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Hooking Reflections

Ask the Experts

Little Mabel, 15" x 20", #3- and 4-cut wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Laura Pierce, Petaluma, California, 2003.

Light and reflection are visual magic that add something special to an artwork. A reflection can be the main attraction or just a detail. While it may seem impossible to use wool to create light and reflection, the key is all in how you use color. 

In 2002, I took workshops taught by Elizabeth Black and decided to hook my grandmother as a little girl. I used a sepia photograph taken by my great-grandmother in 1892 to design Little Mabel. I wanted to hook this rug portrait in color, so I referenced two of my own photographs: one of my daughter, Emma, at that same age and one of a small river in the Sierra foothills to use as a visual guide for the rocks and water. Mabel was quickly hooked—and then there was the water. I knew I needed to work some visual magic on the surface of the stream.

This article is from the June/July/August 2012 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.

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