n the 6th Century BC, Scythian nomads from the Russian steppes were trading decorative gold objects while roving between Asia and Europe. My Georgian ancestors might have been able to read the interwoven script of the Indo-Iranian dialect which has characters reminiscent of those on Scythian coins, they might have entered the blue tile-covered Persian Orbeliani bath house of Tbilisi to soak in hot spring waters.
In the same way water seeks its own level, elements of the Georgian landscape would find a way to repeat itself, as if kept intact by several generations of memory or yearning. The mountain-lake country of south British Columbia, tinted with the vestiges of a gold rush era, would impress upon me its pioneering sensibility. If environment has anything about shaping the character of youth, a wild landscape would imminently teach the rewards of wandering, of being drawn to untrammeled roads leading to exquisite textiles of distant cultures, cloth made fascinating by traditional dye practices and mysteries of alchemy.
The repeat design motifs in the decorative handwork evocative of my Eurasian roots may have tumbled down through my ancestor lineage to set an affinity for the appreciation of cloth, yet my intrigue for textiles was initially kindled by the early Chilkat blanket weavings of the Tsimshian people of the Pacific West Coast. It would have me contemplate the primal notes of aromatic cedar woven into their ceremonial robes, fathoming a narrative of which only the sense of smell could articulate for – a memory of an older and earlier earth. Over the years, the timbre of this mental template would guide the development of a visual language to express for textures of time and immediacy of place - from the weathered patina of a Khmer ruin, the intimate worlds revealed within the folds of a leaf, to a barren tundra honed by sand and wind.