Sunday, March 31, 2019

Use What You Have

I'd saved several jars of mixed dye from previous projects.  I didn't want to waste them, so I chose all the brown, gold, and yellow dyes to spot dye several pieces of wool.  I soaked the wool, scrunched them up in my pan, and spotted the colors across the pieces. I like the result above. I'm sure there will be a future project where these pieces will be perfect.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Making. Art or Craft?

Many people consider rug hooking a craft, not an art. Craft is considered skilled work achieved through practice.  Many say art comes from the heart and is an expression of emotion. A craft is considered something easy and art is difficult. I disagree.  I believe rug hooking can be art, so I was pleased to read something Deanne Fitzpatrick wrote this weekend.

Deanne sent a Sunday morning letter relating rug hooking to a meditation and she also wrote about a rug she hooked with love for a friend. She wrote:

"Often when I start a rug I start with one idea.  There is a part of me that wants to hold fast to that idea and see it through.  But then there is the other part of me, the part that knows to make art you have to be open and flexible and responsive and willing to listen to your soul...

But I also think about what I need.  It's like a meditation. Just like our hooking is a meditation. It calms. It soothes. It generates. Generate. That time with yourself is generative. It leads to more. That's the beauty of any meditation. It brings us closer to ourselves, to our art spirit. It deepens the generosity inside of ourselves as we prepare to give to the world the beauty that only we can create.

Making is so misunderstood.  It's seen as a past time. It's a hobby. It's sometimes seen as the lost art of the lonely and the bored. These are the words of fools of course. For we who make and only we, know the power between hands and the mind as they work together and soothe the soul."

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Color Lab

The Color Lab by Wanda Kerr is an incredible resource. I recommend it for your library. It discusses color temperature, saturation, value, color planning, etc.. It's a book I will use as a resource and will return to read over and over.
The information on value is of particular interest to me, not only for rug hooking, but also for all of my other media interests.  Wanda's information on value covers topics I've never even considered. For example, she asks if there's a part of the value scale you favor.  Do you hook in medium and dark values, in light and medium values, or do you favor the middle of the value scale?  I never looked at my art to determine where my value preferences lie.
Wanda suggests lab work for her topics as the best way to learn. One such exercise suggests using leftover strips and sorting them by value and using them to hook a value reference. I took this exercise beyond her suggestion.  I have way too many left over strips and sorted a huge pile as she instructs into values.

I checked the values using my camera phone.  The above photo I changed to gray to check the values. (You'll notice there are a lot of light and medium values.)

Now...what do I do with these? Create a rug design that demonstrates value?

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Is It Wool?

A Test for Wool

I have recycled fabric that I'm not sure is really wool.  I'd like to dye, cut, and use the fabric in a rug.  If it isn't wool, will it dye well, will it dull my cutters, will it hook?  I read an article that said chlorine bleach dissolves wool fibers, so I thought I would try this test.  I cut 2 squares of fabric to test, put them in bowls, and added straight chlorine bleach.

I left the squares soaking in the bleach over night, but nothing happened. Did the test work and were these fabrics not wool? I had nothing to compare with the results.

I did another test using a piece of natural wool that I had purchased from Dorr Mill.  I put a square of the wool in a bowl in bleach and left it over night.

The piece of wool almost completely dissolved. The test works.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Magazine Article

Rug Hooking Magazine

The Rockefeller Rug (March 23, 2017) was the topic of an article I wrote for Rug Hooking Magazine, September - October 2018. The two and a half page article included my own photos of the process used in the rug's creation. The participation in this publication was a great learning experience I thoroughly enjoyed.

Casserole Dyeing

I've been interested in casserole dyeing of wool.  I purchased a 21" x 13" x 4" stainless steel steam table pan with a cover to dye wool pieces. I cut my wool to fit flat on the bottom of the pan. After soaking the wool overnight, I laid the first piece in the pan on the stove.
  Then I added my dye by table spoons on each end and the middle.  Using the back of the spoon, I blended the colors.

I then continued to add pieces on top of this one, adding color and blending on each piece of wool. The wool at the bottom of the pan had a deeper color than the pieces I added to the top.

This is the final result after cooked for an hour, washed, and dried..

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Gift Decoration

Limb Slice with Bark

My husband cut some branch slices for me.  With a small acrylic painting and a hole drilled for hanging, I have a gift decoration or Christmas ornament.