Tara Young at Etsy recently got a behind-the-scenes look at the Pets with Fez weaving shop in Los Angeles in this charming video:

Master weaver Babajan of the Los Angeles weaving shop, Pets With Fez, wove his first rug at the age of six, a lovely tapestry sampler populated by frogs and turtles. He grew up in San Francisco, the son of a Kurdish shepherd who fought in World War I as a teenager before emigrating to the States. Baba’s father worried that in America there were no programs where his sons could learn the cultural traditions of his homeland. So the extended family came together to run an after-school program modeled on their villages. Aunts, uncles — whomever knew a technique — would give lessons in traditional weaving, music, and languages. Baba and his brothers all studied weaving but it became clear that it was only a calling for Baba.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).

  • rubyvermillion

    Thank you for honoring Baba with this story! He’s been a centerpiece in Highland Park for many years, and is an amazing guy!

  • Goli Mohammadi

    I love this video! What a great window into Baba and his rug weaving. Thanks for sharing!

  • Eddie

    I think this is a great story and I was very interested in seeing how Baba was using a traditional technique instead of the modern one for Persian rugs. This is something we are very interested in at Historic Crafts.

  • d. wiskup

    On April 9, 2012, Babajan Lazar passed away at his mother’s home in San Mateo. He was a fascinating personality and will be missed by our family.

    • Chuck

      I met Baba (then known as “Hakim”) in Isfahan, Iran back in the 1970s. He was hugely talented and I will never forget everything I learned from him about Iranian/Kurdish history, arts, and culture. He opened my ears to the beauty of Persian classical music: his santoor playing was inspired and I had some truly magical moments accompanying him on tombak, so I was shocked to discover he had passed away. Do you have any further details to share?


  • http://www.mamabotanica.com Joan Stevens

    I only found out recently that he had passed. Very sad moment as I would give anything to have one of his baby blankets now that it’s finally me whose having a baby! and I loved him and his wicked sense of humor. I will forever be indebted to him for teaching me to weave. What an amazing spirit! He is missed!