Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hooking Rugs in Smith's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada


Spending time with my family in Smith's Cove during the summer
would not be complete without a visit to the local museum.
It's filled with many things from my family's past for generations.



Smith's Cove Old Temperance Hall Museum
Nova Scotia, Canada
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


My favorite time to visit the museum is when my sisters Donnie and Bertie 
get together with other members of the Smith's Cove Rug Hookers.


My sister Bertie Works on Her Hooking Project
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



It's fun to watch talented artists hook beautiful rugs
out of strips of wool worked into a woven burlap base.



My Sister Donnie with the Smith's Cove Rug Hookers
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





My Sister Donnie's Current Project
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


The Smith's Cove Rug Hookers having been meeting
to talk, eat, and hook since September 1994
when Claire MacDonald started the group.


 The Bulletin Board for the Rug Hookers
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


The museum has an exhibit of hooked pieces 
created by Smith's Cove hookers over the past century.


Part of a Hooked Rug Exhibit
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


Several of my great grandmother Sara Cossaboom's rugs are displayed.


Point Prim by Sara Cossaboom, circa 1920
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Point Prim Today, July 2011
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


Women in the Atlantic Provinces and the Northeastern United States 
have been hooking rugs for about 200 years.



My Sisters Bertie and Donnie Carrying on a Family Tradition
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


Pulling a loop of one fiber through a woven base 
is likely one of the earliest textile techniques.

It may have originated with the ancient Egyptians,
then passed from the Copts, to Bronze Age Scandinavians,
to the British, and on to Eastern North America.
source:  wcushing.com



One Generation Sharing Expertise with Another 


In the Maritimes, Newfoundland, Labrador, and New England
hooking rugs was a way for frugal and industrious women to reuse 
old clothing and bedding to add color and warmth to their homes.

They used grain and potato sacks for the woven base,
colored their cloth with dyes made from plants,
hand cut their strips with scissors,
and worked their rugs with tools
adapted from nails, cutlery, bone, or wood.
Source:  "A Brief History of Rug Making" by Smith's Cove Rug Hookers




Her Home by Sara Cossaboom, circa 1920
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved
  


Sara Cossaboom with Her Beloved Flowers
Outside Her Home, Date Unknown
(You can see them at the corner of her rug above.)
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


It's wonderful to see this folk art gaining popularity today.
Today's rug hookers are experimenting with new materials and techniques. 



Smith's Cove Rug Hookers at Work
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved


My sister Bertie is now teaching me.



First Steps
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Noodles You Are No Help at All!
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Bertie sent me back to Colorado well-supplied with everything I need to continue.


Yes I Squeezed a Hooking Frame into My Suitcase!
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



I can't wait to join the ladies next summer at the museum!

Thanks to the talented Smith's Cove Rug Hookers 
for welcoming me and generously allowing me to take photographs.

And thanks to my awesome sisters Bertie and Donnie 
whose photos I snap and publish whenever I want!
Love you guys!


Donnie and Bertie
  

24 comments:

  1. What a great place, and interesting tradition indeed. Lovely photos too. Greetings!

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    1. Hey, Blogoratti! Thanks for your kind words. Have a good one!

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  2. What a wonderful place, Louise! And what fun. I bet you'll have a great time with this.

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    1. Thanks, Martha! I think I'm going to have a blast!

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  3. What a wonderful skill. And the rugs are so pretty. AND I love the name of their group. Clever. I hope you'll show us what you hook.

    Teresa

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    1. Thanks, Teresa! I will certainly show my progress at some point! Have a good one!

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  4. So very cool seeing the joy from your sisters, yourself and friends HOOKING ~ rugs that is !! Winks!

    As I mentioned on FB I tried this in Mahone Bay, 2009 purchased cloth coats at Frenchies and began cutting them up into strips. Some health issues intervened and everything stopped.

    Thanks for the memory reboot !

    Love your smile as always. Sara Cossaboom looks like my grandmother!

    Ron

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    1. Winks, indeed, Ron! My sisters are my best friends! When I'm at the Smith's Cove museum I feel like my ancestors have me wrapped in their arms. Frenchies is the go to place for lots of people hooking rugs. I'm excited about learning to make rugs. Hey, who knows, maybe you'll try it again! Take care!

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  5. Never even knew that Hooking was so popular around here, shows what I know lol the pup just wanted a nap

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    1. I think it's wonderful how so many native crafts are being revived. I wished I had learned how to tat (make lace) from my grandmother; but I was too impatient. One of the rug hookers was telling me that only a few people know how to tat now. Take care!

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  6. Louise, I love this photo of you, you have such a beautiful smile and spirit! :) This is such a splendid series, I enjoyed seeing the people and the setting as well as all the beautiful creations. I had two uncles who lived in Nova Scotia and I have never been there, but I know it to be "Canada's Ocean Playground" and have seen many photos. It is definitely a place I would love to see if I ever get the chance to. I have been to New Brunswick, but this was about 40 years ago. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

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    1. You always life my spirits with you kind comments, Linda! I do hope that you get to visit Nova Scotia; it's a special place. Take care! Hugs!

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  7. Great Post Louise hugs Barb

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    1. Thanks, Barb! Terry wants to know if you found some grey sneakers at your place. XOX

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  8. Sisters gathering together, and passing on a new craft for you, this must have been a truly wonderful time together. Now with modern frames, better access to tools, backing and wools, lots easier than the ladies all those years ago, who maybe made them for necessity on cold floors. And to see your g-g-g-mother's work there, a treasure.

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    1. Hi Nancy! We had the best time together, and I know that we will have more fun hooking rugs in the future! It is a lot easier now, but it's still loop by loop through square after square! It's always amazing to look at my gym's work ~ so inspiring; and it brings back so many memories! Hugs!

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  9. We expect an amazing rug from you soon!
    And just don't ever leave off the word rug when describing what you do.

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    1. Haha, Alex! I tried to be careful with the single word! I don't want to attract any crazies. The ladies chuckle over the term "hookers," and really that is the term for those who hook rugs! LOL! Have a good one!

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  10. What an interesting post, Louise!
    I grew up watching my grandmother hook rugs. She would use and cut up anything she got her hands on and she never used a ring or frame. When my mother was a child my grandmother made these rugs to help 'make ends meet'.
    Happy for you to learn this art and next year you will joining in with he group in Smith's Cove.

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    1. I'm glad that you found this interesting, Jim! Nothing went to waste in my grandmother's and great grandmother's homes either. I think rug hooking will prove easier than knitting on circular needles! Not that I've given up on knitting! Have a great evening!

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  11. I am so excited to see your rug when you are finished. You must be so proud to be part of your family's tradition. When I was in Bemus Point there were a group of ladies sitting on a festaurant porch hooking away. The rugs are so beautiful. Hook away!

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    1. Thanks, Peggy! I feel very close to my grandmother and great grandmother when I'm hooking! (Rugs, Haha). Have a great day!

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  12. As a quilter and crafter, I'm so happy to see traditional crafts being kept alive. I haven't tried rug hooking but it's on my list to try at some point! How wonderful to have examples of your family's work in a museum too. x

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    1. Lovely to see you, Julie! I'm thrilled to be learning to hook, and quilting is on my list too! It's a blessing to be retired and start doing some things I didn't have time for when I worked. Have a great day! Hugs!

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate the time and energy you put into making them very much.