Saturday, March 22, 2014


I always find it interesting when something unexpected happens in the studio.  I was painting art boards for framing when I placed the hooked work to the side and changed my whole framing idea.

 "Time To Go"  18 X 18, Lori LaBerge  2013 

When I had placed the pieces I was getting ready to frame to the side, they landed on top of a piece of gray and white herringbone wool.  The combination looked great.  The decision was made immediately to drop the paint idea and cover the board with the herringbone pattern. Little things can make a big difference and this seemed to upscale the work tremendously. 

"Night Ride", framing in progress

The one thing I will have to deal with is the increase in price I will have to place on the pieces.  This method requires more work.  I had to label the work, paint the art board (to protect fabric from acid), label the art board, and hand stitch the work to the herringbone and cover the art board with the herringbone (which is more expensive than painting the board).  I still have to hand stitch a cover to the back of the work and place yet another label on this for a professional finish. 

Why so many labels?  If someone removes the actual hooked work, it is labelled.  If they remove the work with the herringbone wool attached, it is labelled, and if they leave as is, it is labelled.  It is interesting how I do all this, yet rarely sign my name on the front of a piece.  Somehow, for me, it detracts from the work and I only do it if a gallery requires it. Believe it or not, when I worked in a gallery we had painters who signed their name so large you noticed the name before the actual artwork.

I use printable fabric for labels on work.  They are ironed and stitched for staying power.

Different things attract people to art, but a lazy finishing job can immediately halt any interest.  If you can sit back , honestly critique your work and still enjoy looking at it for a period of time, you can be sure others will enjoy it also.  After a while you begin to know when to frame or when to hang a piece.  The piece will tell you and, often, buyers will tell you.  It pays to listen to them.

Close-up of finishing work on art board corner.  Covering the board took time as I was trying to avoid any bump from doubled fabric in the herringbone when the corner was rounded.

And look what came in the mail this week:

If you do not have a subscription to Fiber Art Now, you are missing out on some excellent coverage of the fiber art world.  The latest issue has an article on contemporary rug hooking featuring some of the best in their field.  The article is inspiring to those who have a respect for the art form and love seeing the direction it is taking.

Since this post discussed finishing, I thought I would refer people to " Finishing Hooked Rugs".  This is full of great techniques and could lead to new ideas for your work.

Experiment, strive to give your work the finish it deserves and have a great day.

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