In conjunction with last week’s post on The Kurtz family, who has owned & operated New Moon rugs in Wilmington for 25 years, we are highlighting their relatively new addition to their already well-established business. Kurtz Collection is Wilmington’s first design showroom.
‘Sensing a gap in the unique home goods market, they felt Wilmington should have access to not only great rugs, but great décor for the rest of the home as well. Thus, Kurtz Collection was formed.’
While maintaining their specialty in rugs, The Kurtz family wanted to expand their portfolio to include hand-crafted goods from well-known artisans from around the world. The images of their store in Wilmington, Delaware show the wide range of home goods and accessories that Kurtz Collection carries in conjunction with New Moon rugs.
Q&A with Josephine Kurtz, Artistic Director of New Moon Rugs:
When did your family open Kurtz Collection?
What kind of products do you sell and what lines do you carry?
We carry all home furnishings and accessories, ranging from fabric to rugs to jewelry to furniture to paintings to home decor to purses. We have a very wide range of products, and really strive to have different things you don’t see everywhere.
Furniture lines we carry are Cisco Brothers, Lillian August, Hickory White, as well as one-of-a-kind antiques.
After moving back to the States from Australia in 2002, I made a visit to New Moon rugs. Owned by the father of a childhood friend of mine, I never fully appreciated the depth and beauty of their rugs growing up. However, once the time came to start looking for rugs to furnish my first home, I knew exactly where to go.
I worked with owner and designer John Kurtz and his team to create a custom rug from the ‘Garden’ pattern. A few family members collaborated and gave it to us as a wedding gift. It was our first rug that christened the floors of our living room in our new home. Ever since, I’ve been hooked. I’ve sold several New Moon rugs to clients and have many of them myself throughout my home. Their unique designs are not only gorgeous, but the quality is exceptional. Each piece I own still looks the same as it did the day it arrived.
Q&A with Josephine Kurtz, Artistic Director of New Moon Rugs:
When was New Moon Rugs founded?
How did your father get into designing carpets?
Starting out as an antique rug dealer in the living room of his home and later moving into a gallery where his business grew for 20 years, John enthusiastically searched for and found beautiful antique rugs and shared them with collectors from around the world. Early on in his career, he was inspired to bring the wonderful art of rug weaving to an even larger audience. He did so with his popular PBS series Art Underfoot, which ran from 1988 to 1992 and then again on HGTV, introducing millions of viewers to the world of oriental rugs. In 1993, John began fulfilling a desire to have an outlet for his own creative process by taking his more than 20 years of experience in dealing antique rugs to create original designs under the New Moon label. After discovering an extraordinary partner in Nepal with whom he could make this vision a reality, New Moon was founded. Since the inception of New Moon in 1993, John has been uniting his dedication to the highest standards of craftsmanship and design with his commitment to socially responsible business practices. With the aid of his partners in Nepal, he not only creates a collection of rugs unsurpassed in quality but also a company known for social and environmental responsibility.
How has New Moon Rugs grown and changed over the years?
New Moon has grown tremendously since its inception. Starting out with just a small select number of rug designs, we now have a very extensive library of designs and colorations. We are constantly trying to stay ahead of the trends with new innovative ideas. We have also become known for our custom rug capabilities, which have evolved more over the years, including designing custom rugs for the Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain in Tucson, Arizona. We are also known for our creative and bold designs, which was very unusual back when New Moon was created in 1993. We started out with only a few select dealers carrying our line, and now we are a very sought-after company with approximately 50 dealers throughout the country. We are now also one of the top Tibetan rug producers in the world. We have always advertised our product, however now we advertise in some of the top design magazines in the country including Veranda, Elle Decor and Luxe.
What materials do you use in your rugs and what combinations are most popular – wool, silk, bamboo?
Tibetan wool, Chinese silk are the main materials we use (we use recycled silk too). We use only the best materials available in the world.
The wool and silk combinations are the most popular and desirable.
How and where are New Moon Rugs made?
They are hand-made in Nepal.
Offering the highest standards of responsible design and workmanship, New Moon strives to carry forward the thread of one of mankind’s oldest art forms without being merely imitative and without compromising quality or social responsibility.
