Rug Hooking With Our Youth

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Aug 19, 2011 4:18 PM
Dear Downhome;

I thoroughly enjoyed your story in the May issue titled "Tomorrow's Traditionalists." You asked for a young rug hooker, quilter, storyteller or hunter etc. who is keeping our traditions alive. I instantly thought of my friend, Eileen Murphy. She teaches art at G.C. Rowe School here in Corner Brook.

Last fall and winter in her Traditional Newfoundland and Labrador Crafts class, she taught rug hooking to her Grade 8 students. I'm a member of the Corner Brook Rug Hooking Guild. Fellow members and I visited her classroom in the fall. We sat with the young rug hookers and helped them in any way we could. We also collected wool yarn from our members and donated it to them. This gave them more selections in their colours.

Mrs. Murphy had a special night and framed the 14 rugs done by her students. They were beautiful and what a wonderful accomplishment for them. Their parents and other family members came to see their display. Sandra Wheeler, representing the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Foundation, came as well. She spoke of the importance of keeping our crafts alive.

Mrs. Murphy is an inspiration for so many of these children. She goes beyond her duties to help these children.

I took up rug hooking two years ago and I just love it. The ladies in my group are wonderful and we all learn from each other. Thank you for this opportunity to spread the word on this wonderful Newfoundland and Labrador craft.

Alice McWhirter
Corner Brook, Newfoundland

Thank you, Alice, for sharing the story of this inspiring teacher and her creative students. Here are photos of several of the finished hooked rugs that contain provincial iconic images created in a traditional fashion.