This is the first of a series of postings of Textile Artist Interviews called "~3 questions". I am honored to introduce to you my dear friend Ann Willey! Be inspired....
How did you get started in rug hooking?
My mom got me started in rug hooking. I was not familiar with it at all until she introduced me to it. She had acquired a huge stash of rug hooking supplies when she answered an ad in the paper. An elderly woman who had rug hooked her whole life was selling her supplies. She had become too arthritic to continue. My mom dabbled in it, took lessons. She actually created a beautiful small rug, but then decided it wasn’t for her.
When my mom showed me all these hand-dyed woolens, they were so beautiful, I was immediately smitten – I was “hooked” (forgive me)! My mom showed me some basic techniques - otherwise I am self-taught.
What colors, images, motifs, and cuts (of wool) are you drawn to?
I have always brought my own imagery to my rug hookings. I love folk art and was a print maker in college. I was actually looking at a lot of woodcuts when I first began to rug hook. I challenged myself with trying to recreate my small paintings of faces and figures in wool. I also have a lot of references to nature in my work, especially birds and plants.
The cut I work with is 4, and I use a lot of blues in my work. I like to use a good mix of colors, and hand dye lighter hues that are hard to find.
What keeps you rug hooking?
Lots of things inspire me - old and new textiles, patterns in nature, modern art. A little doodle in my sketchbook that in a flash I can see would word as a hooking.
I love working with the wool, it takes dye so beautifully and has such a nice feel. When I finish a piece it feels so substantial, it seems to have a life of its own.