Rug Maker Emma Webber

90 year old Rug Maker Emma Webber in her Petaluma studio. She first learned to hook and braid rugs from her mother in 1948. 60 years later she is still working on her rugs. She makes her braided rugs out of whatever material she can find. Every surface in her house is covered by her braided rugs and every wall proudly wears her ornate hooked rugs. She says she just can’t stop making them. She says most old people sit around and read, but Emma says she has read all she wants to read, so she makes her rugs instead.

Emma sells her rugs from her Petaluma home on 4th street and at Knitterly in downtown Petaluma. As I was leaving her house she handed me one of her business cards and said she wasn’t sure if she should have another 500 cards printed, because she doesn’t know if she’ll live long enough to pass them all out.

If you live in Petaluma, or anywhere close to Petaluma, and you are looking for an authentic beautiful gift that comes from a wonderful creative soul, then please visit Emma’s house and see for yourself. Also, her daughter, Laura, teaches classes on rug hooking in the same house… so you can dive in to the art of rug hooking as deep as you want to go.

I photographed Emma for a story, for the Petaluma Magazine, on where to buy local art for the holidays.

One of a kind…

This is Jess Brown, and her dog Shortie, in her Petaluma workshop where she handmakes the most beautiful and ecologically fashionable dolls I have ever met. Her inspiration for the dolls came from too many cashmere sweaters shrunk in the wash and a desire to have beautiful, yet functional, handmade dolls for her daughter.

Why shouldn’t dolls wear silk and cashmere too? Especially when the fabric would otherwise end up in the landfill. Jess takes leftover fabrics from local designers and combines them with fabric cut from clothes she finds in local thrift store to make the hair and clothes for each doll.

Jess’s wonderful dolls are gaining a lot of attention, nationally and internationally, so our local artisan is very very busy these day. And my recommendation, grab one while you can, because they won’t last long. You can find Jess and her dolls (and lots of other ridiculously cute children’s clothing) at Maude, her store inĀ  Petaluma on Kentucky Street.

This is Mima, the original doll Jess created for her daugher, who has had lots and lots of love over the years. If you click on the photo, you can read the very cute note Jess’s daughter left on her sewing machine. It is written in Mima’s words.

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