Saturday, June 27, 2009

Super Sandra finishes another great mat!

It's pretty hard to keep up with Sandra. Here's her latest mat, "Washday", designed by Patti Armstrong and hooked in 4 & 6 cut wool, some of it hand-dyed.

It shows how the most mundane subjects can make a great mat. The crows here are rather whimsical, but since crows seem to appear in rugs frequently [especially 'primitive' style rugs] , I thought I'd see if I could find out why.

Wikipedia says: Many mythologies - Celtic, Norse, Chinese, Hindu, Buddhist and North American aboriginal, esp the Pacific Northwest bands - feature crows in their legends. [They are generally regarded as] "harbingers of doom or death, because of their dark plumage, unnerving calls, and tendency to eat carrion. A group of crows is called a murder" - which indicates how kindly crows are perceived by some. Hardly a ringing endorsement.

I liked this WikiAnswer to why crows are so often used in folk art: "Crows and ravens figure largely in pre-Christian faiths and practices, and folk art draws heavily on past beliefs and practices. An artist friend of mine is more pragmatic. Crows, she tells me, are just easier to draw and paint than multicolored birds." So maybe it is neither philosophical or deep; simply convenient.

Then there are the superstitions regarding crows, as collected by CrowBusters. Did you know this one? "It was unlucky in Wales to have a crow cross your path. However, if two crows crossed your path, the luck was reversed. 'Two crows I see, good luck to me'."

Perhaps the crow is considered a lucky symbol and that's why so many primitive rugs have crows in their design, and have had, historically. Plus, they are smart - here's a neat video from Japan.