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Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Feature: Deanne @

We've run out of people to feature from the sign up list.  Not everyone has been featured because either they've had no time, they've not answered emails or they've not left me any way to reach them.  This has lead to me searching for people to feature.  And what a gem I've found for this week! 

I'd like to introduce Deanne Fitzpatrick who set up and runs a rug hooking studio in downtown Amherst, Nova Scotia.  Deanne lives and breathes her art.  She's gathered around her a group of women who help her do this and she inspires more to take on this form of expression.  You simply must visit her site.  It's like a breath of fresh spring air, down-east style.

Deanne has been rug hooking seriously since 1990 but almost immediately caught the attention of private galleries, the Nova Scotia Art Bank, the Nova Scotia Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Nfld and Labrador and she's even got her work at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
Read her story at the bottom of her main page and her interview here:

Deanne Fitzpatrick

Amherst Nova Scotia Canada

I think as a rug hooker, artists and business person my biggest dream for myself is to remain authentic and honest about what I do. I want to make rugs that express what I believe or feel at a given time. I want to make rugs that I feel like making. I really do not want to succumb to trends or ideas that I do not embrace inside myself.

Over the past twenty years I have created  kits patterns and designs, and written four books about rug hooking but the real thing that has driven all of this is my desire to make my own one of a kind hooked rugs. It is in my original designs that I find inspiration for everything else that goes on in the studio. So trying to be true to myself as an artist has become the most important accomplishment for me. Every time I have strayed away from this and focused too much on making money, or having my work better known I have felt a bit compromised, almost as if I was not being myself. So making art is the back bone of my business, but it is also the back bone of me, and remains important to me. 

At the studio we try to be as honest, and authentic as we can, and we have learned that people love the truth, and can easily accept seeing it, or hearing it like it is. We are a working studio so if you drop in we might be in a mess, or have a kit half made but we are glad to have you there. For years I ran it out of my house and after we moved the studio to town, one of the things I wanted to keep was that homey feeling in our space. We try to make it welcoming and comfortable. There is always a good chair to sit in, and if we are busy you can make yourself a cup of tea. Hospitality is important to me.

Another place where I try to tell the truth the way I see it is on my blog on my website. The blog is a place where I write what goes on in my life, my art, my studio and my community. I try to update it daily and that update could be about  anything, from a recipe to a story to information about a new product or a workshop. It is a place where I go to tell you about what is going on in the studio, but it is also a place where I go to express myself. That means you might find anything there.
Over the past twenty two years I have grown my business from a trunk in my front room. I did it a little bit at a time, investing what I made back into my business as well as into my own life. It has been a blessing really to have had that opportunity. I love the women who work along side me. They make it possible for so much to get done around here.

I want to continue to write, and create but mostly I want to make rugs that are unmistakebly art because I think in doing that I will remain authentic, and really that is the backbone of a good creative person and artist. We can run a business and make a living doing what we do, but we have to remain true to ourselves and to our art.


  1. What a lovely article. Sounds like good sense to me! I made a very small rug (pot holder) lol. I would like to find time to do more. How many hobbies can one gal have??? Lovely examples!

  2. So great to see Deanne Fitzpatrick as featured artist on this site. Her messages resonate. It was Deanne's wonderful books and the storytelling quality of her work that inspired me to take up rug hooking recently. I just purchased a very helpful video on rug hooking from Deanne's website as well and hope to someday take one of her online courses.

  3. I LOVE DEANNE, her work, and her business sense. SO great to have you here Deanne! Oooh I'm your biggest fan and when I caught wind of who Rita was featuring next, I did back flips! ; ) Welcome to our Canuck-show-off group. And thank you for creating beauty every day. YOU inspire me to do what i love with my prairies. ! : )

    ~Monika K.
    TN&TN admin, Saskatoon

  4. Yes, Monika I agree, I love Deanne's work, I bought her book from her store several years ago. She inspired me to start my own rug, but alas, its still being worked on. I'd like to get some major things off my plate and get back to rug hooking. I love the story of how Deanne got started, the fabulous private collections her work now resides is enough to make you drool! Great inspiration Rita! Thanks Deanne for being Canadian and not compromising your standards!

  5. My late Aunt Alice -- quilter and knitter and garment sewer -- was also a rug-hooker...and some of my childhood memories of her home include the rugs she hooked and used there -- from strips of fabric she had left over from clothes she'd sewn, hooked into burlap, quite different from the latch-hooking that enjoyed some years en vogue. I enjoyed this article and will share it with friends of mine in Edmonton (the Focus on Fibre Arts Association) who hook...Thank you!

  6. Thanks everyone for featuring my work on your lovely site.

  7. Great interview ... Deanne sounds like my kind of honest artist. Art shouldn't be about the almighty dollar (tho' a few sent your way from time to time helps keep one's passion alive).
    Will catch up with her blog.


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