Best Bet: SerpentSea Mats

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It was on a sailing trip to Nantucket two years ago that downtown artist Sophie Aschauer unexpectedly discovered her medium. As she cruised the coastline, the intricate marine knots piqued her creativity, compelling her to cart a stash of weathered sailing rope back to New York. The plundered line became the basis of her SerpentSea mats, each of which takes Aschauer about four hours and 150 feet of rope to hand-weave, heat-fuse, and sew together in her Nolita studio apartment. Starting this week, the weatherproof 35-to-45-inch mats (an in-progress version pictured here) can be had in dozens of color combos at art purveyor Grey Area’s just-opened Soho showroom (from $250 each; 547 Broadway, nr. Prince St., second fl.; 212-941-6400 or online). Plus, Ryan McGinness art you can afford, a self-watering planter, and more in this week's issue. [NYM]