The Warp and Weft of the Rhodopes

view of the ancient hills and terrain in Gela, Bulgaria

The ancient encampments and deep pockets of Orphic space in the Rhodope Mountains of Bulgaria just might hold the cure for what ails us. My summer travel there has been a continuum of documentation and investigation for my studio practice as well as research for the Haemimont Foundation in NYC and Europe.

detail of a handloom weaving from the Smolyan region of Bulgaria

Micro and the macro elements of the handmade play off each other like the local birdsongs that weave through the stillness, leaving nubs of raw texture and ridged accents on the undulating hillsides. Local shepherds still take afternoon naps under blossoming fruit trees, and foraged nettles provide a spring cleanse after long winters.

patchwork slate and tiles on a Gela rooftop
Rhodope mountain terrain in early spring

Weaving and mysterious song are the perfect pastimes for this unique region.

To learn more about traditional (rug) weaving techniques in Bulgaria, follow the trail to this 2015 Haemimont Foundation sponsored article featured in HAND/EYE journal.

Resiliency and Ingenuity: Chiprovtsi’s Carpet Making Traditions by Huelo Dunn-Estébanez.

[ photo credits for the above: Abigail Doan ]

projects and writing exploring the intersections of site-specific, landscape phenomena and art lab/design methodologies.

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