Creating a traditional hooked rug is a labour of love.
Participants in the upcoming Rug Hooking Guild of Newfoundland and Labrador Rug School know just that. From Aug. 16-19 they will come together at Twin Ponds Camp near Glenwood to further develop their skills and enjoy the fellowship of other crafters.
This is the 17th annual Rug School, and with close to 100 participants registered as of last week, interest in rug hooking is not just limited to Newfoundlanders. While a majority of participants are from throughout Newfoundland, there are students registered from Ontario, Minnesota, and Florida. Some have connections to Newfoundland, while others have visited the province and learned about the Rug School and decided to attend.
Guild president Ruth Chaffey of Lewisporte said while a number of the Rug School students are repeat attendees, she is expecting six to 10 new students. Instruction will be provided at different levels from beginner to advanced by teachers who are well-versed in rug hooking techniques.
Each teacher has developed their own rug/pattern to suit the classes they are teaching. Ms. Chaffey is also one of the instructors. She explained that from these rugs the teachers will also develop a lesson plan to teach it to the students.
“It takes about a year to plan for a class,” she said. “As soon as one is over you are planning for the next.”
Class sessions will include Under the Sea (hooked rugs of different fish and images of the sea), a class to learn how to dye wools and fabrics to be used in rug hooking, traditional Newfoundland scrolls, traditional geometrics, realistic primitive (large flowers), northern style (Grenfell type styles) and fine shading of flowers.
Ms. Chaffey is looking forward to the Rug School because it offers something new each year.
“Once I started rug hooking I was hooked,” she joked. “I was part of the first class on Change Islands in 1995 when there was about 22-24 ladies involved.”
Ms. Chaffey noted while the days will be busy with classes, the evenings will be a fun time for participants to enjoy with various social events planned.
Having grown to attract so many students, plans are in the works looking ahead to special events to take place throughout the 20th anniversary year of the Guild in 2015.
In the meantime the Guild members also keeps busy through their work on a project for Ronald MacDonald House in St. John’s.
The Rug School will be the launch point for a hooked rug exhibit by Guild members entitled “Lighthouses of Newfoundland and Labrador.” The exhibit includes 45 hooked lighthouse themed rugs from past and present.
“No one, not even the Guild members, have seen what people are making their rugs to look like,” said Ms. Chaffey. “It’s really exciting and we are all looking forward to seeing the collection come together.”
On Saturday, Aug. 18 the Guild will host the exhibit for public viewing from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Twin Ponds camp.
Ms. Chaffey said following the camp the exhibit will travel to Twillingate for display during September and October; then appear in communities across the Island and into Labrador throughout the year, ending up in Grand Bank in June of 2013 and finishing up in July at the art gallery in Seldom on Fogo Island.
For information on the exhibit contact Winnie at 699-1502 or visit the Guild website.
Ms. Chaffey also noted that a hook-in is being planned to take place at the Lewisporte Marina Yacht Club on Oct. 13. This event is open to everyone to take part in. Just bring along whatever hooked rug project you are working on and join in the fun.