Your greatness is not what you have, it's what you give.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Interview with the artist

Here is Kathleen with one of her knitted gems.

And here is the Blue Ribbon Winner!
If you look a couple of posts back you will see the one about Kathleen winning a blue ribbon for her hooked rug at the Newtown Hooked Rug Show in Connecticut. I asked her about the work that went into making one of these beauties and was surprised at the answer. It was quite the undertaking, not at all like going to the craft store and choosing a canvas and the cut pieces of wool in the colors you need.

Kathleen took lessons from Anna Walsh of Delmar, New York back in the 1950's while she was also raising five young children. She took advantage of afternoon nap time to work on at least five different Currier and Ives still life designs. She said someone would draw the design outline in black on burlap and then the canvas had to be tied with old nylon stockings onto a wooden frame, which Kathleen's husband, Tom, made for her. Then the real work began. Kathleen took old clothing and cooked it on the stovetop in Tide detergent to remove all the color. She said the whole house would smell like cooked laundry! Then she had to use a special kind of dye and make the color swatches she knew she would need to color, shade and highlight the subject of her hooked painting. Those swatches became the pallet to which Kathleen referred when dyeing for the actual rug. When she finished dyeing the fabric , she then had to run it through a device with cutting wheels of different widths to get the desired width strips for hooking. It took Kathleen about three months to complete her Blue Ribbon Masterpiece.

Before her husband retired, he had one of her art pieces hanging on the wall of his office. Her children and her sister have some also. One time, Kathleen's daughter, Pat, was browsing through an estate sale and found a print of one of the rugs Kathleen had hooked. So as a surprise gift to her, Pat had it framed and Kathleen still has it with the rug.

We should have known that Kathleen would win a Blue Ribbon. She won first prize for an art project all the way back in 5th grade while growing up in Kansas. Kathleen we would love you even if you didn't win a Blue Ribbon. That just puts the icing on the cake!

1 comment:

Margaret said...

It is any wonder that we "girls" have followed in Mom's footsteps and love art and crafting in many many dimensions. We have a very talented role model (and I remember the wet wooly smelly kitchen like it was yesterday!)