Meet Author and Fiber Artist, Nan Loncharich
Since the 18th century, people have cut long, narrow strips from tattered wool clothing, and looped them through heavy burlap from coffee and grain bags to make hooked rugs. It's part of this country's heritage.
Nan's parents grew up during the Depression and the family continued this tradition by re-purposing clothing for rags and braided rugs. Rolling fabric strips into balls kept Nan busy and happy during evenings before the invention of television. Later, she learned how to crochet and knit with the sound of the TV in the background.
Now, her favorite pastime continues to be making something with her hands. Rather than using a tiny quilting needle for hand-stitched quilts, she feels her hands are better suited to grasping a thick rug hook. And, since hooked rugs are regarded as primitive, Nan loves that she can create informal designs without getting corners perfectly straight!
Nan started creating flowers five years ago shortly after joining a group of rug hookers in southwestern PA. You can hook a flower in 15 minutes -- compared to a rug which may take years! She enjoys adapting various techniques in creative ways, and loves using frayed edges, selecting contrasting colors, spontaneously cutting shapes.
Nan even dyes her own wool, which she buys as old clothing from resale shops and repurposes in wonderful new ways.
Nan shares her marvelous techniques in her very first book, Making Flowers from Wool, published in 2011 by Stackpole Books. It is available, along with a variety of her flowers and hand-dyed wool strips for your own flower-making, at www.spoonwoodgallery.com.
You can also view Nan's video, “Making a Simple Flower Pin”, on her blog, Fancy Wool Flowers.
Written by Cia Williford; Artist and Author. Briarwood Studio - The Art of Cia Williford www.briarwoodstudio.com