Friday, June 4, 2010

I have received one of the nicest gifts that a rug hooker could be given. Due to the generosity of the Taylor family. I have been given the wools and reference materials of the late Mrs. Mabel Taylor of Middleburg Heights, Cleveland, Ohio.

I did not know Mrs. Taylor. Her son Bill is a farrier and always took care of our horses. When he came to shoe he would often talk to us of his mother and her wonderful ability to make rugs. Somehow when you hear about other hookers that you don't know, you tend to listen with one ear and discount half of that. Little did I know! I have taken only a few pictures, but I think that you will get the jist of the matter from them. The picture above is dip dyed material actually done by Edna Fleming. I don't know how many of you are rug history buffs but for those of you who don't know, Edna Fleming wrote the first book on casserole dyeing. It has a copyright date of 1965. The formulas in the back of the book are still some of the best color combinations for this type of dyeing. The swatches that were in the box I received ranged from 6 pieces to 10 pieces and ranged in price from .75 cents to $1.25. Can you imagine? Believe me when I tell you the picture does not due the color justice.
This picture is of some of the original Connie's Cauldren swatches. The copyright on her book is 1974. The orangy swatch on the left is a 6 value swatch retailing for .55 cents. The pink to maroon watch on the right is a 10 value swatch retailing for $1.10. All of the materials I received had been wrapped in tissue paper and the wool is just as soft and usuable today as it was in the 60's and 70's. I do think that some of it belongs in a museum, however since I know of no such place I intend to use it in special rugs in special places. I cannot believe my luck in receiving these wonderful pieces of wool and history.

This picture shows some of Edna Fleming's casserole dyeing and her book. The colors in these pieces is truly beautiful and very brilliant. A lot of the pieces have a very modernistic look to them. I wonder how far ahead of her time she was?
In addition to these wonderful wools shown here, there are seven (7) more boxes of wool in my garage waiting to be used by hookers. I have offered to share this wool with the group that hooks at the Grant Street Woolworks. By sharing with them, I know that the wool will be appreciated and put to good use.
Last but certainly not least, a box filled with books and phamplets. I could not believe my eyes. I have been a history buff all of my life and so have been very interested in the history of hooking and have an extensive library of material starting with Mildred Sprout in the 1950's and going up thru the present day, including all of the rug hooker magazines started by Joan Moshimer. In the box I found several books that I did not know existed as well as books by Stratton, Margaret Hunt Masters, Estelle Ries, William Winthrop Kent and Dorothy Lawless. These ladies and gentlemen are truly the old time guru's of rug hooking. Many of these books are signed by the authors. I also found a number of books that I already have copies of. I have offered these duplicate books to Linda Keller for the Grant Street Woolworks library. She has an extensive group of reference books that she loans to hookers, free of charge, with the promise that they will return them so that other rug makers can also enjoy them.

What a wonderful treasure trove the Taylor family has given not only to me but to all of the rug makers that will share in Mrs. Mabel Taylors legacy. To say Thank you seems so inadequate but there is nothing else to say. I will continue to read the materials that I have not had in the past and enjoy the beauty of the wool received. Keep the hooks moving!


Orange Sink said...

Wow Doris! What a treasure you have inherited! Bless your heart for sharing it so freely! I can't believe those old prices! I wonder what a yard of natural wool cost back then? Enjoy your treasures! Cathy G

weaverpat said...

That gift is a tribute to your excellence as a teacher and preservationist of the traditional techniques of rughooking. No one could be more deserving of such a treasure!
It is so generous of you to share with the rug hooking community!!!

Gayle said...

What a lovely gift you've received!

Kim said...

How wonderful for you. It would appear, from the photos, that this lady was indeed ahead of her time. Her dyes look wonderful. I know you will put your new treasures to good use.

Rugs and Pugs said...

Doris ~
What a treasure trove you have received and your generosity in sharing them speaks volumes about your character.
Thank you for sharing!
Pug hugs :)

Kathy (woolfind) said...

How nice her son remembered the conversations. how nice for other hookers to benefit from your generosity. Great way to pay it forward..