Suzen Green, a young woman from Canada - is another Flickr discovery, I love her mix of tradition with contemporary artistic sense! Be inspired...
click on any photo for a larger image.
How did you get started in rug hooking?
As a visual artist, my studio practice has always involved aspects of my cultural upbringing in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. In the past I've used knitting to investigate notions of my own identity as a displaced Newfoundlander and hooked mats are an extension of this exploration. I became really inspired by the Grenfell silk stocking mats from Northern Newfoundland and the folk traditions of Fogo Island/Twillingate on the northeastern coast of the province. I taught myself how to hook using Deanne Fitzpatrick's very informative book, "East Coast Rug Hooking Designs," as a reference (http://www.hookingrugs.com/).
What colors, images, motifs, and width of strips of wool or other fabrics are you drawn to?
Unlike a lot of rug hooking, I tend to stick to yarn for my hooking material. This is mostly due to the fact that as an avid knitter my yarn stash is so gigantic that I can't really justify adding a different material to my stash. I've been using worsted to aran weight wool and acrylic yarns on natural brin (burlap) that I purchase from the fabric store at a really low price. I love building up texture with different colours and types of yarns. The result often looks like a cross between a latch hooked rug and a hooked mat. As for motifs, I've just recently begun to incorporate representational drawing in my mats. I see hooked mats as an extension of drawing and I feel I'm right at a good point in my skill level to explore this quality more. I've only been hooking for about 10 months now so each mat I complete is definitely a lesson learned.
What keeps you rug hooking?
The main thing that keeps me hooking mats is the tension I feel with it. From a conceptual and artistic stand point, I am still trying to figure out how I can make hooked mats work for me. The most logical way I can solve this problem is to continue making them. From a purely material standpoint, I love watching a mat develop over time. The plushness of the pile, the repetitive nature of the work and the pure magic of the wool staying hooked into the brin without falling out–these are the things I love about hooking.
I encourage you to explore these links, Keep on rug hooking Suzen!