So, my 95 year old
mother-in-law just had her first art opening! I didn't make anything here in this post, but I believe it is truly craftster-worthy and I've seen folks post stuff that their friend or relative made, so I thought I'd go ahead and share. Hope this is ok!
Anyway: Joy began hooking rugs in the 1940's and did it for almost 50 years! This is *not* the latch hooking. This is the kind of hooking where you cut wool fabric into long strips that are about 1/4 " wide (or even narrower), and work them continuously and very close together into burlap fabric, using a hook that somewhat resembles a crochet hook. The fabric is not knotted in any way. You would think they would unravel but you hook them in so tightly they somehow stay together.
My sister in law organized a show for Joy at the retirement home where she lives. It was very well attended. This is an old-school art/craft that really deserves to be carried on. I've given it a try and it really is very easy, just kind of time consuming if you are doing a big project, but no more so than most of the other kinds of needle/hooked arts - it just takes a loooong time to make a whole rug because they are so big. However, Joy has also done pillows and wall hangings this way too, although I don't have any pictures of those.
This is one of my favorites, all rainbow-y. It's about 2 1/2 feet by 3 1/2 feet.
This one is sort of a sampler-style. Made in the 1950's, it's one of her more wild-and-crazy creations, very uncharacteristic of conventional styles. Everyone should cut loose from time to time! (note the owl!) This one is her own design, and all of the motifs have a very personal meaning - her husband played the violin, she loves flowers and nature and her cat, and even the saturn references her love for astronomy! It's like cave paintings, a real historical record of her life. Very inspirational and of course priceless to her family.
Here's a detail of it so you can see all the individual loops. Always sign your work!
Here is one that is more traditional, using a purchased pattern, as she did with many of her rugs. However, she rarely followed color charts, preferring to use her own combinations. Oh and she dyed most of her own wool strips on top of the stove.
This one's a teeny bit blurry but if you look at the motif on the left/center you can see her unorthodox use of color - the gradated pink/purple/green is apparently considered pretty darn kooky for that time period!
This is just for scale:
And here are some details:
This one was everyone's favorite:
And a detail of it, I just couldn't get a good enough close up to show the pattern and all the gazillions of individual loops at the same time.
Here you can see some of her larger works - real room-sized beauties, that would usually take her a year to make, working for a few hours many evenings (especially in the winter
) During the day she ran an inn with her husband. (and yes, they have all been walked on continuously, some for 50 years!)
And here are some of the smaller ones displayed on a table. On second thought maybe I should have cropped this one a bit. That fine figure of a man is my husband, or part of him any way.
I repeat: ALWAYS SIGN YOUR WORK! Including the date, because when you are 95 years old and the world is clammoring for details on your amazing work, you won't remember everything!
Thanks for checking out the work of a very venerable Craftster Lady - any feedback I bring to her will be a joy to Joy, I am sure.