A Great Summer Read

A Great Summer Read

Posted by Laura Kenyon on


Designed by You book

Too hot to hook?  Definitely not too hot to think about your next rug, though.

If you can't get inspired by Tamara Pavich's new book published by Rug Hooking Magazine (Ambry) you must have fallen asleep right after you opened it.

Tamara Pavich writes regularly in rug hooking magazine. Now, I am not prejudiced at all just because I happen have a rug included, I have to say that she has written a terrific book.
There is plenty of meaty text to go along with the photos to explain her point. It has something for everyone who hooks in every style. She has contributions from the most contemporary artists like Roslyn Logsdon and Diane Cox, primitive specialists like Cathy Stephan, and lots of other talents whose works can't be categorized.
At first it is a little confusing how she has it organized, but once you get started, it makes sense the way the book is laid out. The chapters begin with an idea of how to get started.  Then she goes on with ideas to get you there.  She has chosen great examples and throws in little hints to help you along.
It was a very roundabout way that Tamara  and I connected.  She wrote an article for RHM about Van Gogh's works as inspiration for rugs.  Janet Conner teaches a fabulous class on the subject, She even draws the patterns - which is no easy feat to duplicate Van Gogh. Needless to say, when Tamara was looking for source material she went to Janet.
My sister, Laura, and I took one of Janet's classes during the week of the  Green Mountain Guild show several years ago.  Janet reached out to her students for rugs for Tamara's article which lead to my texting back and forth to Tamara.  Next thing I know, she asked if I had any rugs that I had designed. Well, what she meant was a rug that I didn't design for a commercial pattern.
  I sent a photo of Praise House. For those not familiar with the Southeastern coast's history of the Gullah/Geechee culture, these folks are a community that continue today, descendants of the first freed slaves.  They lived on the coast and on the barrier islands from South Carolina to Florida, and the first town, Mitchellville, is on Hilton Head Island.
Their spirituality started as a combination of their African roots, including voodoo, and Christianity from the missions mostly from the Methodist Church.  The Praise house was a rudimentary building where slaves and freedmen met to worship. Sometimes it was actually on a plantation.  Unlike the rug, there was no steeple or cross, it was usually just four walls with benches. The worship was enthusiastic and full of music and shouting. That feeling was what I was trying to convey with the rug.
Praise house sketch
This was the original sketch to show inclusiveness by the open double doors and the energy coming from inside.  The tree was to a live oak covered with Spanish moss to give a sense of place, but I decided that it didn't add to the message and left it out.
      This is the final piece.  I decided that the energy would blow the roof off and the outstretched hands extended the movement from inside to out.  The background is a batik print instead of the tree.  It still accomplished the sense of place by bringing a sense of the African ethnicity.
So, now you know the rest of the story about my piece.  I hope it will entice you to pick up Tamara's book and take it to the beach with you this summer.




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