Decorating with Textiles: Hooked Rugs – Not Just For Floors
I am a fibre artist living and working in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. I love to blend alternative fibre techniques with traditional yarn hand-hooking to create fresh landscapes and abstract close-ups and to explore meaningful moments in childhood. Every loop of yarn that I pull up with my hook brings me closer to capturing the essence of nature or of a special moment in the lives of my kids. Anything can be a source of inspiration to me, from world travel to my own backyard. I am drawn to the earthy tones and moody skies of the North Atlantic and especially Iceland.
My pieces are available for purchase at several locations across Canada and my work has been shown in various exhibits in both Canada and the United States. You can learn more about me and my work on my website and blog at www.marzipanroad.com.
When we talk about rugs, most people think of woven ones for the floors. But, rugs are not just for floors, nor are woven ones the only technique that is out there. Hooked rugs have been making a comeback, especially as art for the walls. I am happy to show some of the rugs I’ve made in this post and how I have displayed them in my home.
Traditionally, hand-hooked rugs were made to keep bare feet warm and were also kept by the door to wipe muddy boots on. More recently, however, the once humble rug has rightly come into its own as a form of contemporary art. With this evolution came the migration of rugs from floor to wall, where they are now on display. I still have a rug by my front door, but instead of it being on the floor it is hung on the wall; one of the first things that guests see when they enter my home. In fact, due to the specialty fibres and techniques that I tend to use in my work, I don’t make any rugs for the floor. I make pieces that I want people to enjoy and engage with visually rather than functionally.
I think that because the living room is the space in the house where I spend the most time it has also become the area where I hang my favourite and most meaningful pieces. Like photographs, these pieces act as reminders of adventures we have been on as a family and poignant moments in the lives of my young children. They tell the story of our family.
A large work hangs on the wall of our stairway:
Just like any other type of wall art, fibre art can be hung anywhere. In the past year or so I have started to experiment with and explore different ways of displaying my pieces through the use of frames. I love to adapt pieces to old window frames that I come across at antique stores. My husband has also started making custom frames for many of my works. Frames can add to a piece and both contain and contextualize the art. For larger pieces, such as that shown above, a frame can help to showcase a piece in that perfect spot within your home.
Frames can also give a piece of fibre art stability, allowing you to pursue display options other than just as a wall hanging. Clustering items with a similar theme or like colours can create an appealing vignette. In my own home, I find that having pieces propped at a lower level invites people to engage them in a whole new way as they are able to better see and touch the many textures that I use in my work.
A hooked rug can be hung anywhere. The large rug below was one of my first pieces and I have hung it in our basement playroom. It adds cheeriness to that area of the house and the bright colours appeal to children. Even though I have young children in my home I don’t worry too much about them being around the rugs. Hooked rugs are resilient and can handle a lot of touching. Most fibre art is meant to be touched and enjoyed!
I hope that this has shown you how versatile hooked rugs can be. There are no real rules to hanging them. Like any other piece of fibre or textile art you should avoid hanging them in direct sunlight to prevent fading over time. A little shake from time to time should remove any dust that may accumulate.
Hooked rugs are an excellent way to bring colour, texture and warmth into your home!
To see more of my pieces you can visit my website or my TAFA profile. I have many hooked rugs for sale and I love to take commissions to capture the memories of others in fibre art!
Decorating with Textiles Series
Many thanks to Karen for sharing her home with us for this series. Do leave a comment for her below! Karen joined TAFA in January of 2013 and has been a great joy to get to know. Her rugs have stimulated an interest of mine in learning how to hook and I have gotten far enough to buy the hook! 🙂 Some hookers only use wool strips in their rugs, but Karen comes from a contemporary approach where yarns and other threads are also used.
Would you like to participate in this series? The Decorating with Textiles Series is an ongoing project on this blog. This series is open to all of you out there who love textiles. Many of our TAFA members make beautiful decorative textiles and functional work as well and showcasing these homes can help stimulate new ideas of what to do with textiles. Seeing a photo online is much different from seeing how a textile will function in an environment. Many people appreciate textiles but have no idea how to display them or what to do with them. We’d like to have many people participate, each bringing in their own ideas and tastes.
Contact me if you are interested and would like to submit a post:
rayela [@] comcast.net (remove spaces and brackets)
Visit TAFA to see inspiring art quilts, weavings and accessories for the home. Maybe you will find the perfect accent for your home!
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About Karen Miller
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