At the tender age of ten, I helped make a hooked rug at camp. The experience is still vivid for me. I remember the smell and texture of the burlap, the brightly colored yarns and fabrics and especially the worn old wooden tool we used for hooking.
I was intrigued by the mechanical motion of the tool and delighted by the perfect little loops it produced. The finished project, created by many little ten-year-old hands, was beautiful. I didn’t know it then, but that experience was to have a profound impact on my art life. Many years later, I remembered the little rug and thus began a new artistic journey.
I find great joy in richly colored yarns, the texture of fabric and how these fibers are transformed by the process of hooking.
Tactility is critical to my work, which is meant to be understood through touch as much as the visual aspects of color and design. The sensory experience of texture is part of seeing my work.
I love the historical threads that connect what I am doing today to the American pioneers of the early 19th century. Historians believe that traditional rug hooking is one of just a few indigenous American crafts. The materials and designs in my work might raise a few old New Englander eye brows, but it feels good to be using techniques that are rooted in the history of this country. The early rugs were utilitarian, used on beds to keep people warm during the harsh winters, but I also like to imagine that the women who hooked hundreds of years ago share my love of color, texture, design and the beauty of all those perfect little loops.