From my diary.
We’ve just had two days of classes, and last night at dinner as 11 of us sat around the table I just wanted to shout out to the world. “This is how it should be” I quietly took it all in.
6 Omani ladies dressed in their abayas and a mixture of french, English and me from Australia.
The jokes and laughter were loud and reverberated around the room in was pure enjoyment.
We are indeed all the same.
I remembered a conversation I had with my Omani host that afternoon in the car.
“How to you explain the joy you get when you have finally finished a quilt that you have put so much time into”
If we Quilters had a say, this world might be a more caring place, a kinder more thoughtful place and a creative expression of humanity.
I have a break now for 3 days before heading back to Dubai for 4 days of classes that are absolutely full. Another adventure begins as the ladies are sharing their world with me with the utmost grace.
On my last day in Oman, some of the loveliest ladies I know decided to go on a road trip to share some of the art and craft of Oman.
We met at a local car park under the palm trees, the expectation high and the excitement was just like any group of quilters about to go on a textile journey. One of the ladies bought Omani coffee and breakfast sandwiches which were eaten with enthusiasm. I can’t show photos of my friends in their Abayas so just trust me…
The landscape is fractured by the unique nature of the mountains that surround the city and continue far back into the landscape.
As we drove through the sparse country I penned just a little.
Set on the stony ground are short thorny trees. They look forever like lace mushrooms. Goats eat them from the bottom giving them their characteristic shape. There are small oasis of date palms blue green with the light filtering through the top of palm fronds.
These contrasts are set against mountain layers of dark blue brown earth, those at the back are shrouded in mist creating a mountain Ghost effect.
Our first stop was the Women’s Souk in Ibra held only on a Wednesday. But first of all I need to share the images of the wonderful family of pit weavers that we visited.
We were welcomed into their house. The entire family assembled to meet us. Father and two of the sons showed us the weaving, but I sort of lost something in the translation. I don’t think the Father is doing it any more because of his poor eyesight.
We were ushered into the main room of the house which was painted bright yellow. Around the 4 walls as sumptuous seating.
We were offered refreshments and even an invitation to dinner, which was very kind indeed, but we had to decline due to time constraints.
So after an hour or so of conversation and purchasing we walked out into the heat of the day to visit the weaving workshop.
We are greeted by this man, a real character. He told us he had 3 wives and 3 houses.!!! It appeared that he was the principle weaver now and a relative of the family.
The weaver sits in a padded pit and the images I share show the techniques.
It was an amazing adventure, I loved very minute of it and I don’t pretend to understand it all, but it was a great insight into another culture working with textiles.