In recent weeks, the weather has started to take a turn towards summer, and that change has inspired Ania’s choice of project for this month’s rug of the month post! A few years ago, Ania completed a Triptych series, called “Coral Triptych.” Each of the rugs is 4″ x 4″, and mounted on stretcher bars. They were completed with #3-5 strip wool, and glass and coral beads.
Read on to see the final project, and to learn about how Ania approached it:
What was the inspiration behind this project?
I had an idea I was sitting on for a while, of using gems and semi-precious stones to depict the growth of an underwater coral reef. Then I saw the Seasons Challenge on Facebook, and I thought that my idea was a good fit for the prompt.
Part of the inspiration came from a trip I took to Australia. I met someone who was an avid underwater photographer, named Craig Morton. The photos he showed us were beautiful, and I thought of those pictures as I designed these rugs. Coral always looks the same when it first begins to grow, but as they continue to grow, they can diverge quite dramatically from each other.
Prior to rug hooking, I designed and sold jewelry, so I have a hefty stash of beads stored up. Over time, I’ve entertained the idea of incorporating my beads into my rug hooking. A number of my recent projects have done so, like my “H2O Lily Pad,” and my Kinetic Water Series. My beads were a big inspiration for this project. This is a rug series about the growth of coral, and the coral is entirely created through beads.
How did you incorporate the beads into this project?
Like I mentioned, the coral is all created through beads instead of hooking. I wanted the coral to be very abstract. I also wanted to incorporate specific beading techniques that I used to use in my jewelry designs, like the peyote stitch around the coral sticks in the final rug.
I used glass beads to create a border, instead of a traditional hooked border. I used flat four hole beads, with seed and drop beads sewn on.
My wool choices for this project were pretty straight forward, and mostly focused on mirroring the colors of tropical waters, so the beads really shine through.
What was the biggest challenge with this series?
Selecting a border that would be creative and different. Each of the three rugs has a similar but different border. The first rug’s border is the simplest to match the simplicity of the water. In the second rug, I switched from square flat four hole beads to round ones, to match the shape of the coral buds that the rug is focused on. In the final rug’s border, I chose copper colored beads to more closely match the color of the coral, which helps keep the eye traveling across the rug.
If you have any questions for Ania, feel free to leave them in the comments below!