Paula Barragan

Making the modern day magic carpets

The design of the carpet was pinned on an easel, vibrant colours and an appealing abstract designed that could easily become a flower, an animal or vibrant Ecuadorian heritage. Paula Barragán was crouched at the side of the partially completed carpet, discussing its detail with the artisan who was painstakingly making it.

Paula lives in Quito, where she has had a studio since 1987 and is a talented and well-known designer and artist. Her carpets are just one aspect of her creative talent. She makes the design as an etching, painting or in ink and the design is both colourful and powerful and often portraying an element of the cultural history of her homeland. The carpet are custom made in pure lambswool by artisans in Ambato, Ecuador. It is painstaking work as there are 68,000 knots per square metre and a rug measuring 1.8 X 2.4 metres will take one month to complete. The lengths of wool used vary and this gives the carpet texture, relief and a three dimensional appearance. The carpets really are a work of art and can be made in widths up to 14 feet and the length can be to personal requirements.

Paula is certainly very talented because as well as her carpets, she paints, makes collages, prints and creates graphic designs for companies in Ecuador and abroad and has illustrated five children’s books. Paula studied in Paris, New York and San Francisco and most of her paintings are sold in New York by the Multi Impressions Gallery. Its Director Kate Bilman describes Paula as an artist with -terrific dedication and brilliant talent. Barragán’s career is blossoming; the bold graphic works, stylish rug designs and predominantly her sophisticated paintings.

Certainly one of Paula’s carpets will be a treasure that will never tire you as its strong use of colour will brighten your day and the design will set you day dreaming. The carpet will certainly be very special as Paula never repeats her designs….

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