Below is a custom brocade rug on the loom in Nepal. It is in the process of being completed for a client of ours.
Unlike most rugs now coming from Nepal, New Moon™ rugs continue the age-old traditions of true Tibetan weaving– no shortcuts, no compromises. In New Moon’s ‘crossed’ weaving each successive row of knots is locked into place by pulling alternate rows of warps forward on the loom, passing the weft between the separated warps, and pounding down tightly. This is more difficult, more time-consuming and more expensive. But it is also the only way to make a durable rug. It forms an interlocked foundation, over and under like a tennis racket. These are the true ‘lifetime rugs’, lasting for generations. Uncrossed rugs are literally ‘hollow’; there is nothing holding them together.
The knot count states how many individual knots of wool are found in one square inch of a handmade rug. In essence, the knot count defines the rugs fineness. A higher knot count allows for more detail in the design while also providing a finer rug texture than that of a lower knot count. You can physically feel the fineness of a rug when you grab it and try to bend it. A rug with a very high knot count will bend quite easily. You can actually grab a section of a finer rug and crumple into one hand much like you would with a towel. You can be confident that the knot count of a New Moon rug is accurate. Unlike many others, we do not exaggerate the number of knots so you can be certain that you will find 100 knots per square inch in one of our 100-knot rugs.
DENSITY OF PACKING
After the weavers finish weaving a row of knots, the alternate warp shed is pulled forward and the weft is passed through, and then pounded down hard on the row of knots. This takes time and is hard work but it is essential for strengthening the foundation of the rug. New Moon weavers pack each rug very tightly in order to strengthen the rug and offer the durability necessary for it to last generations.
Tweeding creates a complexity of color that gives a rug depth and intricacy. The process of tweeding is labor-intensive and time-consuming. The dyed wool, which has been spun together with three plies of wool into miles of twisted strands, must all be pulled apart. Then one ply of another shade is placed together with two of the original-color plies. The combination of plies is then once again twisted together. The majority of New Moon rugs are enhanced by this technique but it is a process that takes a much, much longer time to do.
NUMBER OF COLORS
New Moon offers an unprecedented number of colors in its rug designs. Most Tibetan rugs might have an average of 5 colors in a rug whereas New Moon has averages from 12 to 25.
NO STRONG CHEMICAL WASHES
Strong chemical washes strip the wool of its natural lanolin. The wash creates an immediate shine but only at the expense of the wool, which has been stripped of its natural lanolin and weakened by the strong chemicals. New Moon rugs are not washed with harsh chemicals. Rather, their beautiful shine naturally reveals itself after being polished through the exposure to light, air and, of course, passing feet!
New Moon rugs are made with the highest quality of Tibetan wool available. This wool comes from the sheep of the Tibetan plateau at an altitude of 14,000 ft. Long fibers, high lanolin content and the unique physical structure of Tibetan wool makes it the ideal choice for rug weaving.
COMPLEXITY OF DESIGN
Due to the complexity of the designs, New Moon weavers are the most highly skilled weavers in Nepal, as well as the highest paid. Because of the skill and time it takes weave a New Moon rug, weavers are paid more and thus are not forced for work longer hours to make a fair wage.
Lately there have been an increasing number of rugs coming out of Nepal, in all knot counts, which are employing a shortcut. They are not ‘crossing’ the warps between rows of knots, creating an unconnected foundation. These rugs do not have the strong foundation of a crossed-woven rug. To all appearances a rug can be a sophisticated-looking wool and silk, 100 knot, supple to the touch—and still be ‘uncrossed’ weaving.
ALL New Moon Rugs are created using crossed weaving, so you get the best quality possible and peace of mind that your New Moon™ Rug will last.
Where are your showrooms and who carries your rugs?
