Anthony St. Dennis will be showing his work from September 24 to October 22 at the Corridor Gallery, Almonte Public Library.
Cecilia Helen Neil, 1920-2005
Cecilia took an interest in rug-hooking in the mid-1960s while living in LornePark (now part of Mississauga), Ontario. Over a span of thirty-five years, Cecilia became proficient at hooking rugs in primitive, floral, crewel, and oriental designs.
She began to dye her own wool early on, and was successful in making natural dyes from collected onion skins, lichen, and black walnuts. In 1970-71 she taught a rug-hooking class in the community center of her apartment complex at HighPark in west-end Toronto.
Cecilia was a member of the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild. She befriended Jean Field of the Rittermere rug-hooking studio in Ontario, and took a keen interest in the patterns of Joan Moshimer and in the W. Cushing studio in Kennebunkport, Maine.
The current exhibition shows an early rug of Cecilia’s with a playful Arctic scene, and two later rugs with Oriental and primitive themes. The large ‘Hummingbird Tree of Life’ rug was started in 1997 then abandoned, half-finished, when arthritic pain made it too difficult for Cecilia to continue. In 2011 the ‘Tree of Life’ project was taken over by Cecilia’s daughter, Deborah, who completed it the following year.
Deborah Jean Saulnier, 1952-
Deborah is relatively new to rug-hooking. She had been an avid painter for twenty-five years before deciding to finish her mother’s rug in 2011. She is currently lending her artistic skills to designing new rugs.
This exhibition shows two versions of Deborah’s ‘Lotus’ design, which came about through her interest in the lotus’ life-cycle. Cecilia’s leftover dyed-turquoise wool was the inspiration for the ‘Mexicali Mosaic’ design.
All the rugs in this exhibit are made using wool strips through burlap or linen backing.
Anyone interested in purchasing one of Deborah’s rugs or patterns, or in commissioning a rug, may contact her by phone at 613-256-0467 or by email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Miniature carpets and coverlets
Yvonne, a master hand-weaver, was co-owner of Ottawa’s first weaving studio, The Web. It opened in 1965, in the newly built Place Bell Canada concourse on Elgin Street.
In 1978 she and her husband realized a life-long dream purchasing an 1822 heritage stone house on highway 29 just outside of Almonte. Yvonne opened a fine art and weaving studio The Wooden Shuttle, in the front rooms of the house. The studio offered one-of-a-kind works of art and hand-woven garments which were complimented by antique furnishings. The antiques became as popular as the artwork and so with the help of her husband and four children, Yvonne’s shop was expanded to their barn which was then the largest in the county, and the business was re-named Huxtable Antiques. It was known for its quality, original-finish Canadiana and local textile art.
In later years Yvonne and her husband moved to Glen Isle and her interest turned to quilting and needlepoint.
Needlepoint throw cushions
Lynn and her husband have lived all across Canada and in 2000 settled in the Pakenham area. At the early age of seven Lynn began to learn her textile skills from her mother, Yvonne. In her teen-age years, she sold her hand-weaving at The Web as well as two of Ottawa’s fine arts and crafts shops the Snow Goose and The Four Corners.
After studying at Sheridan College of Design in Toronto, Lynn settled on a career in the not-for-profit sector and now fulfills her passion for textiles through hand-knitting and needlepoint.