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Trish Johnson: Class of 2018

Updated August 08, 2019

Name: Trish Johnson

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Tell us a bit about yourself. What are some of your interests and hobbies?
I'm married. I have 4 grown-up children, 3 grandchildren, and a cat. I'm interested in family history. I hook rugs, make small art quilts, take photographs, and read novels.

How did you get introduced to rug hooking?
In 1972, I was a University student, and I spent my spring break helping my Aunt Eliza hook the sky on a rug depicting a sailing ship.

What was your first project?
My first project was a kit from Rittermere Hurst Field. The rug was pink roses and green leaves on an antique black background. It was a #8 cut and oval shaped.

Is there one rug that stands out as being particularly memorable?
I like to hook projects that are dear to my heart. The rug of my mother is the one I hope is particularly memorable. My mother meant the world to me. I like my mother's description of my father forgetting to talk and letting the TV do it for him. A lot of women can identify with this.

Is there a particular style of rugs that you're most interested in hooking?
I mostly hook landscapes. I always include a touch of civilization. I like the simple construction of homes, barns, churches, and lighthouses. Lately I have been hooking more urban landscapes.

What's your favorite part about hooking a rug?
I love the warm and fuzzy feeling of the wool, and I like seeing how different colours play off of each other.

What's a piece of advice you'd give to a new rug hooker?
The advice I would give a new rug hooker is not to pull out their work. Wait until you're finished to tweak things.

What do you love most about Celebration?
I like seeing all those wonderful rugs. I've learned a lot from seeing how others have hooked rugs.

Machias Seal Island, Celebration XIII

Machias Seal Island, Celebration XIII

"My grandmother lived on Machias Seal Island near Grand Manan. Her father was the lighthouse keeper. She met my grandfather, Jim Balmer, the Captain of the Clayola (a schooner), when he delivered a load of..." Read more.

Culley's Cottage, Celebration XV

Culley's Cottage, Celebration XV

"I was on a committee to teach pictorial rugs at a teachers’ workshop. The idea was that we would all hook the same pattern, Culley’s Cottage, and adapt it to different seasons. I choose winter. I changed the..." Read more.

Tea & Oranges, Celebration XVI

Tea & Oranges, Celebration XVI

"Leonard Cohen wrote in 'Suzanne,' 'and she brings me tea and oranges that come all the way from China.' Tea and oranges was a favourite combination of my grandmother. She was always heading up to her..." Read more.

Chris and Blackie: Summer of 1977, Celebration XVIII

Chris and Blackie: Summer of 1977, Celebration XVIII

"I took this photograph of my mother just after I had bought my first camera. I was 25; she was soon to turn 60. It was the last summer before we knew she had cancer. It was a time of innocence and naïveté: a casual..." Read more.

Memories of Oak Point, Celebration XX

Memories of Oak Point, Celebration XX

"This rug is about my childhood visits to my mother’s childhood home, Oak Point, New Brunswick.  

This is St. Paul’s Anglican Church where my..." Read more.

Patrick and Logan at Balsam Lake: Summer of 2009, Celebration XXII

Patrick and Logan at Balsam Lake: Summer of 2009, Celebration XXII

"This rug is of my son, Patrick, and our dog, Logan, at Balsam Lake, ON. They were playing a game where Patrick kicked the ball for Logan, and when the dog missed the ball, Patrick had to lift the dog into the canoe to go..." Read more.

Working on the Railroad, Celebration XXIII

Working on the Railroad, Celebration XXIII

"Working on the Railroad is adapted from a photo my father took when he had his first summer job working on the extra gang of the CNR. He took the photo in 1938 near Bowland’s Bay, ON. This is the track that we travelled..." Read more.

Barn Lust, Celebration XXIV

Barn Lust, Celebration XXIV

"This is an old dairy barn in Prince Edward County that my daughter and her family now own. When I hooked this, barn ownership was just a dream for the future. Dreams can come true. Now, her dream is that someday..." Read more.

Bucknam Benson's House at Seal Cove, Celebration XXV

Bucknam Benson's House at Seal Cove, Celebration XXV

"Bucknam Benson’s house belonged to my great-great-grandfather. It is at Seal Cove on Grand Manan Island. It is the house that my grandmother, Wealtha Irene Benson, was born and brought up in. It is the house where her brother, Alfred, died of..." Read more.

Across from the Art Gallery of Ontario, Celebration 26

Across from the Art Gallery of Ontario, Celebration 26

"My friend Judy visited from Australia, and we visited the haunts of our youth. This area of Toronto is also the old stomping grounds of my husband and I when we lived just around the corner on Sullivan..." Read more.

Peggy's Cove, Celebration 27

Peggy's Cove, Celebration 27

"I have hooked quite a few houses that are significant to my family’s history. This house must have a story, too, but it’s a story that I don’t know. Someone or some family live here now and maybe different families..." Read more.

Honest Eds, Celebration 28

Honest Eds, Celebration 28

"Honest Eds was one of my favorite places in the city of Toronto. You could count on always getting a bargain. It was retail therapy before..." Read more.

Portrait of the Artist, Celebration 29

Portrait of the Artist, Celebration 29

"This rug is based on a sketch of myself that I did in August of 1976. It was the summer before I started at the Ontario College of Art. I must have thought that I needed practice drawing. It amazes me that I had the time to sit and study my..." Read more.

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Trish's work is full of detail and emotion--one can feel themselves in the scene. Stunning rugs! Hard to pick a favourite, but Oak Point takes my breath away.

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