Sunday, March 25, 2012


When my husband and I were out West, he purchased a beautiful piece of petrified wood. The piece is kept on an antique chest in the entry of our home, but walking by it one day I felt it needed something. The look of soft and hard pieces together has always appealed to me, so the decision was made to make a rug for the rock to be placed on. The grouping of the two has received a myriad of compliments, leading me to hop in the Jeep and head over to the local gem and mineral shop to search for some interesting looking rocks to make rugs for.

Bins of extra strips of wool were used for this "rock rug" measuring 11 1/2  X  9. 

I love where we live now. Spruce Pine, NC is known as "The Mineral City". There are a plethora of gem mines in the area where tourists stop to pan for gems when the weather begins to warm up. One tourist was lucky enough to have panned a 1000 ct. ruby during a visit to our area! I think I need to start digging on our property.

Two of my purchases.  I love the way the greens stick out of the wonderful shape of the emerald on the left.  The solid size of the sodalite on the right along with the way the blues flow throughout the rock will make it fun to create a rug for.

This beautiful amethyst looks like its own little island.  Couldn't resist this one.

Again, the shape drew me to this.  The red area that looks like a little cave is garnet.  The grays are tourmaline.  I have shades of wool going through my head that will look perfect with this.

If you are ever in the area, the town hosts the North Carolina Gem and Mineral Festival and the Grassy Creek Mineral and Gem Show. A great place to visit is Emerald Village where you can walk into an actual mine and view mining equipment.

I am really enjoying incorporating part of the history of our town into a new set of rug hooked works and looking forward to learning more about the various rocks from the area. Tour your own hometown, find what makes it special and have a great day.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012


"Victorian Nomad"  Lori LaBerge  2012

The piece above was inspired by an interest in the "Gilded Age" of America and how the wealthy would travel the world collecting art from various countries. Transoceanic routes allowed those with money to explore new places and obtain foreign-made works of art for their homes. Americans' purchase of foreign art inspired our own artists to more agressively pursue their place in the art world.

A closer look at the hooking with a wonderful Victorian doorknob plate found in an architectural salvage shop stitched to the piece. I could easily spend days in these types of shops. They have all sorts of little (and big!) things to sift through.  I just love the bumps along with the peeled, chipped and dripped paint on this old piece.  

I attached a photo of the face of a Victorian compass in the doorknob hole.  The compass symbolizes the various directions of travel taken by those in the Victorian Age.

You truly never know where ideas will come from.  One trick is to draw different ideas from everything you encounter and write those ideas down, no matter how odd they may seem at the time.   Another is to think of things out of context.  This is similar to using a dime to turn a screw, it is not what it was made for, but it works. Throw around the "what if" scenario in your head, do away with the fear of trying something different and have a great day!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


I am pleased to be a part of an upcoming fiber art show in Asheville, NC. Desert Moon Designs Gallery is presenting "The Cutting Edge: The Language of Textiles and Fiber Art" from April 4 - May 5, 2012 with an artist reception from 5-8 pm on April 14. This particular show caught my attention as the call for artists encouraged the use of non-traditional materials and techniques with the primary material being fiber. The show is also looking at what a piece of fiber art says about the artist.

"Diamond Road"  Lori LaBerge  2012

When I create a piece I need to see a reason for it to be done in fiber, otherwise the drawn design sits in a work file and never gets transferred to backing fabric. I love to see how the textures and colors add to the meaning of a piece and how other materials can be blended into a fiber design in a complimentary fashion.

"Free Passage"  Lori LaBerge  2012

Rug hooking is not a widely shown medium and I enjoy peoples' reactions when they see it in a contemporary venue. The call for this show came at a great time as I have not yet shown any of my mixed-media pieces outside of my own studio and this blog. It is always a little scary when you change your work and veer into new territory. An artist is never quite sure how previous collectors will react and how people new to the artist's work will receive it. It is always encouraging to have new work juried into a show and I look forward to seeing other fiber artists' work there and having the chance to converse with them.

Take chances, believe in yourself and your art and have a great day.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


After last week's blog, I received an e-mail from a reader asking what type of art I collect. I have to admit I collect quite a variety of artwork. I truly believe in collecting pieces that you love. I don't adhere to art matching the decor of a room and I never think about where I will place a piece in the house until I get it home. If I like a piece of art, I will find a place for it.

Mountain painting by Jean Watkins. Jean and I used to have studios next to each other and this painting kept grabbing my eye. When I found myself still eyeing it a month later I made the purchase. I love the abstract feel of this and it looks perfect in the hallway of our mountain home.

Woody Higgin's "Quasimodo, Hunchback of Notre Dame" caught my attention right away. It was centered in a gallery with a few of his other works. The gothic feel, the various mouldings used, one of the little figures on the side bent over like Quasimodo, and the door that opens made me have to have this. This piece sits on a chest in our main hallway.

Linda Persons makes these wonderful ceramic horses. They come in various sizes. I love the form of these, the smaller head and long legs, and the little marks near the hooves as if the horse's hair is falling over them. It greets visitors as they enter the living area of the house.

Jim Waters creates encaustic work. I love this for so many reasons. The geometric shapes, the stripes, and the texture of the wax. The three pieces allow for a variety of ways for hanging, allowing one to mix it up once in a while. Beautiful and fun. This piece resides in the sitting area of the master bedroom.

I met Virginia McKinney at the Southern Highland Craft Show in Asheville. Her adobe dwellings kept me in her booth for quite a while. Love the way there is an opening in this piece, creating an aura of mystery. The ladder really invites you to come on in and enjoy. This piece reminds me of the trip my husband and I took out west and fits perfect on one of the timbers in our living area.

Collecting is such a joy and tells people a little bit about you. Enjoy whatever items you collect, buy what you truly love to add to your collection and have a great day.