We have about 50 dealers throughout the country that carry our rugs, ranging from dealer showrooms to design centers. Here is a small sampling:
Patterson, Flynn & Martin – New York City, NY
David E. Adler, Inc. – Scottsdale, AZ
Tony Kitz Gallery – San Francisco, CA
Rugs and More – Santa Barbara, CA
Amadi Carpets – West Hollywood, CA
Artisan Rug Gallery – Crested Butte, CO
Lillian August – Norwalk, CT
Gallerie One – Chicago, IL
Landry & Arcari – Boston, MA
Alanya Carpet Gallery – Bozeman, MT
Arrediamo – Santa Fe, NM
Albed Rugs – Wayne, PA
Colin Campbell – Vancouver, BC
Weaver’s Art – Toronto, ON
Andonian Rugs – Seattle, WA
J. Asher Carpet Couture – Washington D.C.
New Moon Rugs are certified child-labor-free by GoodWeave
To learn more, visit www.GoodWeave.org
If you would like to work with us on any custom made or standard rugs from New Moon, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
I picked up these armchairs for a client through a friend who finds beautiful pieces at estate sales and auctions. The wood frame has a clean, unique style and simply needed to be reupholstered.
Incorporating the client’s existing color palette in their living room, we selected a Jim Thompson silk fabric in Sapphire from the Nymph collection to recover the armchairs. The rich texture of the silk adds nice depth with its pattern that has a bold and contemporary feel.
We also had two throw pillows made (using the same Jim Thompson fabric) for the living room sofa. The throw pillows work as great accent pieces; they complement the armchairs beautifully.
Our roost holiday items have arrived! Believe it or not, the holidays are rapidly approaching and now is the perfect time to start picking out gifts for friends and family. We have a large selection of Roost holiday items including beaded mistletoe, various ornaments, glass reindeer vases, hand-antiqued tealight holders, wooden holiday wine cylinders and much more! Roost’s holiday accessories are not only great for holiday party host/hostess gifts, they are perfect for bringing some holiday cheer into your home.
We currently have the items pictured below in stock, with additional items on the way. Please contact us for further information on pricing and additional products available. You may reach Bree (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Blair (email@example.com) for pricing and further product details. Quantities are limited, so the sooner you order, the better!
Jonathan Adler is known for making a statement with his bold designs. The accessories in his happy chic office line will add some funk into your home or serve as a stylish gift for any occasion. Bright, modern letterpress note cards and note cube to put the fun back into sending thank you notes.
The squirrel match strike is not only clever storage for matches – to light candles or whatnot, but you can ignite strike-anywhere matches on the base of the squirrel! No more matchboxes laying around. Great for an unconventional gift or just to treat yourself to a fun conversation piece.
Our latest Dish group got together for dinner in NYC. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it, but I thought this creative invite was fantastic; I had to share it. The cute ribbon bracelet that arrived along with the invite was such a fun little gift to all of us in the group. Nice work, Camille!
Last month, I spent a few hours with talented author, photographer, lecturer and horticultural consultant Rick Darke at his home in Landenberg, Pennsylvania. He introduced me to his world filled with passion for horticulture, landscape design/ethics, garden art, photography, travel and much more. Not only is his work fascinating, his worldly accomplishments are altogether inspiring.
This post focuses on the ‘Meadow Metropolis,’ a piece of art he created in his backyard from old sash vents from the conservatory at Longwood Gardens, where he worked for twenty years. Please enjoy Rick’s narrative on his career and his diverse interests.
Rick Darke on his career and the ‘Meadow Metropolis’:
I never imagined a career working with landscapes and gardens. I’ve always been fascinated by machine design, and thought mechanical engineering would be the ideal way to work at something I loved. I nearly went to General Motors Institute but chose instead to enroll as an engineering student at the University of Delaware because it offered a more varied environment. That was a fortunate decision, because I quickly realized that there wasn’t enough art in the engineering curriculum. I changed majors, wandering through art and cultural geography before settling on botany and plant science as the best fit. I was lucky to join the Longwood Gardens staff fresh out of school in 1977, first as Assistant Taxonomist and then as Curator of Plants. My twenty years at Longwood proved to be an extraordinary education about people, places, and plants. As Curator, I contributed to the concept and planting design of new gardens including Peirce’s Woods, the Silver Garden, the Cascade Garden, and the Mediterranean Garden. My role in plant exploration and introduction literally took me around the world, with trips to diverse places including Japan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and the Canary Islands. The more I traveled, the more I realized I was most intrigued by how human culture shapes landscapes, and by the inherent stories that are evident to keen observers.
