Rainforest Butterflies: Flight Prep – Rug Hooking Elements

This week I’ll be exploring the various textile techniques in yarns and metals that I’m utilizing to create the Rainforest Butterflies art installation. There’s great fun for me in building this immersive piece, I love the multiple aspects; the different materials, all the different parts and all the different pieces that make it possible to build. It provides the possibility to take a break from one area and move to another when I get stuck. I get time to think through a design problem in one area while still moving forward in another.

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The Rainforest installation needs a comfortable forest floor for us to sit and I found a surprising option; Rug Hooking! Using a Locker Hook style crochet hook, about 6″ long and about US$4 to purchase, it’s an easy tool to obtain and an easy technique to jump right in. I’ve started the area that will be under the Spur Mahogany tree.

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The white rug canvas doesn’t look very nice so I wanted to dye it a darker forest floor color. Unfortunately the rug canvas is 50/50 cotton/polyester so a basic dye bath wouldn’t provide good coloring. I remembered a big, fat, brown permanent marker I bought from the local 100yen store and it has provided the dark look I wanted.

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As the rug will be seen through the wire crocheted Spur Mahogany trunk, I am creating a simple tree ring design using only a couple of different yarns. One skein of a boucle and one ball of deep fall colored stash yarn.

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Thought it would be a great idea to start in the middle and work my way around and around and out towards the edges. No, this was a very bad idea. The rug canvas area is so large it is very cumbersome to work with at 36″ x 60″ (92cm x 153).

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In the center of the above photo, wire crochet work done large in 16 and 20 gauge brown colored copper wire. A big start to a Spur Mahogany to show the initial effects of the forest floor and the wire crochet work.

My next post will explore patten designing necessary for yarn details such as the Polyalthia michaelii…

To see my day to day progress, follow me on Instagram: Studio Deanna

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