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In 2017 artist Hasmik Margaryan and a few like-minded women came together not only to revive Armenian handicrafts, but also to empower the women of their community. As diversely gifted individuals, they revived the ancient arts of carpet weaving, embroidery, and lacemaking by enriching it with new motifs, new ideas, and new styles.

An extremely picturesque town, shielded from the world by forest-covered mountains and filled with medieval architecture, Ijevan was a centuries-old center of rug art and subsequently the heart of the carpet industry during the Soviet Era. Distinguished rugs from Ijevan—such as the Kazakh, Deghnakyunj, and Erebuni—were both pieces of luxury and symbols of art. Their patterns of ornamentation and color composition date to ancient times, and embody the religious beliefs and traditions of their authors.

Hasmik offers master classes on carpet/rug weaving, embroidery, and doily making. A skilled calligraphy artist, she also teaches the history and cultural significance of Armenian calligraphy. Participants may also design t-shirts using a script with graceful lines and elegant forms, and adorning it with fantasy birds, a technique that dates to the Middle Ages. By weaving part of a rug or embellishing a piece of fabric, participants may marvel at the traditions of Armenian handicrafts.

Read more: https://myarmenia.si.edu/en/guide/experience/take-hike-ijevan-mountains/