Anne Israel - Junior, Painting major
pattern contained by bordered trim on small woven fabric
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Materials and Process

  • Small piece of woven fabric
  • Matte medium primer
  • Pencil
  • Paint; brush
  • Fringe from a bath towel
  1. I primed the small piece of woven fabric with matte medium.
  2. I plotted out the border and field with pencil.
  3. Then I painted the middle a rich antique red and the border a dark blue.
  4. For the fringe, I took some from an old bath towel, rolled it in dirt and rinsed it in muddy water.
  5. Finally, I trimmed the fabric and attached the fringe.

Artist's Narrative

For the third practicum I was set on making a pattern contained by bordered trim. When visiting people's living rooms I always find myself absorbed by their Oriental carpets with rich colors and patterns. My own apartment is a Bohemian frenzy of ethnic patterns and color, much of my time spent staring absently at one or another rug, purchased at a flea market.

As an art student, I have devoted much of my time to creating miniatures, some of which are painstakingly accurate. I envisioned a miniscule replica of a Persian rug to exist in a formal parlor or dining room of one of my little worlds. I began scouring magazines for Oriental carpet advertisements. After finding many illustrations, I primed a small piece of fabric with matte medium and plotted out the border and field with a pencil. I wanted to totally saturate the piece with color and pattern maintaining an antiqued look and keeping elements "popping" from the two dimensional field.

Much easier said than done. I worked for hours mixing colors, painting over them, and began to establish some complex patterns through intuition, allowing the samples I have found to guide me. Finally, I trimmed the fabric and attached some fringe I had taken from a bath towel. First I rolled the fringe in dirt and rinsed it using muddy water to keep it from looking so pristine. The finished product is a little treasure; it seems harmonious and is pleasingly reminiscent of the authentic rug my parents have in our den.

I was surprised at how involved I became with each practicum assignment. My appreciation for the craftspeople who worked in this manner has grown. I now also understand some of the introspective rewards of working with such complex patterning.

Teacher's Comment

Although this "rug" is actually very tiny (small enough to fit in a dollhouse), the proportions are similar to those of many Oriental carpets. The traditional layout seen in such carpets also shows a central field, often divided into symmetrical quadrants with horizontal and vertical reflection. And the central field, as we see here, is surrounded by borders with different designs often manipulated according to different symmetries.

more by Anne || back to other students' practicums

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