Trent School of Rug Hooking

Home again! What a wonderful….fun….informative week….and Hygieia is at last underway. I don’t have a lap top…so I wasn’t able to post while I was at Trent  (not that there would have been time in any case)…but I kept a pictorial record…until the batteries in my camera died…. GRRR (why didn’t I think to change them before I left).

I’ll begin with what I accomplished on Hygieia throughout the week. One of the first things Linda Sullivan (my teacher for the Art Nouveau class) stressed, was finding the foreground…and establishing that so that it would stand in front of the other aspects of the piece.

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In Hygieia, that is her arm and the snake…so the wools for that were chosen first…and that is where I began hooking. To create the highlights in the arm…I cut a lengthwise strip of the flesh dipdye…used the lightest part at the top, then cut it off and flipped it using the darkest part next to it and then hooking downwards.

At Linda’s suggestion, I extended the neckpiece up higher which gives her a much more attractive neck, and eliminates a seeming double chin…(horrors!) Since I was doing such a large piece (she is 3′ x 6′) I just did a portion of each area…then moved on to something else.

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Since I have never attempted hands before…that’s what I worked on next… again using lengthwise strips…sometimes cut as in the arm…and sometimes letting the shading just flow. Her right hand is held with quite a twist,(we had a lot of fun trying to put our own hand in that position….without a lot of success) and I finally re-adjusted the outlines so I think that it now appears correctly…with the thumb to the back.

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In some of the renditions I found of Hygieia….the hair is not visible at all…it appears that the headpiece covers her whole head. One close up, however quite clearly shows curly brown hair, and that is how I decided to hook her. One of the signature aspects of Art Nouveau is outlining…so I’m beginning each detail with dark outlining.

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Her hair is done in a brown/black textured wool which I hooked unevenly…pulling some loops quite long to give a realistic, curly appearance.

None of what I have hooked this week is cast in stone…and there will undoubtedly be adjustments.( Already I think I want to slightly reshape the top lip line but I’ll add the flesh before I make a final decision on that)

What a lovely, serene setting we had to work in. Trent University is situated in Peterborough Ontario, in the beautiful Kawartha Lakes region and was built in the 1960’s. As a matter of fact, my brother-in-law,… at the time a newly graduated young architect,… worked for the master architect, Ronald Thom and was involved in it’s creation.

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It is a unique and interesting university….built almost entirely of concrete…parts with the markings of grey weathered wood..parts resembling stone. It blends in with the landscape rather than dominating it.

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It is set up with the college system (adapted from Oxford University) and has six colleges within the University. This is the main office of Lady Eaton College where we had our rooms and ate breakfast and dinner.

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The quadrangle of Lady Eaton College.with tall pines..can you see the bird sculpture? The concrete of this college resembles wood.

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I love the symmetry of this courtyard in a nearby college. (One attends the university and ‘belongs’ to one of it’s colleges)

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The universit
y is built on both sides of the Otonabee River. Our classes were held across this footbridge in Otonabee College. I love the “tipped pyramid building”…you can just see it’s top on the left.

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I was too tired at the end of each day to do much exploring….but there were quiet courtyards and covered walkways in abundance. (Thanks Gail for helping me find some of them)

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One of next year’s proposed classes is ‘geometric landscapes’….lots of inspiration at hand for that course! I’d love to hook this picture. In this area the concrete gives the appearance of being imbedded with stone.

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My favourite building….the library….built right out into the river. What a wonderful setting for a wonderful week of hooking. 

More about our week, and pictures of the display next time….now to unpack and get the washing machine going!

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8 thoughts on “Trent School of Rug Hooking

  1. I know you will give is inspiration and some technical advice as you progress on your amazing Hygieia rug. Thanks for sharing the landscape of Trent College. I would enjoy the steps at the river by the library if I studied there!

  2. Miz T…whatever the ups and downs of this project…I’ll be sure to share them. Hygieia and I are still becoming acquainted….so far she’s been too ‘snooty’ and too ‘cranky’ but I’ve sweetened her temperment a bit. Glad you enjoyed seeing Trent.

  3. Oh my what wonderful buildings. Some of them give the feeling of being in ancient structures. A great enviornment in which to be creative!

  4. Debbie…although Trent is only about 1.5 hours east of where I live…it was my first time to visit the university…and I just loved the environment too….it really spoke to my ‘Ontario roots’.

  5. Wow! Thanks for taking us on your trip with you…..such a beautiful setting…..looks like you accomplished quite a bit while you were there….doesn’t it feel good to stretch yourself? I always love that aspect of workshops.

  6. It was wonderful Tammy…having someone always at hand to offer advice, and get me out of messes gives me confidence to to ‘stretch myself’ indeed.

  7. Even though I was at Trent last week, too, I was a commuter, coming and going home each day, so I didn’t have the perspective of the whole campus as you did. Thanks for showing me parts of it, through your photos, that I hadn’t seen or appreciated before–it does look wonderful and something we can be proud of in Ontario. Can’t wait to watch Hygieia develop, Elizabeth, and it was great to meet you at Trent.jill in Ontario

  8. It was great to meet you in person too Jill..I was only sorry that being a commuter…you weren’t around in the evenings when we could have had more than just a quick chat. I think that over the years, Gail has explored every inch of the campus….she was a super guide…even though my walking ability at the end of a day was very limited!

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