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Jul 21, 2018







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 NH Open Doors

When: Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7
Where: Statewide
Who: More than 82 individuals are participating. Some of the southern New Hampshire galleries that will showcase work by local artists include Craftworkers’ Guild (5 Meetinghouse, Bedford), Art 3 Gallery (44 Brook St., Manchester), Creative Ventures Gallery (28 NH-101A, Amherst), Nashua Area Artists Association (30 Temple St., Nashua), Wild Salamander Creative Arts Center (30 Ash St., Hollis), the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen (all storefronts, visit nhcrafts.org), Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden (236 Hopkinton Road, Concord), Cornerstone Design at Twiggs Gallery (254 King St., Boscawen), among others. Visit nhopendoors.com for the full list of galleries, art studios, farms and businesses.
The Woolen Pear & Red Horse Rugs
Brookside Mall, 563 Route 106, North Loudon, 731-6787, redhorserugs.com




The (rug) hooker from Loudon
Pam Bartlett and 82 others participate in Spring NH Open Doors

05/04/17
By Kelly Sennott ksennott@hippopress.com



 Pam Bartlett opened The Woolen Pear & Red Horse Rugs three years ago because the studio above her garage kept shrinking — her words — and she needed more room to hook, dye wool and teach rug hooking, which she’s been practicing 30 years.

Bartlett’s specialty shop is a rug hooker’s dream. Hand-dyed wool sits neatly in shelves, arranged by hue and shade, and hangs on racks throughout the middle of the store. Her own rugs decorate the walls. When the door jingles and a customer steps inside, she greets them.
“I’m the hooker!” she said during a recent visit, laughing before cutting up a green swatch of wool for one of her students. (“Hey, it gets people’s attention!” she said afterward.)
Bartlett, who was juried into the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen about 15 years ago, is readying to open her doors to a bigger crowd this weekend during Spring NH Open Doors Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7. 
The event, organized by League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, is a self-led tour to local art studios, galleries, farmsteads and retail shops, which all feature locally made goods and artwork. In addition to selling recently made merchandise, many venues feature demonstrations, food samplings, live music and special sales. 
League Interim Executive Director Miriam Carter said this spring sees more than 80  participants, who are listed at nhopendoors.com (where you can also find addresses and tour options). It’s a great chance for visitors to see where artists work and their latest ventures. It’s also great for artists, who otherwise typically have to lug their stuff to fairs and expos in order to sell it.
“Instead of going out to the people, people come to you,” said Carter, a fiber artist of 30 years. “It’s within the nature of most artists to create new products and develop new processes. That’s part of being a creative spirit.”
Bartlett’s goal in participating in NH Open Doors is to sell work and get more people interested in rug hooking, which isn’t practiced a great deal in New Hampshire. She first learned it in the early ’80s via a magazine, and while she was intrigued, she wasn’t sure how to get started.
During a 1982 vacation in Nova Scotia, where rug hooking is a prominent craft, she became re-inspired, and when she returned home, she sought a teacher in earnest — only to find that one of the best in the country, Hallie Hall, lived a few towns over in Contoocook.
Rug hooking is relaxing, meditative and steeped in tradition, according to Bartlett. She uses wool, sliced into varying sizes to create depth in each piece, though it used to be that crafters used whatever they could get their hands on — old clothes cut into strips and burlap from grain bags. 
“They didn’t waste anything,” Bartlett said, as she began a new project — a rug with a flower design pattern. “They made things out of everything. When it was done with one life, it went on to another.”
Rug hooking is kind of like painting, incorporating drawing, colors and shading, but it’s more forgiving — any mistake, and you can pull the thread out. You can make anything, from wall hangings to coasters. 
Bartlett’s developed a small following in this new spot, located a couple miles from her home. She’s seen crafters spend hours looking through her baskets of wool. Customers also include quilters and braiders, who buy her rainbow bundles for their rich colors, which seem to “vibrate” more when you dye them yourself. 
“I like the challenge of it,” she said. “Some people find it frustrating because they expect perfection. It took me a long time to just relax and let it go. When you let it go, it flows.” 





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