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TitleThe NestDesigned bySuzanne FlyntHooked bySuzanne FlyntDimensions32" x 35"Materialswool on linenCuts4, 6, 7, 8Start to Finish2022HonorsCelebration 33 (2023)Share

The Nest

Living in rural Vermont surrounded by woods, I am inspired by nature every time I look out the window or walk out the door. After painting a small watercolor of blue bird eggs, I decided to try to create a hooking design with the blue eggs as the focal point. I hastily sketched a nest with lines suggesting twigs and branches and off I went. “The Nest” was hooked with hand-dyed, recycled, and off the shelf wool in various cuts.

My original sketch for this pattern was only suggestive, so there were many design decisions that needed to be made while hooking. It took a bit to figure out how to hook the bird’s nest to give it dimension, depth and the appearance of random twigs, and how to design the background pattern so it radiated out from the center without looking formulaic.  Probably because the nest itself was so challenging to hook (having hooked, pulled out, and hooked again many times), it is also my favorite section of this piece.

When hooking, I often wish I didn’t have to cut up beautifully patterned hand-dyed wool, so I’ve recently started incorporating strips of wool to create quilted piecework borders. The piecework border on “The Nest”, with its pattern suggesting branches, was designed to complement the hooked design. I definitely like how the hooking and quilting work together.

As for bird nests, they conjure feelings of hope, home, and new beginnings.  After completing “The Nest”, I’ve hooked two smaller nests using various materials and techniques. Since there’s plenty left to explore on the topic, I might just do more…

More rugs by this artist

About the Artist

My beloved grandmother, Constance Gilbert Clark (1903-1976), hooked and braided all the rugs in her home. Finding one of her unfinished rugs and her tools after she died, I gathered them with the idea of finishing her rug.  

Fast forward 41 years to when I retired after 35 years as Curator of Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield, MA.  I decided to attempt once again to finish Gramma’s rug. Forty-two years later, after joining the congenial Brattleboro Rug Social Hookers, I finally finished it in 2018.

I’ve been hooked ever since. Not needing to cover the floors for warmth  like my grandmother did, my current interest is exploring various materials (wool, silk, cotton, and paint) and fiber arts (combining hooking and quilting) to create hooked art to hang on the wall. 

I like hand-dyeing my wool, creating series, hooking randomly, and when possible, recycling old fabrics.