Friday, October 24, 2014
Thursday, October 23, 2014
But this beautiful light makes me forget all that, at least for a moment.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
|Red Hare Pale Moon, 2014 by Sarah Fincham|
Now, as we know, textile people are the most generous - maybe it is the excitement in finding out that someone else shares your weird vocation! I opened my mailbox the other day to find a little parcel from England, and in it was this wonderful embroidery. As I said to Sarah in my swooning thank you note:
It is absolutely lovely and resonates with me on many levels... I love the colours, the imagery, the precious silk lace, your fine stitching and very effective use of pattern, so simple and elegant. And that playful hare, such a powerful leap and determined look in his eyes. And that sweet pale moon, just the right amount of shimmer. Of course there is the Japanese hare and moon reference, but you have done it subtly so it snuck up on me. And the columns of red on the sides are unusual, with that pale dot in the centre. Lots of places for the eye to rest but also a sense of movement, a float-y quality almost.I am so lucky! I feel like I may have got the better part of the exchange, so don't be surprised, Ms. Fincham, if something else arrives in your postbox!
And I recommend that everyone take a swing by Sarah's blog, and her Etsy Shop. Her offerings are small in inches only!
|Wee snippets of wool.|
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
|The duly chastised guard dog retreats to her pile of pillows.|
Another less serious example of why dogs and studio tours may not mix is that Gracie had eaten something that didn't agree with her and was wafting the most disgusting farts through the room as I was talking to people. Silent but deadly.
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
The Chinese coin and plastic frog complete it nicely, I think. They were scavenged from elsewhere on the property. We get a lot of visits from tree frogs since there is a pond/swamp across the road, and the owner of the dome had placed a number of frog lawn ornaments around the yard to make them feel welcome.
Saturday, October 04, 2014
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Kathy showed off a rug made by a Shawnigan Lake hooker, whose name she couldn't remember. (A reminder to always label your work!) Even to my beginner eyes, this piece shows off a very skilled use of directional hooking, colour and texture.
So what's this rug hooking interest all about for me? It's not like I need more projects. The simple reason is that I have always liked the look of hooked wool. I especially love the Grenfell rugs of Newfoundland, and the story of Jessie Luther, a proto-art therapist from the 1900's who made a reality of Dr. Grenfell's idea of helping the women of the outports become more self-sufficient. Even back in the 1980's, when I was a self-absorbed space cadet, I remember noticing Barbara Klunder's hooked rugs and thinking how marvelous they were. So rugs have always been lurking in the background.
But I never got around to trying it, until a neighbour on Salt Spring Island, Lynn Raymond, gave me a quick lesson one day. I was amazed at how simple it was, but other projects loomed, so it wasn't until another neighbour here on Gabriola, Roberta Bryan, invited me to a beginner's workshop that I actually took up the hook. I was hoping for something that had a different sort of hand movement so that I could take a break from stitching, and although I suspect that if I did enough of it, hooking would lead to more repetitive strain, just in a different part of my hand, it does use more of my palm and takes pressure off my fingers.
Our beginner group has over a dozen members, which seems to have surprised even the "madam" hookers who are guiding us along. This is a craft which was barely on my radar. Unlike Atlantic Canada, the West Coast has no tradition of hooking. It is so simple to do, and can cost so little, I suppose there isn't the same attraction to developing a market that there has been for quilting or knitting. But it is so easy, and versatile, maybe it is the next craft phenomenon.
I picked up the book below from the library. Deanne Fitzpatrick's Inspired Rug Hooking offers much more than the title would indicate.
I think this is a great guide for any textile artist who wants to design their own work. There is nothing here that art school would teach you, no Bauhaus fundamentals of design. Instead, Deanne is like a loving, generous friend, sharing her own approach of drawing upon the world around her for inspiration.
Here's her opening line:
Making rugs is not just a utilitarian practice; it is a personal journey. I believe that in making rugs, or any other kind of art, you are constantly confronted with your powerlessness to be perfect, or to even be what you want to be, and your comfort with this imperfection makes you open and accepting of "less than-ness." You realize that you are a small part of something bigger.She then talks about visiting a nun who is a sculptor working with stone. The nun says, "I rarely get down on my knees to pray, but I pray all the time with my work."
I have read, and I have felt, that when you are creating you can get closer to God or whoever you think made this beautiful place, where every leaf and every tiny creature has a structure that is intricate and complex and beautiful. You come to understand, as a mat-maker especially, that the world is created in patterns, with rhythm and beauty. This understanding comes from making rugs, because their creation is a meditation and through it you come to understand yourself and the world around you.Which is a pretty darn good way of saying why one makes art of any kind, I think. Her chapter titles give an idea of where she draws her inspiration from: Beauty by Design, House and Home, Walking Into the Landscape, Magic and Storytelling, Creativity and Spirit, People and Community, Hooking a Prayer.
I can't recommend this book highly enough, as an excellent read and inspirational guide. It's not a "How-to Hook" book though, apart from a few sidebars with technical advice, but if you want to learn I'm sure there are videos on YouTube, books in your library, or even a rug hooking group in your community.