November 26, 2010

Four New Hooked Rug Sketches

2010 #5, Hover; hand-dyed wool on linen, with duct tape binding; 13 x 11 inches.

I've completed another batch of hooked "sketches" (to see the first four, go to this post). I find that it's perfect to work on these in between the larger hooked rug projects, while I'm getting the new dyed wool ready. With these, after getting a critique on my masking tape binding method from a friend, I tried putting wide duct tape on the back of the work, then cutting through it; this left a tight clean edge, which I like a lot better. It's still irregular, but that's the nature of the material.

2010 #6, Seesaw; hand-dyed wool on linen with duct tape binding; 13 1/4 x 11 1/4 inches.

The first two pieces I did worked with the same idea of using lines of hooked wool to make the composition. In Hover, a thin half moon shape is caught in an open rectangle; Seesaw has two squares pushing up and down along a line.

2010 #7, The Snails (Thinking of Matisse); egg tempera and hand-dyed wool on linen with duct tape binding; 14 1/2 x 10 inches.

Then I did something new: after getting suggestions to try coloring the linen backing from a couple of readers, I did just that, painted a shape using my usual egg tempera and then hooked the wool on top of it. I like the interplay between paint and wool, and the flexibility in composing that using the paint adds to the process. It's got me jumping a bit up and down with fun in doodling ideas for this format. I also like the quickness of it. And its funkiness; the offhandedness makes my not-very-formal hooked rugs look very formal. I've been photographing these with a side raking light, lighting up the wool, but also the imperfections, which adds to their casual appearance.

2010 #8, Primary Color Composition; egg tempera and hand-dyed wool on linen with duct tape binding; 14 x 12 1/4 inches.

I hung the four new sketches in the studio among some paintings. I think the two different mediums have an interesting relationship; it's not far-fetched that the same artist made both, is it?


  1. not at all far fetched - but a nice extended development. these hybrids are exciting, esp snails, & I like the way you solved the edges - they look thinner on the wall, more like what they are without pretension. it is startling though to see how tiny the parchments are. I suspect there is no way to actually appreciate how all these work off each other, other than by seeing them in person.

  2. thanks, rappel, I'm really glad you like these. I sure wish all my readers could make a studio visit, to see these all in person; actual physical presence makes a big difference.

  3. From the Great Lakes, these look great! I too especially like The Snails. The tension between paint and hooked wool in that and Primary Color is very engaging. Oddly, I think Primary Color can stand on its own, while the other three play off each other to make a balaced composition. Snails is even more amusing with the reference to Matisse.