It’s been nearly fourteen years since I launched my independent practice with a focus on landscape ethics, photography and contextual design. In that time, I’ve been fortunate to have a number of books published on landscape design, which have found an international audience, and some have been translated into other languages. An active speaking schedule has continued to offer glimpses into communities and landscapes around the world, and this, and the books have in turn lead to involvement in a wide range of design projects including botanic gardens, parks, transportation corridors, and residential landscapes. The camera plays an ever-increasing role in all of this. After taking more than seventy five thousand 35mm slides, I switched in 1999 from film to digital photography and now enjoy taking pictures and using them in my work more than ever before.
One of the greatest gifts of my line of work is that it constantly enriches my perspective on what makes landscapes truly livable, and I’m able to use this knowledge at home in the garden that my wife and co-hort(iculturist) Melinda Zoehrer and I have been making together for almost two decades. Situated at the edge of the White Clay Creek Preserve, in Landenberg, a half mile from the Delaware state line, our 1.5 acre property is both our home and a living laboratory where we can try out our ideas in real-time 3-D. The garden is full of functional spaces including outdoor dining rooms, an outdoor shower, a stone fire circle, a small cabin with a tin roof for listening to the rain. But it also serves as a living theater in which we enjoy telling stories by means of plants with special provenance or found objects and other cultural artifacts.
One such story is an interweaving of my machine interests, childhood experiences in New York City, my Longwood Gardens association, and the notion of the landscape as a palimpsest (a parchment or entablature that has been written on many times, each time being imperfectly erased so that the previous writing is partly legible). As a child, my parents for years took me on birthday trips to the Museum of Natural History in New York, where I was equally awed by dinosaurs and skyscrapers. I learned years later that Longwood Gardens’ founder, Pierre S. du Pont was one of the financial major backers of my favorite, the Empire State Building. He maintained offices on the 80th floor, which survived the 1945 crash of a B-25 bomber relatively unscathed. Longwood’s main conservatory, built in 1919 by Mr. du Pont, was undergoing extensive renovation in the mid-90’s while I was still working at the gardens. This work included replacing the sash windows that vented the monitor atop the conservatory. More than seventy-five years of increasingly acid rain had taken their toll on the sashes, which were beautifully constructed of wood, hand-sheathed in copper, with glass arranged in repeating patterns of eight lights with diagonal cross muntins. After learning the old sash vents were destined to be recycled for their copper, I expressed an interest in acquiring a few as relics and was permitted to purchase a number of sections at scrap value. I brought them home and began experimenting with placing them in our garden. The ideal location quickly presented itself – a position at the edge of our small grassy meadow, where they could be viewed looking south from our glass-walled bedroom. I arranged sections of the sash in a ziggurat pattern evoking the set-back spire of New York City skyscrapers. Melinda took one look and christened it the ‘Meadow Metropolis’, a name that has endured, along with the sash, for the past fifteen years.
The soft-textured matrix of grasses is the perfect foil for the organized geometry of the Meadow Metropolis. The translucent grasses and the acid-rain-etched glass are regularly set aglow by the sun as it arcs east to west over our little meadow. The glass is illuminated in different patterns corresponding to seasonal variations in the sun’s angle, and experience has taught us to tell the time of year by these varied signatures. It’s delightfully dynamic in its celebration of small moments – those incidental keys to the universal. It is also the perfect prop for those visitors interested in stories. I believe the notions of renewal and recycling are at the heart of gardening. Tomorrow’s landscapes will always find life in each summer’s seeds and each autumn’s fading treasures. Authentic artifacts of experience are worthy of reconsideration in the places we make today, weaving together a pride in past accomplishment and novel insights into the present.
Maintaining my machine interests, I bought a 1938 Chevrolet pickup a few years ago with the intention of using it as garden art. It was a farm truck from southern Delaware that had been stored in a barn. It proved to be such a strong runner. I redid the brakes, carburetor, starter, and some wiring, replaced the wood in the bed and registered it as an antique. It is street legal and is used for local trips and appearances at the Hagley Car Show each September but still occasionally spends time in the garden, back by the Meadow Metropolis.
