Happy 2015 The Year of the Craft

Happy New Year!  2015 has been designated as the Year of the Craft which is, in my opinion, quite timely.  There is renewed interest and appreciation for all things handcrafted and it is my hope that this is not merely a trend.  I believe that cheaply made imports are being rejected in favour of handcrafted treasures from local artists.   More and more people are simplifying their surroundings and only keeping things that are worthy of a place in their homes.   For the most part this means quality craftsmanship instead of cheaply made throwaway imports.   Studio tours and art/craft festivals and shows are increasingly well attended every year.   Gone (almost) are the days when “craft” was associated with church bazar sales and this is due  to the artists who are showing and selling their handcrafted items in venues worthy of the beautiful works they create.  Weavers, basket makers, soap makers, potters, painters, carvers, needle workers, knitters, quilters and of course rug hookers are just some of the artists that have visited the studio and these incredibly talented people are often masters of more than one craft.  Personally, I have seen incredible growth in the number of people interested in learning how to create hooked rugs or purchase rugs locally made.    The power of the internet has certainly helped people discover many new artists and their disciplines.

Imperial Single  18x30 approx.
Imperial Single 18×30 approx.

The internet and computer technology is also playing a part in rug hooking.  Not only is it connecting us with other rug hookers and studios, but the programs available to artists are quite remarkable.   Photoshop is one such program.  Recently I hooked a pillow for my niece.  It is one of her patterns which is also available as a rug.  I try to show the patterns on the website hooked instead of black and white drawings.  But as you can imagine it is a time consuming task to hook all these patterns.  My daughter is very good with Photoshop and she suggested using the program to  create a hooked version of the rug sized pattern from my photo of the hooked pillow.   The photos show the result.  The first is of the actual pillow I hooked and the rug photo is the result of Carla’s Photoshop genius.   She also showed a small mat version of the center.   THANK YOU CARLA!   This has made an impossible task actually do-able.   For those of you who have considered hooking a large rug, possibly a room size rug but have  trouble visualizing a colour plan on a large scale, Photoshop may be your answer.  If your design has a repeating motif as this one does, you could hook a single motif and repeat it with Photoshop in order to give you a visual of the finished rug.   Imagine the time and money saved by being able to make changes before investing in many yards of  wool that would be needed for a large project.  I’m certain that there are many more possibilities with Photoshop for us rug hookers but for now its baby steps for me at least until Carla is back home for the summer.

Id also like to share a photo sent to me by Christina Tancredi.  She did a fabulous job of hooking my Nordic pattern which she fashioned into a cushion.