My First Hooking/Shirley Chapman

First Rug

By: Melinda Russell
Photography by Shirley Chapman

Shirley Chapman, who first picked up a hook at the age of 88, has made a rug that bursts with joy. The rug is a testament to Shirley’s life—a life lived on farms on the seacoast of Nova Scotia, a life full of family and hard work and beauty.

Shirley grew up on a small farm in Linden, Nova Scotia, where woods and cleared land and beach met the Northumberland Strait. Three generations lived in the large farmhouse, and her grandparents were the principal playmates for Shirley and her little brother. Shirley’s father, a farmer and fisherman, was known as a barnyard inventor, whose ideas came from and helped do the work on the farm and at sea.

Melinda Russell hooks rugs, writes, and cultivates her garden in Alderson, Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

This article is from the January/February 2017 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.


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