Vis­i­tors can feel the love at fi­bre arts fes­ti­val

The London Free Press - - FOOD - JOE BE­LANGER

The ties that bind, in Joanne Hip­well’s world, are love and fi­bre, in­ter­twined.

The Lon­don fi­bre artist will be among the artists show­ing their cre­ations Fri­day through Sun­day at Covent Gar­den Mar­ket for the Fi­bre Arts Fes­ti­val and Sale.

But it’s one of Hip­well’s more re­cent cre­ations that has a lot of love wo­ven into it.

When Hip­well’s daugh­ter, Kris­ten, met a young man a few years ago she told him her mother is a “hooker.”

The man, Aaron Bland, replied: “My grand­mother’s a hooker, too.”

A hooker is some­one who prac­tises the art of rug hook­ing, a hobby Bland’s grand­mother, Doreen, and Hip­well shared and about which their loved ones teased them.

The two hook­ers even­tu­ally met. When Doreen passed away a cou­ple years ago, Hip­well was given her rug-mak­ing sup­plies, in­clud­ing a rug Doreen had not com­pleted.

“She bought the rug, but never had a chance to start it,” said Hip­well, who took the pat­tern If you go What: Fi­bre Arts Fes­ti­val and Sale When: Fri­day, 10 a.m. un­til 5 p.m.; Satur­day, 8:30 a.m. un­til 4:30 p.m.; and, Sun­day, 11 a.m. un­til 3 p.m.

Where: Covent Gar­den Mar­ket, mez­za­nine level, 130 King St.

Visit for more in­for­ma­tion. and made the rug, mod­ern­iz­ing it with bright coloured wool she dyed her­self.

The wall hang­ing, which took a year to com­plete and in­cludes a dec­o­ra­tive bor­der of flower and swirls ,was given to the cou­ple at their en­gage­ment party.

“Hope­fully, this will help blend our fam­i­lies to­gether,” said Hip­well.

The fes­ti­val in­cludes cre­ations and demon­stra­tions by mem­bers of the Lon­don District Weavers and Spin­ners, Sim­ply Hooked and the Strathroy Pi­o­neer Treadlers.

Fes­ti­val or­ga­nizer Pat Zanier said the guest artists “aug­ment the tex­tiles and other things we have that are hand made.”

“There are hands-on demon­stra­tions which the vis­i­tors, es­pe­cially the chil­dren, re­ally en­joy, but also the one-of-a-kind, hand­made tex­tiles peo­ple can buy,” said Zanier.

“Fi­bre is part of our lives, our his­tory, and it’s great to see where it comes from. These are tra­di­tional skills that are handed down from one gen­er­a­tion to the next and mod­ern­ized.”

Zanier said one of the more in­ter­est­ing demon­stra­tions this year will be an artist who makes bob­bin lace.

“This art is so un­usual to see — tra­di­tional lace made by hand with all the tiny, fine de­tails,” said Zanier.

The demon­stra­tions and dis­plays in­clude weav­ing, felt­ing, spin­ning, rug hook­ing, lace mak­ing, Ja­panese braid-mak­ing called ku­mi­himo and bas­ketry.


Joanne Hip­well shows the hooked rug pat­tern pur­chased by her son-in-law’s grand­mother, which she fin­ished and gave to the cou­ple as a present.

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