June 7, 2011

A New Textile: "Objects #1"

Objects 1, hand dyed wool on linen, 9 x 15 inches.

The genesis of this piece was in the film Objectified, a terrific documentary on industrial design. I was inspired by the images of objects, which you can see in this blog post I wrote about the film, so began to do thumbnail sketches of them. I kept changing and refining until I came up with four sketches that I liked, which you see below, so decided to do a series. The color idea for the group is to have fairly quiet color, a bit grayed and subdued. Of course the dyed wool never comes out exactly as I plan, which is for the best; a little lack of control is fun.

My thoughts about the hooking direction are as follows: each "object" would have hooking following its lines while the surrounding shapes would be horizontal and vertical. In this first piece, I thought of the pale blue as the shape furthest back so hooked the green with an outline; the blue bumps up against the green, so gives a sense of being behind it. Maybe. Since the blue is a light color, it feels almost bright, so pops up equal to the green, or maybe in front. No matter. Here I feel like quoting my favorite Samuel Beckett phrase: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

These four sketches are a guide to the series. As you can see, the color of #1 is brighter than it was in the sketch. I just dyed the wool for the second piece, which is the violet triangle with a yellow swoop above #1; I like the colors, but won't be able to quite tell how they work until the piece is mostly finished and I see it with its companion.


  1. One of the things I love about the hooked rug pieces is the texture and the way the direction of the "loops" changes. It is so interesting to see the sketches. Oh, and I thrive on lack of control in art.

  2. The Gertrude Greene piece you posted really excites me. I don't know her work and I thank you for calling attention to this artist.

    Slowly I am getting started here in the barn with a working plan. Why
    does it feel like pulling teeth to get in the groove? When I am working
    I feel so alive!

    Thanks Altoon for all your posts. I enjoy them and keep up with you almost daily. Myrna (murks)

  3. Mary, I love having the hooking direction be an important part of the design; it adds something more to color and shape. I am usually pretty controlled in my work, but have to let go with certain things.
    Myrna, you're very welcome; I'm pleased you like the posts. As for getting going, I often have a hard time getting back to work after being away for a while, or even after having a couple of days not in the studio. But it's so enjoyable to work, isn't it?

  4. here's a fly in the ointment response: I keep wanting to rotate it 90 degrees clockwise - don't know why.

  5. rappel, hmmm, maybe you feel the weight of the red form is pulling the rectangle end over end.

  6. "Fail better." What a great message. I am catching up on blog posts and staying indoors til it cools down a bit. I love blue gray green color. Rotating it as rappel suggests makes it too obviously a landscape for me.