GOOD Morning Wilton has profiled many talented Wilton teens, but when we heard about 13-year-old Nathan Partenza and his rug-making business called “Bring on the String,” we were immediately “hooked.”
The Middlebrook seventh-grader with a proclivity for artistic creation recently spoke with GMW and gave a tour of his workshop via FaceTime.
Inspired by Chance
Partenza’s unusual path to rug-making began with a video he just happened to see online.
“I saw a video on the internet,” Partenza explained. “It was a machine — I didn’t really know what it was, but they were making rugs and I thought it was cool.”
Nathan’s curiosity spurred him to learn more about the equipment and the craft of rug-making; his creative side pushed him to try it himself.
“I planned out all the things I would need, watched a bunch of videos on how to do it, and I just taught myself how to make the rugs as best as I could with the materials I had,” Partenza said.
Planning and Practice
Partenza did his planning while saving up for a critical piece of equipment: a tufting gun, which he found on Amazon.
Partenza credited several family members who have helped him make his plans a reality, including his grandfather who helped him convert the basement “junk room” into a workshop, and his father who helped him construct the large wooden loom, as well as a cousin with whom he shares creative interests.
Partenza showed GMW the entire process he uses, starting with a graphic design on a laptop, using a projector to project the image onto the base fabric, and then outlining the image in marker. Once the image is outlined, Partenza begins the tufting.
But the work doesn’t end there. Shearing, gluing, backing and drying are the final steps to complete the process.
Partenza says his rugs are ideal to use as small area rugs, bath mats, and wall hangings.
With a number of finished rugs under his belt, Partenza was confident enough to start taking orders. He created a logo and Google order form for his new venture. (For more information, email Partenza or use the order form to make a request.)
A Creative Journey
Partenza’s mother, Kristin Partenza, joined Nathan on the FaceTime call with GMW.
A dedicated runner, Kristin keeps one of Nathan’s rugs next to her bed. It says “RUN”.
“It’s right where I get out of bed,” Kristin said. “I keep my running shoes right by it and it’s like motivation.”
She highlighted Nathan’s long history of creative endeavors, including making beautiful intricate origami, performing in several children’s theater productions, and even sewing his own sweatshirt, among other things.
Kristin told GMW when she saw the rug-making video that caught Nathan’s interest, she said, “Go for it, Nathan.”
“He’s been so imaginative since day one,” Kristin said. “We are so proud of him for seeing his ideas through and enjoying the entire process of creating.”
She reflected on Nathan’s persistence.
“It’s so interesting to watch Nathan when he creates, because he doesn’t know how to do it at first, but he doesn’t get frustrated. He will try it again, and he likes seeing that it’s better the second time,” Kristin said.
“It seems like he enjoys the journey.”