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TitleHummingbird on NestDesigned byPeg IrishHooked byPeg IrishDimensions2.75" x 4.5" x 3"Materialsembroidery floss on cotton; mohair on cotton; lichen and other miscellaneous materialsShare

For several years I have been creating birds in a variety of media, but especially rug hooking and felting. Some have been two-dimensional, but my current fascination is for three-dimensional work. The challenge is to hook a 2-D pattern that can be converted to a 3-D image. For this piece I began by making a polymer clay form of the body and wrapped a material around it to fit the shape and create the pattern. Then I hooked the body in several pieces using fine embroidery flosses and attached them with glue to the clay form. A toothpick beak and bead eyes were also attached.

For the nest, I hooked mohair yarn on Monks cloth. When a hummingbird creates a nest in the wild, it camouflages the nest with lichens, so I did the same. I found a branch with some lichen already on it and attached my nest to it and then embellished it with lichens I had collected. I then sealed it all with a clear acrylic sealant before adding the hummingbird. When I attempted to settle the hummingbird on her nest, she was not sitting comfortably and securely. I realized that I had not placed any eggs in the nest. So, I needle-felted three eggs, placed them in the nest, and now she sits there fine. (Photos by Charley Freiberg).

About the Artist:

When I moved to New Hampshire in 1979, my husband’s aunt visited and thought I needed hooked rugs in our old farmhouse. I took a one-day workshop with Joyce Crabtree at Strawbery Banke, and in 1980 I began taking rug hooking classes with an amazing teacher, Lois Dugal of Dover, New Hampshire.

Since I had no art training, I was thrilled to be able to produce such lovely things. The technique of rug hooking came easily, and I was attracted to the notion that it is simple to make changes. I was also captivated by the textures and colors possible in rug hooking.

After working with a few patterns, I knew that I needed to create my own designs. Without a facility for drawing, I depend heavily on the use of my own photography as well as on basic geometric designs and other sources for patterns.

I am fascinated by the various processes that comprise rug hooking: the kinds of tools, the array of fabrics, and methods for dyeing these fabrics. I am always experimenting with new techniques and materials.

Some of my other wonderful rug hooking teachers include Betty McClentic, Maryanne Lincoln, Hallie Hall and Gloria Crouse. I am also grateful for my rug hooking pal, Ann Winterling.