A few years ago, I took a rug-hooking workshop in Ottawa with Jessica Thomas. My first hooked rug was a fairly simple portrait of my dog, Toby. I used a limited colour palette and heavy yarn in the folk art tradition of hooked rugs. I was surprised to discover how much I enjoyed working with this new media, since I don’t sew, knit, or work with fabric. In 2010, I took up rug hooking once again on my own, but this time using a wide variety of mixed fibres, including wool, acrylic, cotton, alpaca, tapestry wool, and silk.
Yarn is an exciting medium for exploring line, texture and colour to create images of the animal world and nature. I use a punch needle and a wide variety of yarn on a backing of Monk’s cloth. Part of the excitement is finding recycled, donated and hand-spun yarns to use. I spend a lot of time searching in thrift shops. There’s a sense of serendipity in using yarn that is both unique and in limited supply.
Hooking is a slow, contemplative process. It takes me several months to complete each piece. Each hooked “rug” is an original design, using my own reference photos.