Martha Lowry sent me a postcard (many thanks! - otherwise I wouldn't have known about it) for a fiber arts exhibit that is hung in the gallery of the Arts Council of Brazos Valley, College Station, called "A Stitch in Time". So yesterday, Wade, Alex and I climbed into the car (which we just got back from the body shop after Wade's accident on I-45 when he was rear-ended in slow traffic and had $2800 of cosmetic damage so the car smelled like fresh paint and we had to drive with the windows cracked open in 95+degree heat) and made our way up to College Station, a hour and forty-five minute drive. Believe me, it was good to get into an air-conditioned building once we got there!
The exhibit was mainly rugs hooked by an Aggie guild organized by Loyce Kahil, although there was one needle-felted piece, one small quilt, and several loom blankets and scarfs. Photographs were allowed, so I'm posting here Alex's favorite, an Azeri rug hooked by Loyce.
Azeri rugs are folklife carpets that Turkish women began hooking in the late 80s. A group of women weavers began approaching their work personally, inspired by their own surroundings and environment. The weavers began incorporating small images of themselves and their familes, a stray animal or flower, into the blank areas of their rugs. I learned about Azeri rugs from a book I purchased five years ago when I wanted to try my hand at creating such a piece (and failed miserably - these rugs are much more difficult to execute successfully than they look!). The book is by George Jevremovic, Azeri: Folklife Carpets (Woven Legends, 1992).
Anyway, Loyce's rug is beautifully done and is especially fun because it illustrates her life (?) as a rug hooker in Texas. So rug hooking elements are combined with Texas fauna and flora. Note the bluebonnets and the armadillo (Alex laughed when he saw this) and the Texas flag. Loyce takes us through the whole process of rug hooking, from the sheep in the field to the dye pot to hooking the rug on a frame. She includes all the necessary tools: measuring cups, dye bath and hanger, the rug hook and scissors. It is a remarkable example of folklife carpets.
After seeing Loyce's gorgeous carpet, I am feeling inspired to try my hand at one again. Maybe this time I won't fail.