ISSN 2207-001X  20th April, 2017

This mandala, 80cms x 80cms, was designed and hooked by Robin Inkpen, of Donnybrook, Western Australia.  It’s framed, without glass, so is quite lightweight.

When Robin started this project her life was in a state of flux with many changes happening in her personal and artistic life. It seemed to me, creating a mandala was a big challenge to take on at that time.  However, as I remember, Robin said she was using this project as a point of focus.

and she forwarded this image of her new project with the following comment   

“Mandalas aren’t as easy as they look, they are geometrically exact and you need compass and protractor and ruler to draw them. That’s fine when you are drawing on paper but, as I found when you draw them out on fabric with a warp and a weft it adds another dimension of difficulty because you have to line up the perpendicular and horizontal with the warp and weft grain.”

WHAT IS A MANDALA?  I had an idea, but decided to do a Google search anyway  – discovering a website which said –

“a mandala is a complex abstract design that is usually circular in form. In fact, “mandala” is a Sanskrit word that means “circle”. Mandalas generally have one identifiable center point, from which emanates an array of symbols, shapes and forms. Mandalas can contain both geometric and organic forms.  Drawing and coloring a mandala can be a highly enriching personal experience in which you look inside yourself and find the shapes, colors and patterns to represent anything from your current state of mind to your most deeply-desired wish for yourself, for a loved one, or for humanity.”

This link  “Art is Funtook me to step-by-step instructions showing how to draw a mandala.

From yet another website comes these words, with a set of instructions for creating and colouring a mandala and the benefits of doing so; 

“observing the mandala allows the busy mind to take a break while the creative mind is allowed to run free”. 

Now I understand why focusing on creating a mandala was a way for Robin to centre her thoughts and feelings, also the complexities that arose when she attempted to transfer a drawing to a woven fabric backing. 

Robin is about to embark on another mandala, this time on hessian,  interested to see how precise she can be with circles and angles on hessian. Her first mandala was hooked on monks cloth.

Robin shown here with one of her earlier hooked creations, says this about the mandalas :

“For the moment, I like the contained and structured space of the design. The only variables I add are the variably dyed fabrics and yarns.

Also, as it is so difficult to be so geometrically exact on a woven fabric I like that each quarter is not an exact replica.”


 It would be interesting to know if any other members have attempted to design and hook a mandala.  If you have and would like to share, please leave a comment below or send to rughookingaustralia@gmail.com        

As always, it’s interesting to see where rug hooking takes us.        Jo Franco, Editor



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