Floor Art > Reviews > San Jose Mercury News
Walk-on Art
 By Judith Anderson

Special to the Mercury News

ONE of the freshest looks in floor coverings is al least 200 years old. Floorcloths, area rugs made of canvas that has been painted or stenciled, were popular in Colonial America. People like George Washington and John Hancock used them in their homes because they were durable, less costly than woven rugs and just as decorative.

Today, the materials have improved but the idea is the same. Although they are no longer inexpensive because of the time involved in creating them by hand, floorcloths are an attractive and durable example of folk art.

The revival of floorcloths began several years ago on the East Coast, where they originated. A visiting craftsperson from New York recently told a friend in San Francisco that "everyone is making them there." In the last year, the trend has made it to the West Coast. At least three Bay Area artists have picked up on the idea and have begun producing their own versions of the artistic canvases. Some of their customers, reluctant to walk on the creations, are using them as wall hangings. ...                                            (1/21/84)  [Return to Reviews Index]

Artist Patricia Dreher painted this floor cloth, and uses it as a floor covering in the kitchen area of her San Francisco home.

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