Monthly Archives: February 2013

Myth and Design – an illustrated talk by Central Asian carpet and textile expert Thomas Cole

Myth and Design

We are pleased to invite you to an illustrated talk in Bangalore by internationally acclaimed Central Asian carpet and textile expert Thomas Cole. Tom lived in Asia for sixteen years between 1970 and 1990. Through his long involvement with the tribal culture in Afghanistan prior to the wars there, and subsequent visits to Kabul, Istanbul and Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), he has learned much about the people and the long history of their weaving traditions. The talk is part of our mission to share not just the crafts but the historical and cultural linkages that go with them.

Myth and Design will identify pervasive myths at the core of our very existence as human beings as illustrated in patterns and symbols spanning the breadth of the Asian continent. It is important to connect with the past in order to enjoy the present with a grounded perspective. As it was once said, ‘We …

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Unique Appliqué Craft – Threadwork on Glass from Azerbaijan

The finished product

Last November I travelled to the Caucasus in search of carpets, but also other handcrafted items that might enrich Arastan’s offering. What I found was a lot of skill, not just in carpet weaving, but also in metalwork, stone masonry and wood carving. But skill is not enough to turn creativity and manual dexterity into a viable business. The artisan also needs some market savvy, so as to understand what customers are willing to buy; and especially some innovation in order to achieve a modicum of differentiation and attract the buyer’s attention. In Azerbaijan I came across the work of one artisan who seems to have achieved this, entirely of her own accord.

Simuzer, 36, lives in Qobu, a small town not to be confused with Quba, or with Qobustan, which is known for its petroglyphs and mud volcanoes. She comes from a family of carpet weavers, so she learned the …

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A tribute to Abdurauf Avezov, the gentleman Bukharan master craftsman

Abdurauf Avezov 1955-2012

Abdurauf Avezov was born in the old town of Bukhara in 1955 and completed his secondary schooling in a local Russian school. He started working in copper-chasing when he was twenty under the tutelage of Hasan, a master in the craft. Over the years he developed his own unique style using mainly vegetal patterns. He travelled widely showcasing his work especially to the countries of the former Soviet Union but more recently stayed home and completed orders that went to Germany, France, Italy, England and to us in India. Over the years he trained four students who eventually migrated from Uzbekistan and gave up the craft.

Yesterday I heard that Abdurauf passed away. I liked him. He was my best supplier and symbolised all that is Arastan. He knew I trusted his sense of design and never disappointed, sending me stunning work every time always on time. He took it …

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  • Welcome to Arastan

    Arastan was an online store that curated rare and handpicked treasures from exotic bazaars along the ancient silk route. Unfortunately we ceased trading in early 2014.

    You can read about the reasons for closure.

    You can still browse some of the products we used to have via the category links above, although none of these are available for purchase.

    Relive our travels and stories by browsing our articles and archives from the menus below.

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