Anne Cox about rug hooking
I started hooking in 2006. And now I am eager for the winter months, which is when the gardens are closed up and I spend time working on my rugs.
I like a lot of things about rug hooking. I like the practical aspect of what I do: I am making things that can be used to warm up a floor or be a table runner, for instance. I like how slow the process is: I am forced to slow down as I cut the strips of wool and pull each one through the backing. As a result I think the rugs are very different from the way I might paint or draw the same images. I like the surprises that come when a shape gets smushed and rearranged by the loops next to them, rounding and flattening edges and corners. I like playing with color.
My process is this. Usually. Often during the summer months I cogitate on images I would like to hook. So for instance, the body of the Larch rug was based on a Fall trip we took to Burlington Vermont when the hillsides along Rt. 2 were covered with the amazing colors of the larch needles and the border was based on the spring cones that look almost like raspberries waiting to be plucked. Sometimes I scribble a little cartoon of what I have in mind for the piece, sometimes I have a photograph of a scene I want to use, and sometimes the image is just in my mind. Then I turn the kitchen into a dyeing lab for a day of dyeing all the colors and wool I hope to use in the project. I do have a stash of wool from various sources that I go to for accents and drops of color, but the bulk of the wool for each rug I dye for that rug. Then I start the work. Sometimes I draw some guidelines on the linen burlap backing I use, sometimes it’s just blank. Lately it’s just been blank.
While working on a rug I am aware that I am creating the rules for the rug, the structure, the order that I will either observe or break. These are my rules, my choices. So with the polypores rug I chose how each of the fungi grew, and the same with the borders, which were based on imagining lichen growing alongside the polypods.
A couple of things draw me as I do the rugs. One is that I want to pay attention to the natural world around me and to celebrate it. The other is that I want to create rugs that are rugs, for the floor, more than as hangings on the wall. Lately I have been fixated on the borders and how they enhance the meaning of a central image in a rug and help with the “rugness” of a piece.
Anne had a show called Winter Work, featuring twelve of her rugs at the Maine Fiberarts Gallery in Topsham, Maine during the months of March and April, 2013. In 2014, two of her new rugs are part of a group show at the gallery. In 2013, Anne gave a presentation of her rugs one of the midcoast Maine Pecha Kucha events: she had 20 images of her work and was allowed to talk for 20 seconds for each image: a fast-paced and fun way to present.
GMRHG Viewer’s Choice awards
Anne is a member of the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild and has shown her rugs at the (almost) annual shows the guild puts on at the Shelbourne Museum in Vermont. Several of her rugs have been among the ten at each show that receive “Viewers Choice” awards.
Rugs for sale
Most of Anne’s rugs are for sale at Hedgerow and are on display in our gallery during the summer months. Contact us for current availability and prices.