December 5, 2012

A New Textile: "Square Off"

Square Off, hand dyed wool on linen, 11 x 11 1/4 in.

One of the wonderful characteristics of the hooked rug medium is the ease with which you can make odd shapes. When I began working on sketches for this piece, I had a group of overlapping squares within a rectangle, but then thought it would be an interesting twist to have one of them slip outside it, pushing into the surrounding space. Square Off would have had a very different mood if I'd chosen different colors, but I wanted an almost frivolous feeling, so chose pink as the wandering square's color.  Deciding to have a pink line along two edges made the work less formal, I think; it enclosed the forms, made the pink square more of a character, moved the piece a little farther from a formal modernist exercise. Doesn't it look more serious if you cover those pink lines? 

I hooked each square parallel to its edges, beginning at the outer edge and moving in toward the center, which gives a nice crisscross pattern within it. The surrounding white field is hooked randomly, so as to look like background. I can think of hooking patterns as equivalent to brush strokes: in which direction should they go to best express the form?

And below are four other shaped textiles, showing different ways to move off the rectangle:


  1. love this one Altoon! Especially the color combination.

  2. This one tickles me too....I think it is the strongest of the series, which is odd since I generally consider less is more.

    1. Thanks, Julie. It's always good to know that the most recent work seems strongest.