About a year ago, for this blog, I was looking at designs made by the famous Vienna Workshop designers, back around the turn of the century. And I saved one, just because it appealed to me. Here is the design as I found it:
The designer was Ugo Zovetti (Croatian, 1879-1974), and he did this in 1911. I’ve looked at so many design sources and artwork, and having an excuse to spend lots of time meandering through art history is one of the main attractions of doing this blog! But this is the first time I actually saved a historical design and adapted it into a rug.
Just as a quick recap, the Vienna Workshop was the European center for the Arts and Crafts movement (often called the Craftsman school of design in the US), and it was a production community of visual artists who believed in the ideal of the Gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork), a coordinated environment in which everything down to the last detail was consciously designed as an integral part of the whole project. So designers there worked on architecture, fabric, furniture, ceramics, leather goods, enamel, jewelry, postcards. The “Wiener Werkstätte” even had a millinery department. It lasted as a design center until the depression in the 1930s.
Wonderful! But, yikes, the one I picked to adapt was hard enough! I did enjoy seeing the birds design come to life. And to get the detailed effect in the birds, I did a lot of the beading stitch (starting two strands of wool on the same line, and alternating loops of the two colors). A slow process at first, but I definitely gained speed as I went along. Some of the designs in the leaves were too “wormy” for me, so I simplified them to a more basic leaf-vein look. And I confess I sort of color-planned it as I went along.
In two days I leave for a few weeks in England! So blog posts may happen from there, but they might not be as rug-oriented as usual. I am planning, though, to visit the wonderful Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, so it’s likely I will have something to talk about, don’t you think?
Enjoy your hooking, and wherever you are, keep an eye out for good design!