Monday, August 25, 2008


This morning has a packed agenda - Cebah wants to make more apple jelly, so there's apples to pick up & jelly bags to squeeze. And it's time, past time really, to make bread for the coming week. I cheated and bought some conchos at the Mexican grocery for this morning's toast.

As a result, this will have to be a brief post, of a small rug. Nancy sent me this photo, of another of my grandmother's rugs, this time with a floral design. Perhaps I should say "possibly" of my grandmother's design - I'm not yet familiar enough with her drawing to say for sure that this rug was made by her. Posthumous attributions of unsigned art work. especially in a medium like a hooked rug, are just guesswork. The handling of the material is much less precise on this rug than on the pair of geometric pieces, but there are a number of reasons that could explain that. It could be a very early work, or a very late one, when the manual skills were not as high. It could be that it was made by one of her daughters. All I know for certain is that it was in The Old House. Close examination and comparison may eventually provide more reasons to believe that she made it, or didn't.

One thing that, in my mind at least, argues for this being one of her designs is the unusual sense of design and color harmony. Whoever designed it counted, correctly, on small reds being powerful enough to counterbalance large blacks.
The red fins or spurs on the black arabesques, with lighter outlines, manage to hold the (very heavy) mirrored forms stable around the central empty space. The outer frame of multiple thin lines of color seems like one of her devices to me too.
It could be that she drew this design, and made it very simple, for one of her daughter's trial efforts at rug-hooking - the idea is strong, the workmanship not quite what I've come to expect from her. But not every piece that an artist makes turns out to be all that was imagined in its conception. And sometimes things are made just for fun or funcion. The story behind this little rug will probably remain a mystery.


Nancy said...

Of course, here at Buzzard Roost, we see two turkey buzzards flying in the sky. Most probably this was not the intended design of the arabesque, but fitting for where her Great Grandson (or Great Nephew as the case may be) ended up settling down.

Dan Dutton said...

Oh I love that idea - then the red can be beaks!
Another lovely detail in this rug is the two leaves that cross over the lines in the border.