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Transformation: From Vintage Photograph to Hooked Rug

You really haven’t been paying attention if you don’t know how loved flea markets are around here. I love not knowing what I’ll find. It was about two years ago now, at a market on the Cape, that I stumbled on a box of old photographs. Now, this is not an unusual find by any means. But for some reason this time I was really taken by it and bought the whole darn lot. I was now in custody of a whole lot of other people’s discarded relatives.

The inspiration photo and the resulting rug.
In progress.

Back in the studio, the photos got shuffled around quite a bit, as I mulled over their destiny. Some were scanned and became gift tags, others were transferred to pillows, and one, just one (so far) inspired some rug hooking.

You might think that’s swell and all went smoothly and boom, done. If that’s what you think you’d be terribly wrong. The photograph I chose to hook is tiny. Maybe 2″ square. Desperately faded. There was scanning and photoshopping as I desperately tried to define the image I wanted to translate  into wool. Finally having achieved something I could work with, the hooking just stymied me. I hooked that woman’s skirt more times than I can count. I eventually walked away in frustration. Then, eight months later? A year? I went back to the piece with the intent of ripping it out so I could use the foundation linen for something else and was surprised. With some time apart, I loved it again and actually decided to finish it. May wonders never cease.

This piece is hooked with a variety of recycled wools and yarns.

Now that this rug is complete, I’ve decided that whoever becomes its next guardian gets to Choose Their Own Ending (remember those books??)  This piece measures about 13″ x 13.75″.  I’ve finished the edge, but not the piece.  I can add binding tape so it can be used as a rug, mat, wall hanging, or table runner.  But I can also back it with fabric and stuff it to be a cozy pillow.  Which would you do?

For more information about Woman Feeding Chickens, please look here.

The chickens were a fun experiment in suggestion.
The completed mat.

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