From Laura’s studio
Technique/materials: Punch Needle Rug Hooking, cotton “monk’s cloth” backing, punched with wool yarn, many from our sheep!
Height: 25.5 Width: 25.5: Depth: 1 inches
Fully mounted with dowel, ready for hanging.
Inspired by the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, this piece came off the frame at Winter Solstice and was finished on Christmas Eve. The Celtic Tree of Life is a symbol of interconnectivity, with the branches and roots woven together. The central triple spiral, situated like the heart of the tree, is generation and creativity, like the spiraling universe. The words in Celtic Script of Truth, Nature, Knowledge represent elements of Celtic wisdom. The mix of solid and variegated colors that create the background create a rippling effect, as if the piece is infused with nature’s energy. It’s a peaceful but alive piece.
I started by drafting and drawing out the design on paper, transferring it then to the monk’s cloth backing using our farm’s bakery case as a handy light table. This backing is then stretched tightly over the loom frame (shown above with the padded cover to keep the tension-providing barbs from poking my wrist). The backing should feel like a drum head when fully mounted. This high tension allows the punch needle to glide through the backing with minimal effort.
Once the piece is finished, the extra backing is stitched back and creates the pocked for the hanging dowel. I also quilt muslin to the back to help protect the wool from moths and increase its longevity for your enjoyment in years to come.