In the Primitive Style: Hooking an Eyelet Animal Pillow
Dear Beginning Rug Hooker
Eyelet Bird, 6 1/2" x 5 1/4", #8-cut wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Nancy Smith, Roca, Nebraska, 2010.
To understand the primitive style, think of children's drawings. Picture an immense sun covering half the page. Think of little trees and big people. Imagine a huge butterfly, smallish birds, or a small person sitting on a large flower. Exaggerated scale or proportion, nonrealistic or intuitive colors, and whimsical drawings can all work in primitive designs. Naïveté is the essence of primitive work.
The juxtaposition of eyelet, a common dressmaking trim, and animals is unlikely, but it fits the primitive point of view. Eyelet, a cotton fabric with small, bound holes, has nothing in common with animals, but why not think about both animals and eyelet in a new way? Imagine these primitive, amorphous animals walking across eyelet. (I often steal the animals from larger works I have done and incorporate them in my small pieces. You can find these eyelet animals in my much larger piece, Animal Mélange.)
Remember, primitive animals don't have to be brown, black, or beige. A blue pig might be just jolly. Likewise, leaves don't have to be green. And the eyelet serves as a repetitive color throughout. Being small and very portable, these projects are great for traveling; hook the subject at home, and hook the very simple background on a trip.
This article is from the March/April/May 2011 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.