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How Roz Chast Got Hooked

A cartoonist brings her quirky characters to wool

By: Leslie Giuliani
Photography by Roz Chast

Two Birds, 29" x 17½", #8-cut overdyed wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Roz Chast, Ridgefield, Connecticut.

It’s official: Roz Chast, the beloved New Yorker cartoonist and author of a bunch of books, including her wonderful and hilarious cartoon anthology, Theories of Everything, can be officially counted among the ranks of traditional rug hookers. Cartooning in her maximal drawing style, with a story to tell, Roz got used to being outside the mainstream art world while going to Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) during the height of the serious “minimalism” trend of the 1970s. Roz has been rug hooking for several years now and is rarely without a piece in the works. It is exciting to see how an artist with a seemingly defined vocabulary can cross media and create a fresh take on a venerable craft.

As expected, Roz’s imagery is a delight. Everything a Roz Chast fan would hope to see is in her wool creations: quirky folks, cozy interiors, animals (including her much-loved pet birds, Marco and Eli), and a selection of consumer products, some inspired by her “unique” canned goods collection. All are rendered in her very recognizable style. The words are there, too, stylishly drawn. Roz says that in contrast to cartooning, her rugs do not need a punch line.

The full article was featured in the March/April/May 2014 issue of Rug Hooking magazine


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