The truck contributes to the story of the ‘Meadow Metropolis’, since the truck was made by General Motors, Pierre du Pont was a GM board member in the 1930’s as well as being one of the principal financial supporters of the Empire State Building, and of course the sash pieces came from the Main Conservatory at Longwood, where I was on staff for twenty years. I began my college studies as a mechanical engineer, and was in final stage of interviews for General Motors Institute (a 5-year engineering program) when I decided at the very last minute to go to the University of Delaware instead. So, it really is one big circle.
A client of mine was recently given one of his father’s retired steeplechase jerseys. He wanted to showcase it in his home. We took the jersey to Laurel at Carspecken-Scott Gallery, where she created a large shadow box frame that elegantly displayed a classic memento of his fathers, as well as preserving its quality.
The photos below show the process of creating a shadow box frame for his father’s steeplechase jersey.
1) Wrapping the back and sides of the interior of the frame with a neutral linen fabric
2) Positioning the jersey properly
3) Sewing the jersey to the linen backing to secure it
4) Voila, a unique way to honor a family heirloom!
A few years ago, my mom gave me a pocket watch and compass that belonged to my great grandfather. She had it on a gold chain that could be worn as a necklace. I was always too nervous to wear it because of its age and sentimental value, so it just sat in my jewelry box.
I wanted to come up with a way to showcase this family heirloom, where it could be admired instead of stored away where it couldn’t be seen. I brought it to Howie Scott at Rag & Gilt in Montchanin, Delaware to see if we could create a shadow box frame to display it properly, as well as preserve its integrity and quality.
The wooden frame I selected was navy and gold, which gave us the option to add gold lettering along the frame. I had my great grandfather’s name and his years of life to commemorate him. I felt that a burgundy velvet would be an elegant, contrasting backdrop for the gold necklace to be displayed. The velvet I selected was from Kravet Fabrics. I wanted to document the process of selecting a frame, fabric backdrop and style of shadow box (see images below).
Followed by the finished product…looks beautiful!
This week’s post featuring The Inn at Montchanin Village will conclude with the Spa at Montchanin Village as well as Krazy Kat’s Restaurant. The Spa at Montchanin Village retains the charm and feel guests have come to expect while visiting The Inn.
Each and every treatment I have had at the Spa has been an incredible experience. The Spa, tucked quietly around the rear side of the Reception Barn, provides a tranquil retreat that leaves me feeling rejuvenated every time, without fail. I highly recommend indulging yourself (or a friend) with a treatment at the Spa.
Q&A with Vera Cornish-Palmatary, General Manager for The Inn at Montchanin Village & Spa and Krazy Kat’s Restaurant:
How long has the Spa been open and what are some of your signature treatments?
The Spa is our newest addition to the village having opened in 2008. Although we customize our treatments to best accommodate each guest, some of our signature treatments are listed below.
~ Rose & Linen Age Reversal Facial ~
Indulge in opulence with a luscious firming mask, enriched with age-defying essences that saturates and plumps skin for instant radiance and rejuvenation.
~ Japanese Body Ritual ~
An extraordinary multi-step massage body ritual, developed and perfected in Japan, takes you on an unparalleled journey through oriental techniques to relax and heal from the inside out.
~ Hammam Body Ritual ~
This therapeutic transformation is a seven-step healing massage ritual inspired by Middle Eastern modalities. Prepare to leave the world behind!
~ Healing Massage Ritual ~
Designed to speed healing, this intense massage was created to restore and revitalize over-used muscles. A hybrid of numerous techniques, each service is custom created for you and the needs of your body.
Krazy Kat’s Restaurant is located within The Village and features fresh, seasonal Northeast cuisine, while offering an eclectic fine dining menu. Krazy Kat’s now offers a specialized spa menu, as well as breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner. Behind the huge wooden door of the renovated blacksmith’s shop, lies a charming, cozy restaurant with eclectic decor to emphasize the theme of the ‘Krazy Kat’.
Where did the name Krazy Kat’s come from? What type of cuisine does Krazy Kat’s offer?
Krazy Kat’s was named after an eccentric woman who rented the space and ran a small store. One of our owner’s, Missy, recalls her grandmother calling the renter “One Krazy Kat”. We’ve attempted to stay true to her eccentric style with Krazy Kat’s whimsical interior décor. Krazy Kat’s is a fine dining restaurant focusing on innovative, fresh, seasonal cuisine.