Sunday, April 24, 2011

PRESS RELEASE: Magic Carpets at The Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild in St. Johnsbury

The Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild will present Magic Carpets -- The Rugmaker’s Art in its Backroom Gallery from April 27 through June 15. The exhibit will feature some of Vermont’s finest rug makers working in a variety of techniques including hooking, braiding, and hand felting.

Anne-Marie Littenburg of Burlington, VT is a self-taught rug hooker who uses a rich pallet of hand-dyed wool to create detailed and “painterly” landscapes. Littenburg’s work has been exhibited across the country, and was also recently featured at Mikimoto, a gallery in Tokyo, Japan. A frequent contributor to Rug Hooking Magazine, she recently filmed three episodes of “Uncommon Threads” for the House and Garden Network. Littenbergs’ book “Hooked Rugs Landscapes” was published in 2009.

Hooked rugs will also be exhibited by Sunnie Andress of Newport. Andress’ original designs feature whimsical people and animals and often playfully incorporate visual puns.

The Magic Carpets exhibit will also feature rug braider, Delsie Hoyt of West Fairlee, VT. Adapting the unusual techniques developed by her Ryegate, VT great grandmother in the early 1900’s, Hoyt takes rug braiding to a new level to portray Vermont landscapes. Hoyt’s work is featured in “The Braided Rug Book”; and in “A Passion for the Creative Life” by renowned rug hooking artist, Mary Sheppard Burton. Hoyt was awarded the Governor’s Heritage Award in 2008 for building links to Vermont’s rich and diverse cultural heritage through her art.

Kris McDermet of Dummerston combines the two crafts of hooking and braiding in her work. She has developed a joining technique where the delicacy of the hooking is set off by the boldness of the braiding; and often incorporates open spaces and fancy embellishments to create added interest. McDermet has been teaching both braiding and hooking in Vermont and throughout the country for almost 30 years.

Danville resident Amanda Weisenfeld began felting 20 years ago to create fabric for her felted animals. Over the years she has broadened her felted work to include wall hangings and durable felted rugs from Vermont fleeces. Weisenfeld draws on the woodsy darkness of European fairy tales for her inspiration and often portrays the mythical side of woodland residents including foxes, ravens and gnomes.

Neysa Russo resides in Bradford, VT where she creates beautiful and functional rugs and tapestries using a combination of wet felting and needle felting techniques. With her passion for antique textiles, Russo derives many of her designs and themes from Medieval tapestries and historic needlework and rugs. Russo also incorporates kumihimo, an intricate Japanese braiding technique, in some of her felted pieces.

An opening reception for Magic Carpets will be held Saturday May 7th from 3 to 5 pm. The Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild (748-0158) is located at 430 Railroad St., St. Johnsbury and is open Monday through Saturday, 10:30-5:30.

Image: Leaves by Kris McDermet