August 6, 2014

A New Textile: "Red Sector"

Red Sector, hand dyed wool on linen, 8 x 19 1/2 in.

When I was thinking of a title for this new textile, I kept looking at that red slice of pie and wondering if there was a name for it, and it turns out that there is: it is a sector, a shape formed by two radii of a circle and the arc of the circle between them. What a nice, useful word. As for the composition, I wanted to try an elongated rectangle, which I haven't done since I made a failed piece a couple of years ago. Red Sector has a proportion of close to 1 to 2 1/2 while the earlier one was 1 to 4, so I was more conservative in my lengthening. I decided on a bright orange for the long rounded shape with a dark red for the sector, and blue for the little triangular bits of background. When I was finished with the dyeing and the wool was drying, I realized that the red and orange weren't working well together: I had to either tone down the orange or darken and brighten the red. I thought that a bolder choice would be to intensify the red, so it went back into the dye pot; I think the result works fairly well. 

Red Sector detail

Red Sector detail

In these details you can get a better idea of the hooking patterns. For the two large shapes I followed their outlines: the orange shape is curved and then straight; for the sector I emphasized its being part of a circle by having the lines of hooking follow the outer curve. I think of the blue as background for which I often use a random hooking pattern because it is less insistent of a shape. Although the actual hooking process in my textile work doesn't take a great deal of attention (I do it while watching tv in the evening), its other aspects are similar to making a painting: establishing a composition, working out the color, figuring out the facture, with the direction of hooked loops being like brush strokes. I love doing different kinds of handwork.


  1. Beautiful contrasts. The weaving parts remind me of the little macaroni pieces kids would string and paint.