Lizards and Ladders

Dimensions: 48" x 48"
Materials: #3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-cut wool and mixed media on linen
Designed by Gail Dufresne and Norma Batastini and hooked by Gail Dufresne, Lambertville, New Jersey, 2001.
Featured in: Celebration XII

"This design got its start when Norma Batastini proposed to our local McGown hooking group that we create game boards as a group project. If I recall, I was the only one to take the bait. I told my sister about it, and she gave me a book on old game boards. In it were different interpretations of the game board Chutes and Ladders or Snakes and Ladders. I had never heard of the game, but I knew that it was for me since I immediately thought of substituting lizards, which I love to hook (not own!). After buying about $200 worth of reference books on reptiles and amphibians, I selected the critters I wanted to represent, both by color and form. Each lizard I used was just as it appeared in nature. I balanced colors as I placed the lizards on the ladders with Norma’s help. Norma also gets credit for the fabulous border where lizards lurk among the bugs and foliage. I added myself in the border. Can you find me? I had one of my biggest breakthroughs with this rug while hooking the background. I could not decide which color to use, so I tried wool in all different colors but of the same value. I could not decide which one to use so left them in to try to make up my mind. What a surprise that they all worked! I left them all in, and that is when I learned the value of value, which I went on to write a book about with Geometric Hooked Rugs: Color And Value (printed in 2010 from Stackpole Books). This rug necessitated my complete and undivided attention. It took me about 1 1/2 years to finish and remains one of my very favorite rugs. It hangs on the bathroom wall in my studio."
- Gail Dufresne, Celebration Hall of Fame 2018


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