On a Friday in April, Christine visited a regular monthly meeting of the Wiscasset Fiber Group at the Wiscasset Community Center. The 12 members present included Pamela Riml, Pat Ringston, Joan Boeckler, Barbara Klein, Ursula Smith, Page Hammond, Joan Day and others. The group started off as a rug hooking group but discovered that several in the group work within all kinds of media these days, and so renamed themselves.
Joan Day has been hooking since the 1990’s, and was pointed out by the group as someone “who should have their own exhibit.” Her “Clothespin” rug, is a piece she designed using the shape of one clothespin. Among her many ingenious hooked pieces is a full replica of a tall, three-dimensional grandfather clock that includes a working timepiece. She was finishing that one up at home. She said she has “closets full” of her original designed rugs, but none were visible online until the photo Christine took presented here on Maine Fiber Folio.
Page Hammond moved from Maryland to Maine in the past ten years, and says she has witnessed “an explosion” in the fiber arts here in Maine. She is a knitter who creates her own designs for garments mainly because she values a perfect fit. She used to follow patterns but evolved within the last 15 years to designing her own so that she “wouldn’t knit for hours only to find the fit disappointing.” She starts with a basic style (“Yankee Knitters has good patterns,” says Page), knits a gauge sample, does her calculations, and creates a beautifully-fitting sweater every time. She does not favor “experimental knitting.” Page believes that younger knitters have a propensity towards technical, more complex knitted work, perhaps because they work with computers. She sees herself as more of a traditionalist who learned long ago how to accomplish shaping and style more simply.
Jean Boecklar, Barbara Klein, Ursula Smith
Pictured also are rug hooker Jean Boeckler, a Russian punch needle project still in its hoop by Barbara Klein; and a portrait shot of long-time weaver, Ursula Smith, working on a needlepoint. Several in the group that day said they used to paint, stitch, quilt or other but were “changing things up” in recent times.
Pamela Riml, the group’s greeter had brought in two mats hooked in the Proddy style. She is a fountain of knowledge about people and places in Midcoast Maine.
Attendance on this day in April was light as people prepared for the Easter/Passover weekend. A return visit with the Wiscasset makers will, no doubt, present more treasures. The group always welcomes new makers, and meetings are monthly on Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with a break for the summer.