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For thousands of years now, we’ve been using the same symbols to communicate, powerfully, below consciousness. They address a homesickness that can’t be satisfied by the earth beneath our feet.

There was a time when I thought I would be an anthropologist. The idea of uncovering artifacts from other cultures fascinated me. When I started making rugs, I explored the countless ways in which different peoples have decorated the objects they live with. The most basic vocabulary for decoration—stripe, spot, circle, cross, spiral—mirrors the simplest gestures of the hand. I design my rugs to reflect infinite permutations of these elements. I am equally influenced by such contemporary artists as David Hockney and Jasper Johns, as by the ancient artists who first carved petroglyphs into the stones of the Southwest.

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