Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Dove In Flight: Antique Reproduction

When I was asked to hook a reproduction of the antique rug, A Dove In Flight, I didn't have to think too long or too hard to answer with an emphatic, "Yes!"

I was finishing a rug I had designed called Dove's Song, that features a mourning dove and garden flowers. I was actually familiar with the antique rug, A Dove In Flight, having seen it earlier in the year somewhere on the Internet. It seemed like a great opportunity to experiment hooking a copy of an antique rug, with a subject I was already exploring myself!

This rug seems to be one, folks either love or hate. However, I was fascinated by it. There were so many interesting aspect to this piece that each time I looked, I would notice something different and be pulled back into admiring and wondering about this rug and it's creator.

Take a good long look at the original photos (One photo was taken with a flash. The other without. I used the one without the flash as my color reference.)

Notice, first, it is a wonderful folk art dove in flight with an olive branch. Now that is a happy, hopeful thought! See the white and grays in the dove. Was it originally all white? Are the grays caused by aging, or was it primitively shaded? Note the movement created in the background around the dove. There are a lot of hooking techniques and use of color used to keep your eyes moving about the background. It's a fine balance to keep your interest, but to not be overpowered by this flowing movement. The original rug hooker was no amateur! With the scroll shapes rolling out from all four corners of the rug, or earth, and the the gold and black at the top and bottom of the rug, what was this designer trying to convey? I reserve the right, to blog and post about this rug a few more times in the near future. I have so much to share and reflect upon, that it would be a novel if I tried to do it all in one post.

The original was hooked in wool and cotton on a burlap backing. It's dated between 1870-1890.

As I blogged in an earlier post. I have been hooking only my own patterns for these past 10 year, although I've been hooking for over 30 years and have hooked several rug patterns by other designers. I am no expert on copyright laws. So, if you are going to hook any antique reproduction, be sure to check out what the parameters are concerning copying and if the original pattern rights are owned by anyone.

The version that I hooked of A Dove In Flight, is an antiques reproduction made by The Sampling. The dove has been adapted compared to the original and the overall size of the piece is a few inches smaller than the original. Copyright laws definitely apply to this version of A Dove in Flight.

It truly was an honor to hook this rug. To bring a beautiful, aged antique rug into the present.

I think the original artist of A Dove In Flight would be pleased to know her masterpiece is appreciated into a future that she could barely have imagined. That her subject, the dove with the olive branch, still today is recognized as a hopeful sign of peace, freedom, new beginnings and reconciliation.



  1. Wow! You did a beautiful job! You really captured the antique rug spot on! I had to really look to figure out which one was yours. Kept thinking it was the original. Can't wait to read more about your process...

    1. Thank you Mary! That's just what I needed to hear! I appreciate you saying so! mj

  2. It is beautiful and charming for sure
    It is exactly like the antique one to a tee

  3. I was trying to emulate the original! Thank you! mj

  4. Marijo,
    Love your rug. I echo your sentiments about hooking an antique rug. Years ago I hooked several Magdalena Briner rugs to look like the original rug and learned a lot from the process including how brilliant and terrific Magdalena was at hooking rugs. Replicating her rugs was such a lesson in hooking hit it miss style rugs. It is like a one on one hooking lessons for months with an expert teacher. Maria

    1. Thank you Maria!
      The old rugs can teach us a lot!
      I've always appreciated old rugs, now even more so!

  5. Great job, MJ. Sorry I didn't get to see it in person. I'm sure the new owner is loving it. More exciting is you getting to see it in it's new home.