Seemingly unapproachable crafts (because of restricted access to supplies or apprenticeship), such as rug-making and stained glass, have benefited from modernized and simplified techniques and technologies that make practicing these trades more accessible, creating a surge of independent creators who work at their own pace and through their own lens. …

“Among the new voices is Lebanese rug maker Pamela El Gergi, who creates her works under her business name Habibi Bazaar.

“Having relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah, from Beirut, Lebanon, in 2018, El Gergi felt an urge to keep an open connection to her hometown, which she found through the traditional craft of rug-making. … ‘Habibi Bazaar uses my own personal style, which is Oriental rugs, evil eyes (Nazar), patterns that you would see in churches and mosques in Lebanon,’ she told Hyperallergic in an interview.

“And while she applies her voice and background to rug-making in the US, El Gergi creates a new dialogue within traditional rug-making in Lebanon. ‘I’ve taken these vintage, older styles of Oriental rugs, and now I’m trying to make them more centered around Lebanese culture,’ she said. ‘We don’t have much Lebanese representation within Oriental rugs.’ …

“After finalizing her design, El Gergi projects and traces the outline onto her canvas, then uses the tufting gun to apply the yarn accordingly. After applying the carpet glue and backing to the other side of the fabric, she moves on to the final step. ‘I spend hours on each rug, shaving it properly and carving out the designs (or “sculpting” the rug). I finish it all with vacuuming, lint rolling, and doing one last quality check,’ she said.

“El Gergi is currently working on a rug collection in collaboration with her peer Samantha Nader who has created seven Oriental designs based on El Gergi’s concepts. ‘What makes this collection significant to me is the specific flower that is included in the design. This flower is printed on Lebanese coffee cups, and when you drink Arabic coffee, the grounds are collected at the bottom,’ El Gergi said. ‘Then you flip the cup over, and you let the grounds fall along the sides. After letting it sit for five minutes, it reveals a pattern that tells your fortune.’ …

“El Gergi’s pieces tend to use this medium to shed light on her experience as a Lebanese woman, as well as pay homage to and honor the cultural symbolism that has been passed down through her family for generations. 

“Creating cultural ties between Lebanon and the US does not stop at rug-making for El Gergi. Habibi Bazaar also kicked off a pronoun shirt campaign in collaboration with Mexican artist Alethia Lunares, who designed the t-shirt graphic. … She produced three different shirts saying ‘She, Her, Habibi,’ ‘They, Them, Habibi,’ and ‘He, Him, Habibi.’ El Gergi’s decision to include the term ‘Habibi,’ which translates into a non-gendered way of saying ‘my love,’ allows her to incorporate a little bit of her culture into the campaign.

“This year, Habibi Bazaar has been accepted to the 14th Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival Utah’s ‘largest local-centric art, music, science, and technology festival.’ Not only has she been accepted as a vendor, she was also chosen to be sponsored through the Craft Lake City Artisan Scholarship Mentor Program, allowing her to be mentored by a more tenured local business owner through the entire process of tabling at a large event. 

‘[Her booth] will include her rugs, pottery, stickers, wall hanging, mirrors, and more. … Most importantly, El Gergi hopes to continue finding contemporary ways to pass down traditional Lebanese crafts to future generations.”

More at Hyperallergic, here.

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Here’s something fun from a BBC blog called “News from Elsewhere.” It’s about new, playful street signs in Sweden.

“A town in northern Sweden is encouraging pedestrians to hop, skip and even play air guitar like Chuck Berry as they cross the road, with a series of new street signs.

“Haparanda Council says it’s part of a scheme launched last year to rejuvenate the town centre. …

“Therese Ostling, who runs the Town Makeover project, tells Swedish TV … ‘They have got more attention than I thought — I see people taking photos of them every day, and sometimes they follow the instructions to jump, leap or whatever else the sign suggests.’

“The idea came from local woman Nadja Lukin, who … wrote to the council, as ‘Haparanda has always dared to try something new,’ and officials responded enthusiastically with signs depicting jive dancing and Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks.

“The makeover, which includes rebranding the centre as the Old Town, has brought new business into the once-rundown area and will continue for another year, but the most important impact of the signs has been to ‘make people smile,’ says Ms Ostling.” More.

Without doubt, if everyone did silly walks across the street, the world would be a better place, a place full of laughter.

Photo: Swedish TV
Swedish TV asks, “Why stroll across the street when you could ‘duck walk’ like a rock’n’roll icon?

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If you are a consumer these days, after Black Friday comes Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. I do love Giving Tuesday as there are so many worthy causes to choose from, and you don’t have to go farther than your computer to donate. This year I am torn between a food bank I admire and my favorite refugee nonprofit, although I do love the Granola Project. Maybe I will do something for all three.

But tomorrow is Saturday, and I am headed down to Providence to help Erik with the kids while Suzanne has a Luna & Stella birthstone-jewelry trunk show at Talulah Cooper Boutique on Traverse St, just off Wickenden (12 pm to 5 pm).

While we are on the subject of Luna & Stella (the parent of this blog) you should know that now through Cyber Monday (November 30, 2015) only, you can get 40% off all earrings, plus $20 off orders over $100 anywhere on the website — with code SHOPSMALL.

This season, Suzanne is into mixing her jewelry with some vintage lockets she has found. The ones in the picture are all from the Greater Providence area, long known for jewelry making.

Photo below: Rhode Island Foundation
A Luna & Stella trunk show pictured in a profile at “Our Backyard,” which features Rhode Island people and businesses, here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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