|Aspen Rug Hooking Company|
The Art of Living
My love of nature spans my entire life. I've always said that water is life, and that without it, we would cease to exist. Infact, I almost gave my daughter Lily the name, Marina because in Greek it means WATER. I know this is nothing new to you, and I'm not stating some super profound philosophy that isn't already known. However, I think we need to be mindful of our limited natural resources more than ever.
My degree is in Environmental Science, and I miss working outdoors amongst the wildness that is this great big blue planet. As someone who makes things with her hands, I look for ways to repurpose materials. I've been used to working with limited access to materials, and so when necessity has warranted it, I would invent ways to reuse things. I think that the convenience of online shopping has dithered our imagination to reuse things because when a person wants something, they simply order it online. That type of impulsive purchasing erases creativity and imagination because we aren't forced to stop and think. It erodes away at our tenacious spirit to build something out of something else we no longer use.
Make beautiful things, and leave only a small trace of your consumer footprint. Stop buying things you don't need. For example, consider how much wool or textiles you really need to make 10 rugs in a given year. Is this going to be an ambitious year where you complete 10 rugs, or is going to be more like 2? Okay, so how are you going to get that wool? Are you shopping in thrift stores, trading with a friend, buying new, and how much of it are you buying? Do you need more? A little? Or is this about showing off just how big your stash is?
Ask yourself, where will those textiles go when you are no longer here on this planet? What footprint are you leaving behind? Will the wool end up in landfills, or is going to be given away to be repurposed? You decide how much of a trace your footprint leaves, and then own that and take accountability.
Afterall, the origins of hooked rugs came from humble means where crafters used only the materials they had access to. A small rug might take months or even years to hook only because the fabric was scarce, and waiting for a pair of worn out trousers, feed sacks, dresses, or drapery took a lot longer than it does today when we order the perfect shade of a color online and have it delivered directly to us in a matter of days. I'm not implying that we should do exactly what they did. I am merely sharing a thought that those who crafted with little to no means, had imagination that sparked creativity unlike what we see today, and that perhaps, think twice before making excessive purchases of textiles that will sit on a shelf collecting dust. The more you buy, the more demand you place on natural resources like water. How much wool do you really need?
So let's continue to challenge ourselves to reuse textiles: silk and satin ribbons, wool and cotton strips, nylon hosiery, and whatever else you come across as you rummage through cluttered drawers and cupboards.
Here's a peek into how much we contribute to landfills and the damage we impose on water quality and add to water pollution. The reporting is done by The Atlantic and shows staggering statistics. Instead of doing better, we're doing much worse today than we were doing 20 years ago.
Folk Art Mariner's Compass Hooked Rug, late 19th century, decorated with three stylized compasses on a blue background within a scalloped border, lg. 52, wd. 25 in.
Large Cats Hooked Rug, America, late 19th century, the border of multicolored stripes surrounds a field with central recumbent cat and four seated cats, 42 x 62 in., (losses), mounted to a stretcher.
Hooked Rug with a Two-story House with an Albumen Photograph of the House, late 19th century, the house with gray roof, and vines on the front, the photograph showing the house from a different angle with white picket fence, in a carved Victorian frame, rug ht. 22, wd. 29 1/2 in.
Imagine giving an antique reproduction rug to someone special, and maybe, just maybe, it is a replica of this stunning design that was hooked in the late 1800's. I will be adding this pattern to my shop this weekend.
Large Pictorial Hooked Rug with Swan, late 19th century, mounted, ht. 32 1/2, wd. 45 1/2 in.
1851 Pennsylvania hooked rug depicting a simple and charming Fraktur motif. I will be reproducing this antique pattern for you and make it available in my shop this weekend.
Floral Hooked Rug, Pennsylvania, c. 1851, red and white flowers with a pair of blue and white birds against a blue background within a white border, dated "1851" below the birds, lg. 33, wd. 17 1/4 in.
A simple and humble rug from long ago. This folk art design is perfect for a beginner rug-hooker because of its uncomplicated motifs and overall simplistic design. Look for the antique reproduction pattern in my shop this weekend.
Floral Hooked Rug, America, late 19th century, red and blue roses against a tan field within a wreath of white leaves all on a blue background, mounted for hanging, ht. 30 1/2, wd. 48 1/2 in.
I posted this gorgeous antique Urns & Flowers rug on social media, and rug-hookers from everywhere liked it and commented on its beautiful folk art design and naive hooking style. I will carefully reproduce this beautiful design as a new pattern that will be available this weekend.
Hooked Rug with Urns of Flowers, America, 19th century, two opposing pots of flowers against a blue background and a striped border, ht. 24, wd. 37 1/2 in.
New pattern is here.
Hook this magnificent rug from 1852. I will be posting new patterns this weekend. Look for about 5 new designs all sourced from antique rugs.
Floral Hooked Rug, America, dated 1852, a central cornucopia sprouting large roses, the corners with strawberries, all against a light tan background with red sawtooth and red and white linear border, mounted, ht. 38 1/2, wd. 71 in.
The original hit & miss hooked rug.
Shaker Hooked Rug, America, 19th century, the square rug hooked in varying shades of blue, red, green, brown, and black cloth in a layered fashion emanating from the center, mounted for hanging, ht. 36 1/2, wd. 37 in.
The Art of Living is ...
Inspiration from nature's beauty, simple living, love, and peace.