Saturday, December 20, 2014

RUG HOOKING WITH A NEW EASEL AND BUILDING A FRAME


A while back I had hooked a plein air piece on an old wooden easel I had used to display work in my first studio.  I enjoyed the process, but was looking for an easel that would be more flexible.  Doing some research, I found the ARTtristic Easel. Their website shows video of all of this easel's advantages.  

Since my birthday was this week, I asked my husband to build me a hooking frame that would fit on the easel for the large piece I am working on.  The frame measures 43" X 43".  Here is how the week went and more information about the easel.

Materials were put together for building the frame.  Work bench, nail gun, wood glue, measuring tape, drill, wood, sander, saw, stain and dowels.

Here is the first section of the frame.  Wood was cut to size.  Dowel holes were made, dowels inserted and the four pieces were fit together.  We built the frame in three layers. This was done so it can also be used for punch hooking and the punch needle will not hit the braces on the easel when going through the backing fabric and for traditional hooking so your hand will not be hindered on the back side.

We tested it out and the frame fit perfect, so we continued to build the other layers using a nail gun and glue to attach them to each other. I love this easel as it adjusts in so many ways.  It can be made tall, short, adjust at just about any angle, be used upright or flat.  You can stand at it or sit at it.  You can also adjust it for a small work such as a 5" X 7" or for a large 48" X 48" piece.  It swivels 360 degrees and with wide bottom legs stays steady.  It is working perfect for my 3 X 5 foot piece.  Love it!

I plan on making at least three different size frames.  With the large frame multiple pieces could be worked at the same time and cut off after they are hooked.  A smaller frame could easily be made and the work could simply be moved as needed while hooking. (Be careful moving work if you use rug strips as they are sharp.)

If you don't want to go through the work of building a frame, you could easily use picture frame parts or even a flat frame itself and place gripper strips to it.

  Here it is in the studio all stained with rug strips attached, ready to go.

I am using a monk's cloth backing, which I haven't used in a while, on the piece.  It is stretched taut across the frame for hooking ease.

The easel is upright at an angle here and allows me to see the whole piece as I work, eliminating the need to remove it from the frame for viewing.

With getting ready for the holidays, only a small amount of hooking was done this week.  An easel is meant for painters, but it can be advantageous to look at the tools of other media and how they may have the possibility of being used for rug hooking and the fiber arts.

Merry Christmas to all and have a great day.    

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