Cape Breton rug hooking achieved world renown with the discovery of the techniques employed in the Acadian village of Cheticamp, on the western shore of Cape Breton, where “Cheticamp Hooking” was introduced to the world through the works of Dr. Elizabeth LeFort during the 1900’s.
Today, many “rug hookers” carry on this rich tradition of creating rugs and tapestries by drawing bits of fabric through the holes in burlap with tiny hooked needles.
The hooking artists at Arts North employ traditional techniques to create pieces from both historical and one-of-a-kind patterns. These creations, for wall, table or floor, depict the history and environment of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and the ruggedness of the region surrounding the Cabot Trail. Large or small, they are all gems.
Claudia, who lives in South Harbour, revels in the skylines and seascapes of northern Cape Breton Island, calling them "...the subjects nearest my heart...". Claudia expresses her love of such images in her small hooked tapestries.
Her work celebrates the land, sea and cloudscapes of northern Cape Breton Island, especially Aspy Bay, where she lives. These small tapestries, hooked in yarn on burlap, are all original designs derived from her own paintings and photographs.
"...Many of my yarns are hand-dyed using locally-gathered plant materials such as dandelion roots, onion skins and seaweed. Along with close attention to detail and colour gradation this makes for an exceptional degree of shading..."
A visual artist since the age of two, I began to hook tapestries in 2005, learning one-on-one from traditional Cape Breton hookers in Cheticamp, Sydney and Mabou.
It's through the hand dying "as needed" that Claudia is able to choose colors that so accurately and imaginatively capture the color variations of northern Cape Breton's sky, water and forests.
April, Aspy Bay
Claudia's "April, Aspy Bay" pays homage to the psychological and physical beauty of the springtime departure of drift ice from the shores of northern Cape Breton. The ice, normally present from early February to mid-April, cools the air. It's leaving heralds warmer weather approaching.
Wool yarn on burlap, its size is 6"x13", and it's priced at $240.00.
Clouds Over Sugarloaf
Sugarloaf Mountain dominates the northeastern skyline and shoreling of northern Cape Breton.
Hooked Mat 6" x 12"
Yarn on Burlap
Claudia's "Sugar Loaf" is a hooked rendition of a local landmark.
Its dimension are 8" x 7", and it's priced at $120.00
White Point Boats
Claudia's "White Point Boats" captures the scene from a vantage point overlooking White Point harbour. Her skillful use of subtly varied natural dyes and the juxtaposition of water, sky and cliff is evident in this mat.
Hand dyed woolen yarn on linen.
8" x 12".
White Point, Stormy Day With A Red Boat
Claudia's wool-on-burlap "White Point, Stormy Day With A Red Boat"
Its size is 8" x 9", and it's priced at $120.00
Traditional Cape Breton Rug Hooking
Maggie began rug hooking in 1991 while involved in the restoration of an historic building in Sydney, when she decided that the stairs to the structure required a traditional covering. Locating a source of instruction, she undertook to learn the art of rug hooking, little suspecting that it would lead to a long-term relationship with this process.
Maggie is a member of the Rug Hooking Society of Nova Scotia, through which she attends annual technique seminars. Her work has been juried and exhibited at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design in Sydney and at the Mary Black Gallery in Halifax, and she teaches at the Cape Breton Center for Craft and Design.
Green Sails Geometric Hooked Rug
Approximately 26"w x 14"h.
Inch Mat Boston Sidewalk in Red
Size approximately 38" x 21"
Maltese Cross Hooked Rug
Approximately 38"w x22"h
Three Crows A Wedding Hooked Mat
Approximately 30"w x 18"h
Traditional Geometric Hooked Rug in Blues and Golds
Approximately 29"w x 22"h
Yankee Peddlar Hooked Rug
Approximately 40"h x 52"w