About My Work
Hand Hooked Rugs and Textile Art
My hand hooked rugs are made in the traditional manner, by cutting narrow strips of fabric which are then hooked into a linen backing. For functional pieces I primarily use wool, but sometimes incorporate cottons and a variety of specialty yarns and fabrics. I like the idea of incorporating discarded clothing and other textiles which already have a history of their own. I work with new as well as recycled wools and hand dye many of the colors I use.
The designs for my rugs are original and one of a kind. Some are purely explorations in color. Others tell stories, reflect my views on life, or enable me to comment on issues that are important to me. I taught young children for many years and was always inspired by their fresh, direct approach. Most of the techniques I employ are extremely time consuming, and I strive to create that same sense of childlike spontaneity in my work.
I am particularly interested in challenging conventional ideas about what a rug is, and how it functions. By creating unusually shaped rugs, cutting and binding holes, and creating textures that beg to be touched, I strive to create a more interactive environment where the rug is no longer just a covering for the floor.
Often, when working on pieces meant for the wall, I will experiment with unusual materials. Along with the fabrics mentioned above, I might use paper, plastic, or other recycled materials. I have even hooked with grass and weeds!
In an effort to push the boundaries of what we think of as traditional rug hooking, I am also using the technique to create sculpture and objects other than rugs. Seen in this new context, the hand hooked surface is then viewed as a texture, rather than a technique.
I am interested in promoting innovation in this field, and changing the perception of what we think of as hooked art.
Mixed Media Sculpture
My studio is bursting with all sorts of unusual objects gathered over the years for inspiration. It's a wonderful mix of old metal parts, beautiful beach stones, piles of brightly colored wool, branches, seed pods, buttons and trims. Many of these items are bits of history now long forgotten. There are also works of art in various stages of completion.
A number of years ago I began combining these wonderful found objects with pieces of my own textiles. The resulting three dimensional mixed media sculptures allow me to experiment with unusual combinations of materials, textures and ideas.
My inspiration in creating these pieces is drawn both from the beauty of these collected objects as well as the desire to rescue, preserve and give them a new life. Look closely and sometimes there is humor to be found in the title or meaning of a piece!