Cecelia Clement

It's never too late.

By: Linda Rae Coughlin and Rose Wirtz; Photography by Laurence A. Clement, Jr.

Oriental (with red and blue), 36" x 21 1⁄2" , wool on linen. Designed and hooked by Cecelia Clement, Manhattan, Kansas, 2008.

Cecilia Clement is an inspiration to all ages. At almost 90 years old, she continues to hook and recently had a solo show at The Volland Store in Alma, Kansas. A unique venue, in the Flint Hills countryside, it is an old store that was converted into a gallery a few years ago.

Cecilia didn’t start hooking until the age of 57. Her loops have always been consistent and always of the highest craftsmanship. Throughout the years, her mastery of material allowed her inner artist to hook whatever she imagined and create custom designs for her client’s desires. Even now, with macular degeneration, she continues to hook, adapting to her situation as best as she can. Here is her story.

“My ‘hooking life’ started in 1985. After retiring from being a nursery school teacher, my husband and I moved to an old farmhouse in the lovely countryside of southeastern Pennsylvania. The house was in Chester County, home of many avid fox hunters and owners of race horses. But we were also on the Lancaster County line, which put us very close to that county’s well-known Amish population. 

One day not long after moving into our home, I found myself reading a magazine article about Marion Ham, a well-known rug hooker and teacher. I realized that these rugs would be the perfect answer for floor coverings for this old house. I had always been interested in doing various different kinds of needlework but had never tried hooking. I found a teacher, Bettina Maraldo, in Kennett Square, just twenty minutes from our house and as they say, ‘The rest is history!’”


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