Art Underfoot: The Rug Hooking of Pat Lawson

15 February 2023
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Pat Lawson is a passionate practitioner of the traditional fibre art of rug hooking. I sat down with Pat, a self-described “thrift hound,” recently over Zoom to find out more about her rug hooking practice and how she uses thrifted and salvaged materials to create her pieces. The interview below has been edited for length, grammar and clarity.

Victoria Bingham: Were you always interested in art and fibre art as a child, or did you develop your passion later in life?

Pat Lawson: Handling fibre in various forms is something I have been doing for as long as I can remember. I learned how to knit in grade school. When I was eight, my father gifted me a sewing machine. It was likely because our family needed a sewing machine, but it was still gifted to me with a lot of love. I also grew up with hooked rugs on the floor. Once, when one was damaged, my father repaired it by hooking the strips back into place. He was very nimble with a needle, and took up embroidery during a long convalescence. My mother taught me to appreciate the beauty that we can surround ourselves with, no matter how little you might have. She would take my sister and me to the ballet and to galleries. She was a lover of colour and of “making do,” teaching me how to use thrifty methods to make beautiful things.

My first job out of school was in the Montreal garment district, working for a textile jobber. I then worked for one of their clients, Renaissance Furniture, which built high-end upholstered furniture for the design trade. Working with design professionals enabled me to train my eye, especially to colour perception. My love and understanding of colour was further developed when I worked for General Electric’s lighting division, helping clients develop lighting solutions for their spaces.

Jobber is a company that buys fabric from mills and then sells cut pieces of it to an end client, usually through an architect or interior designer.

All images provided by Pat Lawson.

Copyright © Victoria Bingham except as indicated.

About Victoria Bingham

Victoria Bingham currently lives in the Haliburton Highlands of Ontario with her dog, Molly. She is an avid supporter of arts and culture and can often be found in the audience or on the stage at local events. She loves cooking, baking, embroidery, and knitting, and is attempting to learn how to garden. She is also the resident studio minion at indie yarn dyeing company, indigodragonfly.

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