Grace Helen Mowat and the Making of Cottage Craft by Diana Rees with Richard Rees
|April 24, 2010||Posted by Alison Gordon under Canadian, History, Non-fiction|
Cottage craft still flourishes today in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, after G.H. Mowat (known as Nell) began the original cottage industry in 1913. She used wool from the area, spun and dyed in the area, thus giving employmentt and self-esteem to many women in the area.
The book details Nell’s art background, her return to the family farm, and the development of the cottage industry. The farm women produced blankets, bags, woven yard goods, and hooked and woven rugs. Nell had a standard for her weavers, knitters, and embroiders: look around you and use the colours, scenes, and activties of the area.
All designs were agreed to by Nell. No such thing as looking at catalogues of pattern books. No–The works had to be original Charlotte County designs. The coloured photos in this book are truly lovely, detailed, and imaginative.
The energy and creative business approaches of Nell were so remarkable for her time in history. She never married, devoted her life to Cottage Craft, and finally started to consider retirement in her 80s. Oh to have half her energy!
I enjoyed reading this book as I am a huge fan of the cottage industry and its productivity. I think of the Grenfell Mission on the Great Northern Penninsula of Newfoundland. I also think of St. Mary’s Bay Machine Knitters, organized by my friend Rosaline Jardine in NL. I have also been to St. Andrews and seen Cottage Craft first hand. It’s great to have now read about its history.
Browse Inside Grace Helen Mowat and the Making of Cottage Craft.