Various wools work to create different effects in mats. Lighter weight wools can be thready when hooked, but can be trimmed or left as is to create character and liveliness to whatever you're hooking. Don't dismiss them, they can be useful.
Play with texture by cutting your fabrics into different widths. Using hand cut wool adds strength to your mat and is noticeable once the piece is finished. Thicker and heavier wools create good backgrounds because they fill up space quickly! Some people love to use them, other people find them hard to work with.
Wools can be hooked at different heights and directions depending on what you're trying to hook, and how much texture you want in your piece!
The best way to find out what you're going to get from a certain material is to hook a square inch of it prior to using it in your mat.
- emily dunne
- Tags: tips
Freshly Cut Flowers
Flowers are a popular motif in the rug hooking community, and it's always good to have some extra tricks to use when hooking them; whether it be from a pattern or designing your own floral rug.
Start with looking to the natural world for inspiration, this is an important aspect when hooking any object, but especially useful with flowers. You can take note of the different shades and texture of natural flowers, but don't feel like you have to replicate that into your design. A flower can be wonky and unrealistic and still be beautiful art.
It's important to treat each flower like it's own little piece of art, making it as beautiful as you can. They don't need to be the same or use the same colour, and the amount of shades utilized can vary between each. You want them to contrast especially where they lay up against each other in your rug, it can be a subtle contrast but it should still be noticeable. Every blossom should be outlined because it gives its petals structure and helps give them shape. You can double up on your outline in some places to give a more realistic effect.
When hooking your flowers centres make sure to use some interesting texture. You can get really creative with the centres and be as detailed as you like. Hooking beautiful centres gives depth and interest to your mat, you can use as many different colours in them as you like. Each one should be hooked like a tiny little mosaic.
Creating Simple Abstracts
If you're interested in creating an abstract rug, but are unsure of where to start or what colours you want to use, you can always create a single colour abstract.
First you want to gather a large variety of wool and materials in different shades of one colour. You can use as much or little texture in your rug but you do want to have a bit of contrast to incorporate into your rug. Using more texture and less wool will make the wool stand out, and vice versa. As you add colour and texture, keep your vision of the finished rug in mind, it will guide you in creating a very unstructured rug. Balance and composition are still somewhat important but there's no need to get hunk up on them when creating an abstract, it has to please you first and follow the rules secondly.
When hooking a colour or texture, make sure you hook enough of it to make an impact. Constantly changing your colour will end up making your rug look like a hit and miss, you want to give each element its moment to shine.
You want to hook your rug loosely so that it looks like your colours and blending together seamlessly and not just laying next to each other like blobs of similar colours. If it's a large piece put in some contrast colours that are a little different yet still work with the overall colour scheme, these will become a nice focal point that the eye will be drawn to.
There are no rights and wrongs when creating an abstract rug and experimentation is key. Some of your techniques will surprise you at how well they work and others maybe not so much, be creative, brave and follow your instincts and vision of the finished product.
The Makings of Moody Skies
-A stormy sky is unsettled and has a lot of drama, as well as movement and flow.
-A stormy sky is typically created from greys, blues and creams.
-You can use deep shades of grey, grey-blues and grey-greens to accentuate the heaviness of an impending storm.
-Clouds should be lightest of greys, creams or pale yellows to emphasize that the sky is darker than usual. colour. In the rug above it is just grey areas outlined and a cream background. Very simple idea, but it works so well.
Experiment with your skies. You can create interesting moody skies by experimenting just with colour.
so you're bored...now what!
This article was written by Emily Dunne , our summer student, and I enjoyed it!, hope you will too.
There's nothing more annoying than when you find yourself creatively drained. You have no new ideas, the things you're working on no longer excite you, you're looking at the same things everyday and nothing is peaking your interest.
If you should look around one day and find yourself in this rut, there's a couple things to keep in mind that can help you climb back into a colourful mind space.
Take a look around your house, and I mean really look. Unless someone like your mom decorated it, then it's all rubbish and not really a reflection of you. I mean I guess still take a gander because you never know what odd or end will speak to you, even if someone else (your mother) picked it out. Look at the art you've put up, or your favourite blanket you wish you could drag around everywhere because it's so soft but you don't because it really isn't socially acceptable. Sometimes you'll find a bit of inspiration in an item you've looked at, listened to or smelt a million times before but somehow this time your brain will conjure up a preciously untouched idea.
Go to the library, go to an art gallery, go for a stroll on a trail you haven't explored yet. Unfamiliar things are the best at inspiring new concepts into your head, you've never experienced them before and your brain is going to interpret them as it will. You may take a 5 minute drive on an old dirt road you drive by every day and never turn down, and there you find the big shiny idea for your next rug or your next painting or your next project.
New people are good for inspiration too, and I don't mean you spot a bad haircut on the street and feel like you need to recreate it into a hooked rug. They're inspiring in that you may be introduced to knew places and experiences by these people that will prompt you into a new project, maybe they really do have features that inspire you to incorporate elements of them into a pattern.
Regardless of where you look for your new muse the important part is that you are looking. You're observing all the activity surrounding you, not only is this beneficial for crafting but is valuable because you're forced to slow down and take in the world around you.
Finding inspiration in the summer months
Hooking rugs in the summertime isn't something that all hookers take part in, however summer is the prime time to seek inspiration in your surroundings. There are colours everywhere. Whether it be burnt oranges, magentas, hints of lavender and yellows in the later-than-usual sunsets, or the million shades of blues, navies and turquoise you can spot during a warm day at the beach. Take note of how the leaves hang down in front of the sun while you're out for a walk, or the colour of the sky just before a big thunder and lightning storm. You can even find influence from a cold colourful drink on a nice afternoon and incorporate those colours and textures into your work.
These colours and ideas can be translated into your rugs easily, creating memories of moments that you may need to revisit during the long winter season! Summer inspired rugs are especially great for your cottage or out on your deck, wherever you think needs a splash of summer fun.