June 2019 Featured Artist:  Delsie Hoyt, Contemporary Braided Rugs 

ArtWalk Opening: Thursday, June 6th, 4:00-8:00pm

Delsie Hoyt

Once an emblem of household thrift and an enduring staple of American decor, the braided rug remains largely unexplored as a medium for artistic expression.   I seek to challenge conventional notions of what a braided rug can be through experimental designs that range from swirling galaxies to pastoral Vermont landscapes.

I was inspired by the complex artistry my Great-Grandmother, Annette “Nettie” Nelson, drew out of this simple craft over a century ago.  Nettie’s dynamic, and possibly unique, braided “pinwheel” was a major break with rug making conventions of her time, and the original rug is now in the collection of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum at Colonial Williamsburg.

I never graph out my designs.   For me, the colors, pattern and scale of new and recycled wool plaids, checks and tweeds suggest elements of a composition and provide its depth and texture.  Incorporating recycled clothing into my work  honors the virtue of thrift so integral to the craft, and the limited amounts make each work one of a kind.  Over time, I've developed new methods for changing and blending colors that exploit mathematical principles inherent in the braided coil.  All of my rugs are intended for use on the floor; I rely on the "tried and true" traditional construction techniques to assure the rugs' durability. 

My rugs have been featured on television and in magazines and books including Mary Sheppard Burton’s “A Passion for the Creative Life” and Norma Sturgis’ “The Braided Rug Book”.  I teach and demonstrate at craft schools, museums, and events across the country.  

Vermont Governor's Heritage Award
"Re-Imagine the Braided Rug", Vermont Folklife Center, Middlebury, VT
"State of Craft:  Exploring the Studio Craft Movement in Vermont 1960-2010" Bennington Museum
"Always in Season: An Exhibition of Vermont's Folk & Traditional Arts"  Vermont Folklife Center
"Continuous Threads: Creative Legacies of the Northeast Kingdom" NEK Artisans Guild
"Strands of a Legacy: Four Generations of Vermont Braided Rugs" Billings Farm & Museum, Woodstock, VT

Seeking local artists for Montpelier ArtWalk

Been working on something new? Want to share it with your friends and neighbors? We are currently seeking new artists to feature in the shop for future ArtWalks. Please get in touch -- call 802-223-1981 or email comments@cheshirecatclothing.com.