The Kinetic Water Series: Part 1

In January, this blog featured Ania’s “H2O Lily Pad” project. That project and its themes continued to inspire Ania even after she finished it, and it ultimately served as the genesis for an idea on a new way to approach rug hooking. From that idea, Ania created a series made up of three projects all connected by a common theme and technique.

Over the course of the next several months, we’ll be featuring a blog post for each of the three projects that makes up Ania’s “Kinetic Water Series.” This month, we’ll be focusing on the first, a project titled “Water Lilies in Summer Bloom”:

Lily Pad Full cropped watermarked
The full “Water Lilies in Summer Bloom” mobile.

All three projects in this series are focused around water. Can you talk more about the inspiration for this theme? 

The inspirations I spoke about in January’s blog post also applied to this series. I was still thinking about the lily pads I saw last summer at Harold Parker, a local state park in Massachusetts. I was also still thinking about Monet’s lily pads, which I’ve loved since I bought a Monet water lily poster my freshman year of college.

In fact, I’ve always been intrigued and inspired by aquatic life. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be an oceanographer.

Lily Pad Detail 2 watermarked
Ania created lily pads with flowers and without.

How did the “H2O Lily Pad” project inspire “Water Lilies in Summer Bloom”? 

When I was hooking the “H2O Lily Pad” project, I thought a lot about the 3-D element on top of the rug. The beaded flower gives the rug added dimension, but it also made me realize that you never really consider the perspective of what’s underneath the lily pad. At one point, I even thought about attaching roots to the bottom of the rug, as a nod to that perspective.

This sparked a broader thought though: what would the lily pad look like from the other side? I started to think about the implications of the rug as a 3-D object. How could I morph it into a closer representation of the actual object?

Lily Pad Detail 3 watermarked
The underside of a lily pad, with the roots.

Besides the theme of water, all of the projects in this series are kinetic art. What is the significance of kinetic art in rug hooking? 

Most rugs are static art. If there is movement in a rug, it has to be implied through the hooking. There is no actual movement in or of the piece. The majority of rugs remain as flat pieces similar to a painting.

I settled on the idea of hooking a lily pad as a three dimensional object, so that it could be fully realized for the viewer. This brought up the question of what is the best way to present a three dimensional rug? I realized it had to be kinetic to fully appreciate that it was 3-D. The movement of the piece could draw the viewer in to experience the water and lily pads interaction.

Dictionary.com defines kinetic art in part as “art, as sculptural constructions, having movable parts activated by motor, wind, hand pressure, or other direct means.” To suspend a 3-D piece in the air meant that the viewer could appreciate every side of it without effort. The kinetic nature of the piece also means that viewers are able to experience the lily pads as they would in nature. The lily pads have dynamic movement as they would in nature, either due to the wind, or water currents, or movement from animals.

If you are interested in where the kinetic art movement started read more about Alexander Calder, it’s founder.

Lily Pad Detail 2a watermarked
A close up of one of the lily pads with a beaded flower.

How did the three dimensional element of this project influence your creative decisions while hooking? 

I made a lot of very specific decisions while color planning. Some of the lily pads have flowers and some don’t. The tops of the lily pads are one color if they have a beaded flower, and they are another if they don’t have a beaded flower. I made this decision because I was thinking about how the light would reflect differently off of the petals and onto the pads. The bottoms of the lily pads are also a different color from the tops. This was taking into account seeing the bottoms of the pads through water, with no direct light shining on them. I hand dyed all of the wool used in this project, and hooked in a #3 cut.

The beaded flowers are all white. I used fresh water keshi pearls for the petals. They’re very similar to the size and shape of the petals that I wanted to create. The centers of the flowers are beaded with 2 mm Swarovski crystals and Czech cut glass beads. These beads catch the light beautifully, and provide a wonderful reflection of the light with movement.

I dyed the yarn for the roots specifically for this project. I used three varieties of boucle mohair yarn, because the nature texture was very similar to the look of lily pad roots. The varieties of brown that I dyed the yarn was inspired by photographs of lily pad roots as seen through water.

Do you have any questions or comments for Ania about this project? Feel free to leave them in the comments section below!

8 thoughts on “The Kinetic Water Series: Part 1

  1. This is just beautiful. I love the use of the beads for the flowers and the mohair for the roots. Must look just lovely in the sunlight.

    Liked by 1 person

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