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Pam Kirk

Raised in Wenham, Massachusetts, Pam grew up a very quiet and introverted kid who spent much of her time discovering her own creativity in her back yard. Early on it seemed the only art form Pam was not interested in and was never going to practice was rug hooking!

She continued to pursue art until after one year of studying art at Endicott College and at the urging of her parents, she began looking into majors that would more easily translate into a career. She thought carefully about architecture as a way to meld her creativity with her parent's wishes, but ultimately chose business. But she never forgot her love of artists like John Constable, Vincent van Gogh, and Claude Monet.

Pam's first foray into rug hooking came at the request of her mother. The family was moving to
Vermont, and Anne needed someone to take over the rug hooking classes she had been teaching
in the Wenham area. With her background in art and love of creativity, Pam was the perfect
person and so for the next three months Pam embarked on an intensive one-on-one course with
her mother to learn everything she needed to know about rug hooking and dyeing wool. To ease
the transition from Anne's teaching to Pam, the two began attending Anne's classes together as
mentor and assistant. Pam and Anne began to form a closer relationship; Anne was supportive and encouraging and Pam was eager to learn more from her mother. Pam described the transition as being easy due to the students' gracious natures and began to develop a teaching style: "There's room for fun and camaraderie without losing the focus of why you're there," and Anne taught her to, "Back up and see the piece through the student's eye so all you do is guide them to help their creativity blossom. And if they wanted a purple cow that was okay!"  After Anne and the rest of the family moved to Vermont, Pam went on to teach in the Beverly High School adult education program as well as the Essex Agricultural School even earning certification in occupational therapy from Framingham College along the way. Pam cites this time in her life as being particularly meaningful, "Rug hooking stretched me. I couldn't be as introverted teaching. It really taught me to trust the innate understanding and skills that I had that I didn't really know I had". From that base, Pam developed her pattern business, New Earth Designs, adding more antique oriental designs as well as a wide variety of other styles. She ultimately sold New Earth Designs to Janet Rugar. New Earth Designs is now owned by Jeanne Benjamin who continues to add designs and sells patterns. Growing the number of oriental patterns Pam initially began with; adding her own designs into her pattern company and creating two catalogs as the number of designs increased is one of Pam's greatest personal accomplishments.

 

Pam currently lives in Winter Garden, Florida with her dogs and cats, has just retired from the corporate world, and has been an active board member for Green Mountain Rug School since it was created in the fall of 2013. "To me it's an incredible blessing. The timing is perfect."  She draws her passion and inspiration from famous art pieces, Oriental and Chinese geometric designs, and also from life.  Pam has recently taken up photography as a way to capture moments that she can later translate into hooked rugs.  One of her favorite pieces, called Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod she designed and hooked in 1970 for her young son Chris based on a song they sang together.  Though Pam also says her favorite at any given time is the piece she is working on.

Pam's goals for the future include helping to perpetuate and grow Green Mountain Rug School;
print and possibly add occasionally to the Green Mountain Designs collection while taking advantage of her time away from the corporate world. "There's a part of me that stops and says, 'I'm 70, maybe I've only got 10 more years to enjoy this,' and then there's a part of me that thinks "I'm 30 and I can do this for another 40 years!"

New Earth Designs - Pheasant in the Cornfield

Green Mountain Design - Cabistan

 

Pam is the daughter of Anne Ashworth and the great granddaughter of Philena Moxley