|Wedding ryijy from central Finland 185 x 152 cm (6 x 5 feet) (circa 1790)|
Tree of Life in the center with two male and two female figures, accompanied by hearts and crosses.
|Spot design ryijy 1825 189 x 130 cm (6'2" x 4'3") |
The initials of the owner (MIT) and the year (1825) are in the upper central field.
The central field is filled with dots. The bright red and green colours are typical.
My father came to Canada from Finland at the age of 5 years with his mother, Anna.
This is a post about Finnish rugs. First I need to say that there are two kinds of rugs made in Finland. One type is the woven rag rug, usually quite narrow, used as an everyday rug on floors. I've written about the Finnish rag rug before (here). My grandmother, Anna, was locally famous for how fast she could weave a rag rug. My art piece Not To Know But To Go On references the Finnish rag rug, but is not woven, it is stitched.
The second type of Finnish rug is the rya or ryijy. Although the rya is considered as art for the wall now, it originally functioned as a warm bed or horse-drawn sleigh covering. Rya rugs were woven from wool over a linen warp and have a shaggy pile, often on both sides. This post is about the rya rug.
I'm inspired to write this post because of my recent discovery of Tuomas Sopanen's collection of rya rugs. His collection includes pieces from the late 1700's right through to the 21st century. I am especially interested in the dot grid and the tree of life designs.
|Wedding ryijy 1825 pile on both sides 206 x 148 cm (6 '8" x 4'8")|
This is a wedding rya. It has the initials of bride and groom ( ABSD and IIS).
|Spot design bedcover ryijy 1843 with pile on both sides 174 x 127 cm (5'7" x 4')|
Another red and green rya, made for AKSD
|spot design bed cover ryijy mid 19th century 184 x 154 cm (6' x 5')|
When the multi-coloured dots are very dense, the pattern is called 'net'.
|Spot design ryijy 1860 183 x 129 cm (6' x 4'2")|
The dots are simple and sparse. This rya is a bedcover for one person.
|Wedding ryijy 1799 171 x 130 cm (5'6" x 4'3")|
An ancient net design, can you find the date 1799 among the figures?
Diamonds / bridal figures / flowering branches / tree of life symbols in eccentric sizes.
It was woven in two parts and then joined.