Strange things happen sometimes…

On the 3rd day of the exhibition I didn’t get a chance to answer my phone and when I did check there were 9 missed calls! Oh no – someone was lost and I was going to need to get them to Raintree. Nothing could be worse. I have difficulty with spatial awareness, the kind that means if I have to drive anywhere my husband draws me a simple map which I have to turn in the direction of travel in order to read. (Like from London to the Mars office in Waltham in the UK –  for those who don’t know it’s straight up one road!) When I did return the call, I spoke to someone who was visiting from abroad and who had heard about us having ‘unusual things’ through an acquaintance. He came, he saw, he bought. Three gorgeous carpets – an Iranian Gabbeh, a northwest Persian Kurdish carpet and a Tazenakht from Morocco. I don’t know who was more excited, him or me. And after the exhibition, a striking 13 feet long Mut kilim runner from Turkey that I just could not say no to when I was buying, even though it was far too long for most homes, did manage to find its perfect home. Arastan is all about sharing interesting finds with their stories from far off lands and it is happening, slowly but surely. So very satisfying.

And for all those who came to the exhibition and who have been reading our newsletter, thank you. I started writing the newsletter because to be honest we had nothing but a name (well and the list of the other 199 names that we had shortlisted!) and a domain when we first started. Mike put the blog together in a few days (I am incredibly jealous that he can do that with almost anything, he is not far from being an expert in VAT and Customs and Magento e-commerce software for the online store!) ,and my friend Reshma and I wrote from Uzbekistan. It is so easy to write – quite literally like writing an email to a friend. If you had asked me (me who was so incredibly shy and timid as a child) if I would ever write in any public forum I would have laughed out aloud. So never say never – anything is possible!

Nandidurg Road is making slow progress, the online store getting there (both going live in February) and in a few weeks we are off to Mumbai. We will be at Artisans at Kala Ghoda on 16 – 18 February. Carpets, lamps, ceramic, art and textiles. I won’t say anything about the Uzbek ceramic, just put the pictures up: they should say it all! This is the work of Rustam Usmanov and Alisher Nazirov, both famous ceramists from Rishtan known for their individual styles. The platters are 40cm in diameter, the small tile panels approximately 23cm x 30cm and the stunning large 100 tile panel 0.5m x 2m. Maybe just maybe I can invite these gentleman to visit and talk and show us how they do it. Watch this space. 🙂

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