Thursday, March 26, 2009

Discover This: "Rad Rugs" ~ Alexandra Marshall

Ok readers, get ready to be wowed by the next featured artist in the Discover This series. Her name is Alexandra "Lex" Marshall from right here in my hometown of Chicago. Lex designs and creates beautiful, unique hooked rugs using primitive techniques. Her parents have always had hooked rugs on display in their Maine home, but a few years ago Lex took an interest in practicing the art herself after visiting the Tunbridge World's Fair in Tunbridge, VT. While watching a rug hooking demo Lex says she "...was fascinated both by the process and by the finished result. I bought a beautiful rug with an image of a lion on it, based on a primitive pattern. It was just so totally charming..." She bought books, searched for tips online, and now creates some of the most beautiful rugs I've ever seen. She would encourage anyone who is thinking of trying out a new craft or art form to just give it a go!

Inspiration for Lex's designs come from different sources. "I like to use images from other forms of art that are perhaps less traditional as hooked rug images. For instance...the Pomona rug was inspired by a pre-Raphaelite tapestry, and the rug I’m working on right now was inspired by still-life paintings of food as well as a Roman Mosaic. The apple rug was inspired by my friend Cassie, who loves apples and who took me to the Tunbridge World’s Fair."

Lex uses high quality linen and wool in her rug designs in the hopes of creating a piece to last many lifetimes. One of her favorite rugs in her parents' home is from the 1800s, and she says "it’s still beautiful." She's happy to create custom rugs, as she believes they are "a unique way to commemorate a favorite pet, a beloved house, or a moment in someone’s life."

Below: Bad Apple Rug, Pomona Rug, Swallow Rug

To read the story behind each of these rugs, be sure to visit Lex's etsy shop HERE

"Food" Rug in progress (Lex hand-draws each image with a sharpie!)

Tools used to create Lex's rugs

Special thanks to Lex for allowing me to feature her and her beautiful rugs in the Discover This series.