By Caroline Melis
Carolina Melis worked as a choreographer before graduating from Central St Martins in London specialising in animation, direction and illustration. A career as an internationally known illustrator and art director quickly followed, but while directing her acclaimed animation, Le fiamme di Nule... that she became reacquainted with the traditional weaving techniques indigenous to her home country, Sardinia.
Sardinia has a very strong tradition in weaving. Textiles are an important part of the island’s heritage. Not only perceived as ornamental pieces, but also for their symbolic values. The ability to weave and design has been passed on for centuries, from generation to generation. There are still hundreds of active looms applying a vast variety of diverse techniques across the island but todays artisans work either independently or are organised in small co-ops or workshops, each has a different approach to weaving both in terms of methodology as well as in the compositional choices. This is what makes this world fascinating.
Sardinian rugs, wall-hanging’s and brocades are renowned for their high-end production, the use of very fine materials, the original technique and sophisticated colour palette sourced and naturally dyed from local herbs and flowers. Spence & Lyda is proud to announce the arrival of the Mio Karo Four Seasons collection to Australia.
The Four Seasons collection showcases the pibiones weaving technique, most commonly found in the central and eastern areas of Sardinia. Pibiones is a particular type of stitched relief, created by twisting the yarn around a needle which is arranged in a horizontal position on the loom; the needle is then pulled away, thereby creating a raised effect (grains). These looms are entirely operated by hand, including the slay mechanism. The pibiones technique was used in antiquity only for the best hand-woven bed covers “sa faona” and for household articles such as curtains, fabrics, cushions and tablecloths. Its use in rug construction delivers a product that is both particularly fine and highly durable.
“Aside from their astounding beauty of these extremely desirable rugs, we are thrilled to be showcasing this wonderful collection in Australia because Caroline Melis understands the importance, of supporting local crafts people to preserve traditional techniquesand their cultural heritage and has been able to achieve this successful through Mio Karo,” says Fiona Spence.