From Celebration XXVII:
I took great pleasure and inspiration designing this rug based on the beloved loons I see on Lake Potanipo in New Hampshire where we have a home. I combined traditional hooking and Waldoboro techniques with hand-dyed and fused wools (hand-dyed wool fused together with a shiny fabric), as well as novelty fabrics (such as metallics) and yarns. When I designed my piece, I looked for different materials that would give texture to the birds and shiny fibers to enhance the fish or water. It was this creative combination of fibers that really gave life to the piece.
I like to use wool with a range of light to dark values. For this piece in particular, I used dyed wool with three colors blended together to give the piece movement and interest. My favorite part of hooking this rug was creating the center loon with his wings back where I was able to add a lot of texture. I wanted to achieve a shiny, wet look, and using velvet fabric on the loons’ heads brought that aesthetic across. To finish the rug, I sewed a black wool edge around the finished piece and then attached it to a wood frame.
This rug taught me so much about the challenge of designing and hooking a large composition and making it come together well. I enjoy so much about the art of rug hooking. It allows me to experiment with many different fibers to create anything you’ve hooked to get exactly the look you want. And as an art teacher, I love that I can take the project with me to work!