Gifkins named artist of month at Wardsboro Public Library

WARDSBORO — Linda Gifkins of Wardsboro is the June Artist of the Month at the Wardsboro Public Library. She will be exhibiting her hooked rugs made for her children and grandchild celebrating life's events.

Rugs that have seen wear on the floors of her Wardsboro home and decorative items, including pillows and holiday decorations, can be seen as well. The highlight of the exhibit is the spectacular folk art hooked Christmas tree skirt that Gifkins recently completed. It will be the prize to be raffled off at the 15th annual Gilfeather Turnip Festival on Oct. 28.

Gifkins spent her childhood in Douglaston, N.Y., graduating from Hood College with a B.A. in sociology and a minor in home economics. Her mother was an avid seamstress, making most of her and her three daughters' clothes, plus dabbling in needlepoint and crewel. Gifkins followed her passion for the fiber and decorative arts, studying costume design, pattern making, and home design at Hood.

In 2000, after purchasing their circa 1800s farmhouse in Wardsboro, antique hooked rugs caught Gifkins' attention and she got “hooked.” She started taking classes in and around Vermont at Fletcher Farm, Green Mountain Rug Camp, and American Country Rugs. Her preferred style is known as “primitive,” using wide cut wool strips and folk art-type designs.

A large number of her rugs are done on patterns purchased from fellow rug hookers around the country but the colors are designed by her, in a mix of over-dyed wool, reused wool taken from clothing bought at thrift shops, and tag sales.

On Wednesday, June 14, at 7 p.m., Gifkins will talk about the history of hooked rugs and speak about how a hooked rug project evolves from beginning to end.

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