About the Exhibit

For generations, women of the New Ross/Forties area have been admired for their rug hooking skills. There is no better way to celebrate life on the farm than to share their beautiful creations with our visitors.

When we began to organize this exhibit, we were surprised to learn that there are no organized hooking groups and very few active rug hookers in the area today.  The exhibit became the first step of a mission to revive interest and preserve this long-standing tradition -   a full winter program of workshops and hook –ins for beginners and “lapsed hookers” who are inspired to return to the rug hooking fold.

We also learned that women of the New Ross area played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Rug Hooking Guild of Nova Scotia, which now has close to 600 members throughout the Maritimes and beyond.  Our exhibit features works by Doris Eaton and Bea Larder, who organized the first meeting to discuss formation of a guild for rug hookers.

Whether it has a traditional or contemporary treatment, each piece in the exhibit is a treasure in its own right.  These hooked mats are not just inanimate objects.  The stories that accompany each piece are a historical record and clearly demonstrate how much we have been influenced by childhood memories and experiences on the farm.

You will be impressed by the artistry and ingenuity of these artists.   If you were living here in the 1800’s with such limited resources, could you have transformed an old burlap sack and a pile of tattered clothing into a cheerful little mat?  Could you have created an exquisite painting in wool with some yarn and a simple wooden frame?  Could you take a very simple pattern and make it your own with a look and feel that reflects your own personality?

Please visit us at Ross Farm and enjoy "Hooked on Farming".

Heather Gordon
Exhibit Curator