Spotlight On: Serâser

Lincoln, Massachusetts

"It seems like I always knew I wanted a life in art," says Pauline Curtiss of Boston-based Serâser. She traces her innate love of colors and patterns to her childhood, when she remembers playing on carpets and being more interested in tracing the designs on the rug than playing the game at hand. Pauline traces her concern with helping others to growing up in a family whose members always did volunteer work. "Helping others was just a part of our lives," she says. "And that's what the GoodWeave® certification program does by making sure that people treat each other kindly."

The journey to opening her own rug business was fueled by apassion for color and design. After studying painting at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, she held a variety of jobs, including managing digital images for fabric designers' websites and starting her own company to hand print patterns on interior spaces. But she longed for a way to incorporate sculptural elements into her work. Rug design was the answer. "I love the sculptural aspects of making rugs. It's like stone carving but fast and soft," she says laughing.

Serâser draws inspiration for its hand-knotted, silk and wool Tibetan rugs from many places, especially the organic forms on the stonework of 14th-16th century Moorish architecture. Pauline's "Cycle" series is an example of some of those influences. The element of elegant randomness that characterizes the design is also featured in her use of color. Pauline uses only vegetable dyes for environmental reasons but also because the natural dyes add variety to the carpets that contributes a feeling of movement and whimsy. "Not perfect is my perfect," she says.

Pauline loves the process of designing for clients. "Designing is intuitive, like mind reading. You have to be delicate and bold at the same time." She enjoys explaining the complex weaving process to her clients, who often don't realize that rugs take months to make. She also wants them to understand who makes the rugs and the "beauty and life" each rug brings with it. For her, rugs are about families―the ones that make them and the ones that receive them. And for families who cannot afford carpets, Pauline has hopes too. Through her volunteer work designing for a Boston women's shelter and a home for developmentally challenged adults, she has brought the beauty of rugs to the more disenfranchised members of the community. "I just want to better things for the world," she says simply. A large task, she admits, but with GoodWeave on the same team, she believes she can help make it happen.

To learn more about Serâser go to www.Serâ  

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