I started hooking rugs because the woman who taught me, Wilma Hill, is a published hooker and moved back to our home town about the same time I did. She is featured in a book called "Hooked Rug of the South". She has a group that meets at her house over the non-Summer months to hook and share in Fort Smith, Arkansas, USA. She is single-handedly bringing back this art form to our area of the world.
I was born in Fort Smith, but my father was in the military and then after college I joined the Navy and traveled a lot. I started quilting in 1999 and cannot seem to stop and now I am doing wearable art and I started hooking in September 2011.
My first project was from a pattern, a sheep’s head. Then I made a Watermelon rug, three foot round and then I made Wooly Bullie, or my portrait of my beloved dog Bull Dozer and then I made his Mom, Zoe. I cannot decide whether to make these into pillows or whether to frame them.
I can draw free hand but I took digital photos and had them enlarged by the copy center. I transferred the pattern and then dug up a large varied palette of wool colours to do the “painting” or adding of the colour. It can turn out to be as detailed or as folk art as one wants and is a great way to do portraiture. Juxtaposition of darks and lights and warm and cools brings the form out and carves out the space in the piece, but flat would work just as well. I have a degree in Drawing/Painting/Ceramics from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, and although classical art school training is helpful it isn't totally necessary. I had a lot of fun and they look like my little beasts.