April DeConick rug studio.+Add.Feed Info1000FOLLOWERS
April DeConick is an award-winning hooked wool artist and master dyer. She has had her hooked rugs and mats featured in four of the Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs juried series, Rug Hooking Magazine, and the ATHA Newsletter.
I am continuing on the Mackinac Island series with a third 5" by 7" mat called Red Geranium. Anyone who has been to the island is awestruck by the profuse blooming red geraniums, how they grace window boxes everywhere and march in white troughs along the porch of the Grand Hotel. I figured that any series on Mackinac Island has to include this delight.
Red Geranium, Mackinac Island Series, 2018, 5" x 7", designed and hooked by April D. DeConick, linen foundation with hand-dyed scrap wool.
I still have halfway to go around the border of my bench cover with the Bighorn sheep. Tired of hooking rectangles! So I pulled out a series of wool snapshot mats that I wanted to do for some time and got started. This is a series of 5" x 7" photos taken on our summer trips to Mackinac Island. I don't know how many will finish the series, but here are the two I did this weekend.
I have rehooked the background on the Bighorn bench cover four times. No color was right. So I went back to the oatmeal and decided that it needed to be distinguished from the Mosaic Stitch I used in the animal itself. So I worked on creating a Basket Weave Stitch. Super easy to do and what lovely texture. I am amazed at the way the change of a stitch can make all the difference in the world.
So how did I do it? Here is a short how-to video I made.
I have finished the main subject of my oversized bench cover. I am now moving on to the background and then the side border. I had planned a very dark chocolate for the background, but now I am worried that I will lose the sheep to the brown. I also dyed an oatmeal which is just a tad bit brighter than the linen background. I don't care for light backgrounds, but that may end up the case with this piece. I am going ahead with the dark background to see if it will work or not. If not, oatmeal it is.
Julie is so inventive! She wanted a way to cut bigger amounts of wool strips at one time. So she took a fabric cutting machine called The Big Shot and had custom dies made to cut our wool strips. You purchase the machine and then the different size dies you need from her.
I couldn't be more pleased. When I create a new rug, I spend a huge amount of time cutting my wool initially on my Townsend cutter (which I love but it is slow going). But with my new Big Shot cutter, I can cut two layers of wool in 6"x18" strips in one crank of the die.
Here's how it works. First you place your wool on top of the black die pad. You sandwich this between bottom and top plexiglass plates. You insert this sandwich into the machine and turn the crank. After the sandwich passes through the machine, you remove the top plexiglass plate, and you have cut an entire strip of wool at one time. I use the #6 cut die. The machine will cut 27 #6 strips with one layer of wool and 54 strips with two layers! Magnificent.
Having experienced this new cutting system, well, I wouldn't be without it. I highly recommend it for any serious rug hooker. It is worth its weight in gold (well almost!).
Back a couple of years, I taught my wool snapshots workshop at Sauder Village, and, since it was only a day-long course, most students did not finish there work on site. Terryl Ostmo got busy with life but recently returned to her project and finished it. She sent me this picture, which shows how adorable these miniature pieces are. Just wonderful how she captured the delight of her son Karl on his third birthday.
I am finally able to write a post about a new project. Billy the Bighorn is inspired by our vacation to the National Parks last summer, when we spotted a herd of bighorn sheep on the top of Mt. Washburn, Yellowstone National Park. Even though we weren't able to capture a close up photo of one of these bighorns, I was inspired by a photo taken by Steve Woodruff (see below with link to its original website). Mr. Woodruff kindly gave me permission to use his photo and adapt it to a rug.
Over winter break I was able to complete the dyeing for the wool which includes these colors:
14 Faune Brown
27 Lake Agate
58 Will O'Wisp
36 Red Roan
6 Moorland Moss
51 Fruited Raisin
23 Shades of Dusk
7 Sherwood Green
20 Black Cherry
59 Briar Rose
The rug is being created to cover a large bench footstool, the top is 21 1/2 by 44 inches. I was inspired to do this when at the end of our vacation to the National Parks we ran across a used upholstered bench in a used furniture store. I was so delighted, we bought it without too much further thought and then had to figure out how to load it in our van which was already stuffed full of suitcases and other travel necessities.
Before we went back to school, I managed to get the pattern created and drawn onto the linen foundation, my wool stripped, and hooking started. Billy has an eye!
I started this project last summer after returning from Rome. It consists of three 10" x 10" hooked canvases framed in a triptych series. Went back to it in August and finally finished them in white wooden boxes. The idea was to create a panel of wool snapshot memories of our adventures in Rome. Alex, Wade and I each selected photos of ourselves and various artifacts we especially loved. Then I hooked them into this series using my scrap materials.
My canvas contains a photo taken of me at the Dionysus House of Mysteries at Pompeii. A clay sculpture of Demeter and a marble of Athena. Wade's canvas contains David, Venus, and Galileo. Wade's photo is one of him sporting a hat he bought in a Roman bazaar. Alexander's canvas has the famous mosaic of Alexander the Great and an ivory mask of Apollo. Alexander is sporting a cap that he bought in Rome at a men's store, and wore almost every day on our trip.
Rome Triptych 2016. Three 10" x 10" framed canvases. 6-cut wool on linen. Designed, Dyed and Hooked by April D. Deconick
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