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Fairy Tales

By: Katy Powell/Photography by Owen Carey
Fairy Tales
Fairy Tales

Beauty & the Beast, 30" x 40", #3-cut wool on monk's cloth. Adapted with permission from an illustration by Adrienne Segur and hooked by Katy Powell, Portland, Oregon, 2010.

Once upon a time, during the 1970s and ’80s, I helped my father run a  punch hooking business called Rumpelstiltskin’s (Hmmm . . . maybe that’s why I love the fairy tale theme!) and I punched hundreds of rugs and wall hangings for shop demos, catalogs, cover photos, and my own personal enjoyment. I tried punch hooking a few fairy tale patterns into rugs, but I wasn’t quite satisfied with the results. I couldn’t get the yarn to express the beauty and depth that the illustrators had captured. Luckily, I knew about traditional hooking from my father’s ads in Rug Hooking magazine, so I switched types of hooking so I could better convey the emotion I felt when looking at these famous illustrations.

Years later, I was browsing through some greeting cards when Jesse Wilcox Smith’s illustration of Little Red Riding Hood practically jumped out at me. The image, with the large wolf and a foreboding darkness surrounding the girl’s luminous, innocent face, spoke to something deep inside me. I bought the card and stored it away.

In 2012, I attended my first traditional rug hooking camp at Friends by the Sea in Rockaway, Oregon. I was a rookie and soon realized it would take me a while to acquire the skill and knowledge to do justice to Little Red Riding Hood.

After a few years of camp and hook-ins, our Portland group brought Elizabeth Black to town for a special workshop. Here was the teacher to help me get started on my wolf, whether I was ready or not.

This article is from the March/April/May 2015 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.

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