Kirby Gallery

If you have projects you wish to include, please see the Gallery Info to find out how to share your stories, inspirations and photos.

A heartfelt thank you to new member Anne Kirby for so graciously sharing her images and inspiration behind her “traditional pictorial” style tribute to childhood memories of Newfoundland.  Her colours are bold, simple and joyful … a treat!

A Tribute to Newfoundland: Anne Kirby Highlight

“Hello fellow rug hookers.  I began hooking about thirty years ago when I was a young married person.  My mother-in-law taught me at the time and I did one small mat with diamonds on it. Shortly therafter my husband and I started a family grocery business and life became filled with work, work, work, plus two children.  I retired ten years ago and tried knitting to find something that I would like to do for a past time and a little extra income.  I tried knitting for Nonia, but had problems with my hands and had to discontinue that.  One day at a friend’s house I saw a mat that she was hooking and thought “I remember doing that!”.

I began as soon as I could muster up the courage, burlap, hook and materials.  My husband made me two hooks from nails that he filed down and put into pieces of wood for me and made a mat frame that he remembered his mother having … and I haven’t stopped since!  I’ve done over forty mats and would you believe I don’t have one of them myself … I’ve sold them all.

I do them in a traditional pictorial style, design my own, cut my strips In various sizes of material using scissors.  I do not use binding or braiding.  I sew the burlap down by hand as I’m frightened to death of sewing machines and when I come to the four corners it is very difficult to hook because by then I have extra thicknesses of burlap.  I challenge anyone to try and get my mats to come apart at the corners :)!  Most of those are used for wall hangings and they do lie flat against a wall.  People have sent me photos of how thy have displayed them and are very pleased.  And so am I.

With every mat I draw I try to improve … I still have a long road to travel and am enjoying every step.”  Anne Kirby.

“Women Spreading Fish to Dry”. Designed & hooked by Anne Kirby. This is the first try at this mat. Ohhh so many memories in this one. The men would be busy bringing in the fish and the ladies and children (planning to add kiddies in the next one) were busy spreading it out and drying it for sale in the Fall of the year. My Mom, who lived to 91 years old, always told us the story of how she was working at spreading the fish when labour pains began with her third child (nine in all) and she fell to the ground and was taken to our house which was up a hill. Naturally, there were no hospitals to go to, just midwives. She was as strong as any man and the woman in the middle of this rug reminds me so much of her, so needless to say, I spent a lot of time in deep thought on this one. Loved doing it."

“Resettlement”, Designed and hooked by Anne Kirby. “In Outport Newfoundland where I live, resettlement was popular in the early 60’s when people were moved from the small islands to Mainland Newfoundland. This is one of my creations.”

“Jumping Clampers”, Designed and hooked by Anne Kirby. “Jumping Clampers (Ice Pans) was super popular in my time, although the girls didn’t do much of it. Mostly done by the young fellows … we always enjoyed watching though … “

“Mummers”, Designed and hooked by Anne Kirby. “Mummering/Jennying was very popular some years ago in my small community. I still have wonderful memories and have had lots of fun hooking the different ones that I have done on this theme."

“Twelve Icons of Newfoundland”, Designed and hooked by Anne Kirby.

“Mummers, Outdoor Scene”, Designed and hooked by Anne Kirby. “Loved designed and hooking this Mummer scene as well. I can remember when, as a child, this was such a popular Christmas tradition and we always looked forward to it. In Outport Newfoundland those were the kinds of things that meant entertainment for us all, young and old alike. When the knock came on the door, we children rant to be as close to Mom or Dad as possible because we never knew how many would be at the door or how scary looking they would be. If there were a dozen, they were ALL welcomed in … Those were the days!!”

“Mummers, Outdoor Scene”, Designed and hooked by Anne Kirby. “This idea came from a photograph we have on our wall of my father-in-law and his fishing crew with a full load of cod fish. My husband wanted me to title it “When Cod Was King” and I have. With the demise of the fishery in our province, I don’t think our generation will ever see that abundance again, only in a photo perhaps and that is so sad to me.”