Rug Hooking Art or Craft?

The Exhibition brief called for a sculptural piece – how could one enter a 2-D rug?          …………. add a basketry element!

Installation Handing it On
“Handing it On” installation by Jo Franco,  Blender Gallery, Joondalup – Walking with Totems April 2013.

I’ve been involved for a couple of years with a group that came together to hook rugs for community projects. The members are from diverse backgrounds and different age groups – it’s been interesting to see the camaraderie develop as they come together and learn more about rughooking – it’s truly a revival of an old craft.

The structural elements of this piece represent the arms and hands of rug hookers past and present holding antique and modern tools. The rag rug on the right was made in the depression era from recycled well-worn clothing. The new, brightly coloured rug was hooked using “up-cycled” fabrics (silk sari off-cuts) and hand-dyed woolen and novelty yarn.The design inspired by an aerial view of coastal North West Australia and the shape of the arms and hands by Boab trees growing in the North West.

This question “is rughooking and art or craft” is often discussed on online rughooking website. I’d like to thank Guild members –  Judi Tompkins, Sue Gilmartin and.Susan Feller who encouraged me to enter this juried exhibition.  It was fun figuring out how to create this project and satisfying to see it take shape.   Jo






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