Teaching Students About Aubusson Carpets
Aubusson carpets are beautiful and intricate works of art that have been prized for centuries. They originated in Aubusson, a town in central France, where they were first woven in the 17th century. Despite their long history, however, many students today may never have heard of Aubusson carpets. Here are some tips on how to teach students about this fascinating subject.
Start with the Basics
Before diving into the history and production of Aubusson carpets, it can be helpful to start with the basics. What is an Aubusson carpet, exactly? Essentially, it is a flat-woven rug that is made using a tapestry technique. Unlike pile carpets, which have a fuzzy texture created by loops of yarn, Aubusson carpets are smooth and often feature intricate, colorful designs. They can be made from a variety of materials, including wool, silk, and cotton.
Explore the History
Once students have a sense of what an Aubusson carpet is, it can be interesting to delve into the history of these rugs. As previously mentioned, they were first woven in the 17th century in Aubusson, a town in central France known for its textile production. Originally, Aubusson carpets were primarily used as wall hangings rather than floor coverings. They were popular among European nobility and could be found in palaces, castles, and other grand homes.
Over time, the popularity of Aubusson carpets waned, and they became less commonly produced. However, they experienced a resurgence in the early 20th century, thanks to renewed interest in traditional crafts and the antique market. Today, Aubusson carpets are still being made by skilled artisans in France.
Discuss the Production Process
Another interesting aspect of Aubusson carpets is the production process. Unlike some other rug-making techniques, such as knotting or tufting, Aubusson carpet weaving involves passing weft threads back and forth through the warp threads to create a flat surface. The patterns and designs are created by carefully choosing which weft threads to pick up and which to leave behind, using a specially-designed rug cartoon (a kind of blueprint for the design).
Hand-weaving an Aubusson carpet is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, requiring a great deal of skill and patience. However, the result is a stunning work of art that can be enjoyed for generations.
Appreciate the Artistry
Finally, it’s important to help students appreciate the artistry involved in Aubusson carpets. These rugs are more than just functional floor coverings – they are works of art that reflect the talent and creativity of their makers. Encourage students to examine the intricate designs and patterns on Aubusson carpets, and to consider the effort and skill required to produce them.
By teaching students about Aubusson carpets, we can help ensure that this beautiful art form is appreciated and preserved for years to come.