July 12, 2010

A New Rug Hooking Project: Bulge

This is the color sketch for a new ruglet that I'm calling Bulge. A few months ago, I did a diptych Roundabout based on some pottery and glass I'd seen at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. I did a group of sketches, which you can see at the Roundabout link, and have been mulling over this one for quite a while. I did several little studies and decided to choose the dark valued sketch, mainly because I seldom work in this deep color range. After doing a shaped piece, Up Down, I was in the mood to go back to what I call my 'pictorial' work: a composition within a rectangle. I noted the names of the Cushing Acid dye colors that I would use.

The piece will be 9 inches by 16 inches; I'd first tried 10 x 18, but it didn't look right. Above is the full size pencil drawing, which you can see took a great deal of revision to get the curve the way I wanted it. I will lay the linen backing on top of this drawing and follow the lines which I'll be able to see through the open weave cloth.

Here are the three colors for the ruglet, each pot dyed in a small amount of water in order to get a mottled effect. I decided to make the blue color lighter in order to mix up the idea of background/foreground. I'm thinking of hooking the entire piece in a random pattern, to see what happens to the relationships of shapes: will it all look flatter or will the shape predominate and create a shallow space? I imagine that the intense dark ocher, being bright, will take center stage, enhanced by its overlapping, reaching out, shape.


  1. when you mentioned ' random pattern ' I thought of brush strokes -- that of course in a painting you don't need to decide in advance anything about the stroke, it occurs as you see fit at the moment. so hooking is much more predetermined, cerebral, conceptual - the creative part, the vision, is developed in advance. nice juxtaposition of how things work....

  2. rappel, yes, there is preplanning with rug hooking, though if I don't like how something looks, I can always change it, just like in painting. But hooking is a more mechanical process than brushing on paint. That is why I can do my rug hooking while watching tv; once the composition is set and the wool is dyed, the actual making of the piece doesn't require a huge amount of attention. This is very different from painting, which demands constant focus.