Stumps and Drains Series Artist's Statement
The Stumps and Drain Series of hand-hooked wool rugs are made from rubbings of street drains and tree stumps. Postcards of the finished rugs photographed at their point of origin are displayed on a retail rack. Stumps and Drains investigates the experience of "Landscape" and "Traditional Folk Craft" in contemporary culture.
Hooked rugs are a uniquely North American folk tradition associated specifically with the Maritime Provinces and New England. Burlap sacking produced in Calcutta became commonplace in North America by the late 1850's providing ample and cheap ground for rugs. In the isolated fishing villages, resources were limited and thrift was a necessity, old woolen shirts, pants and blankets were stripped and made into rugs with a hook derived from a marlinspike tool. Utilizing text and image, the rugs documented the substance of daily life including beloved pets and the physical environment - natural, domestic and political.
The landscape of daily life in Baltimore and upstate New York is characterized by the ubiquitous cast iron drain and/or tree stump. These instantly recognizable forms are easily lifted with a piece of graphite and represented in reprocessed local thrift store clothing.