Sunday, February 26, 2012


Since I began work on the Nomadic Series I have become interested in traveling, moving, the meaning of home, and surroundings. "Free Passage", pictured below, relates to routes we travel by land, sea, and air (the red lines through the piece). It also brings into play how lucky most of us are to have the freedom to move around the world when we want to. That freedom should not be taken for granted. The old lock represents how easily some people's right to travel is "locked" and they are not allowed to travel without permission.

"Free Passage"  Lori LaBerge  2012

The above is my interpretation of the piece I created. Someone else may view this as simply a decorative piece. I'm o.k with that. Art should be whatever you want it to be. I love the idea of a piece having multiple meanings to different people or no meaning at all. I have always been interested in all kind of art; be it decorative, realistic, shock art, simple pretty picture, social statement or anything else. To me, whether a work has meaning or not is up to each individual viewing the piece.  

I remember going into an art gallery with my daughter and looking closely at an abstract piece. The owner, who was also the artist, asked me if I liked the work. I said that I wasn't sure, but it grabbed my interest. He pulled the piece off the wall, turned it 90 degrees, put it back on the wall and asked what my opinion was now. He did this again, continuing to turn the piece before I made him stop. I immediately made out the abstract figures of a woman and little girl playing cards. I love the way the artist allowed for me to make my own interpretation of the piece. He certainly would have had no problem if I had brought it home and placed it in a different orientation than intended.

What a work of art means to the critics, experts or the masses does not have to be what it means to you. View some artwork, make your own interpretation of it and have a great day!

Note- I did go back to that gallery later to purchase the piece, but it had already been sold. Though disappointed, I was pleased someone else had found their own meaning to it.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


While recently continuing the feat of cleaning out my studio, I came upon some photos of a trip my husband and I took to Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico a while back.

Monument Valley. We signed up for a special tour to view weavers working in their hogans. Here I am getting a close-up look at the weaving process and enjoying every second.

  While the weaver knew no English and my knowledge of the Navaho language is nonexistent, we were able to share our love of textiles through gestures. She is carding wool.

 A Yei rug in progress. The Yei are supernatural Holy People who make it possible for the Navaho and their gods to communicate.  They also possess the ability to restore health.  I found it fascinating to watch someone weave a pattern out of their head. There was no drawing or cartoon to follow.

 I could not resist purchasing these Zapotec rugs in Sedona. The Zapotec Indians live near the Oaxacan plateau in Mexico. The rugs were created with sheep raised by the Indians.  The wool was cleaned, carded, hand-spun and woven. The rugs hang on a railing in our home where I can enjoy them everyday.

Taos had an amazing book store I couldn't resist. I'm sure the salespeople loved me.

I had a chance to meet the weaver of this great little keychain I purchased.

We stopped at a local weaving shop in Chimaya and purchased some placemats and coasters. My husband has this coaster on his desk to this day. We were told we had just missed seeing Caroline Kennedy who had made a purchase at the shop. The day before, in Taos, we had just missed seeing Muhammad Ali, who we were told purchased a large Indian drum. I guess our timing was slightly off those two days.

Enjoy memories of your trips and have a great day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


The past week was spent designing and hooking a new piece. Mixed-media is always interesting as construction issues have to be taken into account. In this piece, I plan on putting a metal plate in the center with an item screwed to the top of the plate. This led to planning the center of the piece so the plate will fit properly after the hooking is done. Since fiber is rarely perfect, the plate had to constantly be placed onto the empty center of the piece for fitting purposes. I want a tight fit with no backing fabric showing through on the edges of the metal plate. This piece was worked on monk's cloth rather than linen to allow for some stretching to fit the plate. 

An alternative to this method could have been to adhere the plate to the backing fabric before the hooking process and hook around it. In a few experiments with this method it seemed the backing fabric showed on the edges and I did not get the tight fit I was looking for. The size of the plate did not always match up to the holes in the backing fabric. I'll experiment more with this at a later date. Here are photos of the work so far: 

Hooking and whipped edging done with center awaiting completion.

Artboard primed, painted, and glazed with patina.

Work table with items for finishing work.

A great old lock found at an architectural salvage company.  This will be used for the centerpiece.  I have not decided whether to leave as is or paint it, but I really like the old feel so am veering toward as is.

This is my old piece of cardboard and the metal pieces I am spray painting for the piece.  It looks like a work of art all by itself.

Experiment with news things, try alternatives when things aren't going the way you planned and have a great day!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


"Trilogy Road" is a geometric piece depicting three roads. The road sections are hooked with beige print upholstery fabric, rougher than the wool in the rest of the piece. The roads we travel are not always easy. It is often which road each of us chooses to follow that determines events in our lives. Each road has its own story.

"Trilogy Road"  Lori LaBerge  2012

The work as a whole depicts the corner area of a rug. This design developed from seeing rug remnants and wondering what role those pieces played in the design of the original full-size rug and how and why the larger rug was cut into pieces. Like these rugs, our lives consist of many pieces which combine to make us who we are.

Close-up,  "Trilogy Road"  Lori LaBerge  2012

It is exciting to see many nomadic rug remnants being made into pillows, bags, or other small items. They are finding a new life, yet keeping their cultural identity. Two great places to see examples of remnant reuse are Mother's Atelier for pillows and Northern Lights for carpet bags. Love the designs on both of these sites!

Create your own road leading to where you want to be in life and have a great day!