Martina Lesar came to my attention on The Welcome Mat. Several of her rugs are favorites of mine in the photo section! Be inspired...
How did you get started in rug hooking?
My professional background was interior decorating so I have always had a love of all things textile. Through my work I used to come across antique hooked rugs but was unaware that anyone was still creating rugs today. After my fourth child was born, I closed up shop and stayed home with the kids. However, I soon found myself missing the creative aspect my work used to provide, so I tried my hand at knitting and then quilting only to find that it was all too technical and requiring skills that I was severely lacking....patience. I like instant gratification. (Another reason why rug hooking works for me) It was during a visit with an acquaintance, when I spied a hooked rug which I had mistaken for an antique, that I was introduced to my new obsession and discovered my future bliss...rug hooking. She assured me that she had made the rug herself and that classes are being taught in a nearby town. With phone number of the rug hooking studio in hand, I cut the visit as short as would seem polite and rushed home to book myself into the first available class. Since then it has been a wonderful, gratifying journey. Designing my own patterns seemed a natural extension of my training in interiors so it wasn’t long before I had sketch books loaded with ideas for rugs. Over the years my solitary rug hooking days evolved into a studio that is now open to all rug hookers.
What colors, images, motifs, and cuts (of wool) are you drawn to?
I love all styles of hooking; however, my first love is wide cut #8. Antique rugs have always caught my eye which is probably why my colour palette and designs tend to have an aged appearance. My colours are muted and designs tend to be simple in line and bold in scale. Motifs can be anything that I find interesting; anything goes! I prefer to use only one or two colours in a rug in addition to what I consider neutrals. (Anything from black, greys, tans, creams etc). My fabric of choice is wool in all textures and patterns. As much as I love seeing all the new fibres being used in rugs today, they wouldn’t be practical in a floor rug. I enjoy designing rugs that can be used in a variety of styles of homes from traditional, country or contemporary. Large rugs are my preference because they are more functional than smaller mats. I create rugs to be used as they were intended...on the floor. It is important to me that anything that comes into my home is functional with the exception of a few good art pieces. I guess overall I consider myself a rug designer rather than an artist.
What keeps you rug hooking?
WHAT DOESNT?!?! Everything around me inspires new ideas. From other hookers, gardens, nature, my constantly evolving home, antiques, art, magazines, books and even my kids. The list really is endless. But what I think it comes right down to is the need to continually improve upon the last piece. After a rug is completed there is always the “what if’s” factor which then starts the whole ball rolling again. Every rug I complete has me thinking, what if I had drawn this differently or what if I used a different colour plan. Each rug I hook teaches me something new and then I want to quickly get started and incorporate those new ideas into another rug. It is simply intoxicating.
Wonderful! Please continue on at Martina's Website : http://www.martinalesar.com/
where rugs and patterns etc are available!