In Memory of Those Lost in the Newtown, CT Tragedy
The members of The Brandywine Rug Hooking Guild, like so many others, felt moved to action following the tragedy that took place December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Seeking to express our grief and empathy for the victims and their loved ones we turned to each other for inspiration and creativity. Feeling otherwise helpless we decided to use our love of rug hooking to express our care and concern for the Newtown community. We brainstormed many ideas at our December meeting and settled on a concept from member, Barbara Henry. The basic idea was for each member to choose a letter of the alphabet and hook a 6"x6" block to be finished for hanging. Before this project got off the ground it was put on hold. Because the school district in Newtown, CT was overwhelmed by the outpouring of donated items they asked that these types of donations be stopped. It was suggested by the Newtown community that donations of this nature be redirected to our own communities in their memory.
Barbara's original idea evolved into the project we donated to The Henrietta Hankin Library in Chester Springs, PA. Brandywine has been meeting once a month at the library for many years. Because we have been lucky enough to have such a nice place to call "home" we thought diverting our efforts to the library made perfect sense. Inspired by the "Welcome" picture found on the website of the Crescent Lane Hookers of Atlanta , GA, the idea for the 5 panel alphabet was born. With renewed energy in the project and approval from the library the project came together very quickly. The idea for the alphabet moved away from a more structured teaching aid to more of an art piece. Since the letters would no longer be displayed in a classroom it was thought more creativity would be appropriate. Brandywine VP, Tracey Gillman began looking for a font or lettering style that would have creative potential and could also be easily and quickly hooked. Once found, Tracey began to transfer these letters on to panels. Each panel consists of 6 blocks with one letter to a block. To even things out some panels have 5 letter blocks and one object in a block. Reservations were then made by the Brandywine members to hook a letter or two. Their instructions were to hook only within their block. The areas bordering each block would be hooked later using the same wool on all 5 panels for continuity. With members across several counties in PA and also in DE, keeping the panels moving from member to member was quite a challenge. We are proud of the members who have helped bring this project to life and hope that in some small way it will bring joy to all who see it.
Below are pictures that show the progress of the panels. The panels were set for completion in early May, just in time for our spring rug show at the Hankin Library.
Pictures were added as the alphabet project progressed. You can see the borders and edges between the blocks have been hooked. With all the variety of colors it was decided that black would be the best color to tie all the blocks together. All the hooked panels were mounted to foam core boards and were ready for framing. A simple black frame was chosen to extend the hooked border and provide continuity through out the project.
The project is complete and is currently on display at The Henrietta Hankin Library in Chester Springs, PA. The project was part of our 2013 annual rug show. Following the show the panels were hung in their permanent location in the children's department in memory of the victims from Sandy Hook Elementary School. .
Please press play at the top left hand corner of the photo below to start the slide show. Details can be found at the bottom of each picture. Enjoy!