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Collaborative Response Rugs

Where the unexpected is embraced

By: Linda Rae Coughlin

Response Piece #1 LRC/BC, 18" x 18", varied materials on linen. Designed and hooked by Linda Rae Coughlin, Warren, New Jersey, and Burma Cassidy, Rochester, Vermont, 2007. 

Imagine starting a rug hooking project with an idea in mind, then turning your just-begun piece over to another artist to hook the next few elements. Would she be able to follow your train of thought and continue in your stead, or would she see something completely different and take your hooking in another direction?
I call this collaboration between two artists a "response rug." It all began three years ago with a telephone conversation with Burma Cassidy.  We talked about ways to challenge ourselves and expand the way we create our art. We developed a plan for the first response exchange—between the two of us—and I loved the process so much that I decided to work with Burma and four other artists in another round of exchanges.

This article is from the June/July/August 2011 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.


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