They're hooked and it shows

Barbara Maciel
Barbara Maciel hooks a rug at last weekend's show. The beautiful rug hanging behind her is an example of her fine work.

By Anna Marie D'Addarie - May 24, 2007

Every few years Rosalie Powell calls Island rug hookers and asks them to roll up their rugs and bring them to the Agricultural Hall for a one-day show. The spectacular array on May 19 was such a treat that we wish it could be an annual event.

Ms. Powell has been teaching rug hooking for a long time, and she has inspired her students to grow from beginners to artists. This progression can be seen in primitive (a style, not a criticism) chair pads, an easy beginner project, to rugs designed and wrought by the hooker. There are almost as many styles as there are rug hookers.

Connie Ashley of Oak Bluffs, one of the hookers on hand who was demonstrating the craft, was busy working on a rug with a beautiful trout in the center. Her husband, Walter, caught the 34-inch beauty at Niagara Falls, N.Y., and it now hangs over their mantle. Connie designed the rug using the fish as a model, but Walter objects to the dimensions. On Connie's rug the fish is only 24 inches long.

It took almost 12 hours to set up the show last Friday and a dozen volunteers helped out on Saturday. More than 125 people visited the show. Perhaps, in a few years, Rosalie will be calling one of them to add their work to the show.

Ted and Polly Meinelt
Two long runners designed and made by Ted and Polly Meinelt of Chilmark.
rug hooking
Tables in the front room of the Agricultural Hall showed each step of the rug hooking process. Visitors could try their hand at the craft. Photos by Tara Kenny
color and direction
A close-up look shows how color and direction can elevate a simple rug to a work of art.