This year’s Celebrations contest and those darn Canadians…

DSCF1143Flipping through this year’s Celebration Of Hand Hooked Rugs, I was flabbergasted at the number of Canadian rugs! My goodness, I had underestimated you Canadian hookers! Yet it was one of the coldest winters in human history, so I suppose it is no wonder that every wool loving crafter was hunkered down by the fire with their hooking frame, making a masterpiece.


Honestly though, hats off to you guys! You’ve impressed me. One third of Celebrations’ rugs features one of you folks from the north! One of my favorite rugs is among your ranks. I just love The Gathering by Rachelle LeBlanc of Alberta. For those of you who live nearby, this piece is on display at the Alberta Craft Council.


close up of The Gathering by Rachelle LeBlanc, p 48 and 49

It is a 3 dimensional work, and it has a magical quality that captures a feeling of how nature looks through the eyes of a child. At least that is what I does for me.


Blue Mermaiden by Donna Hrkman, p 32 and 33

This year’s issue is filled with exciting rugs of all different artistic visions. Interestingly, there were very few primitive rugs this year. Why is that? It could be that there is a growing trend toward  more realism and art rugs. There were many creative examples of this genre.


Mary Magdalene by April DeConick, p 30 and 31

Another thought is that many of us doing primitive rug hooking may feel like our work is too simple to be worthy of any contest. A perennial issue for sure. I don’t know. What do you think?


Klimt Ottoman by Kim Kaelin, p 100 and 101

My thanks to this year’s judges who took so much care in choosing these from the hundreds of rugs that were submitted. I think it was a labor of love. Congratulations to you all for sharing your work with us. I want to express a special thanks to those who took the courage to enter their work, yet did not get the big honor of being chosen.


I say kudos to you! I know how it is to not get chosen as I have entered many different kinds of contests through the years. But just entering is a great thing. And taking a chance is so gutsy!

Keep creating stuff ~ Karen


See this year’s Celebrations issue of Rug Hooking Magazine on sale by clicking HERE.


24 thoughts on “This year’s Celebrations contest and those darn Canadians…

  1. Canada is a hot bed of rug hookers. My own guild in Paris On has a wonderful group of excellent hookers who do everything from landscape to primitive. I prefer primitive. I was taught by a marvelous primitive hooker Loretta Moore. Her work is stunning so I say yes lets have a primitive Celebration.


  2. I entered a rug in one of the early editions and was so pleased to have been published as an honorable mention! I imagine the competition is even better now.


  3. I too love the work of fellow Canadian Rachelle Leblanc. It is wonderful that she has chosen wool as the medium for her art. That being said, when looking at photos of rugs my heart still lies with the primitives. I also hook with Loretta Moore and couldn’t ask for a better friend and teacher.


  4. Not to take anything away from the wonderful art work in this year’s Celebrations, but I love primitive and folk-art rugs the best. So it was a bit disappointing to see few primitive style, especially with the primitive category. I wonder how many were actually entered in that category. I think sometimes the categories are confusing to some as to which one to enter….original, primitive, adaptation, commercial. I could see a prim piece entered in any of those. My congratulations to all who were recognized this year….your work was astonishing!


  5. the rugs are wonderful.. works of art to say the least. I personally am a primitive hooker and prefer that over art but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy both and learn .. color is color no matter what the style.


  6. I too am glad that the Canadians had such a wonderful showing in this year’s “Celebrations.” Canada has many wonderful rug hookers and has deep roots in the hooking culture. Both primitive and art hooking bring much to the medium and in the end it all is an expression of the person creating it — no right or wrong, good or better. Simplicity always has a special beauty, but fabric transformed into art is beguiling as well.


  7. It was a wonderful show. There were many display rugs that were interesting and outstanding. I was happy to have a rug on display and traveled from Nebraska to see it. Mary Jo


  8. Hi Karen and fellow bloggers. I wanted to thank you for such kind comments on my work. I will let you all on a few secrets. Primitive designed rugs are one of my favorite styles and I only wish there was more hours in a day so I could hook some for my house. I am a collector or early American and Canadian folk Art and wish I had more primitive style rugs. Something else you may not know is that I have dual citizenship. I was born in Waltham Mass, ( close to Boston) and moved to Canada when I was three. So you see, technically, both countries can claim me as their own.
    Karen, early on, when I first started hooking. I stumbled upon your website and I found that everything you do and how you saw color made me smile. There is a calmness about your observations on life and it remains today. Don’t change anything. Not many people stop me in my tracks.


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