Hookking Up with Teri Bell and Chris Wynnyk! - theHumm July 2024

Hookking Up with Teri Bell and Chris Wynnyk! - theHumm July 2024

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

These two Valley sisters have hook(k)ed up in a deliciously creative undertaking titled Hookk Creative Crochet. For the past three years these two fabric artists have played and experimented and thoroughly enjoyed themselves developing a line of crocheted jewellery. Suspend any initial reservations, and take a serious look at their eye-catching results.

Matched with the right outfit, their colourful, organic, wildly original pieces can spice up your wardrobe and your life. Each crocheted necklace and pin presents you with creative opportunities. Most pieces feature a fascinating potpourri of colours, shapes and textures that complement various backgrounds in different ways. On their Facebook and Instagram posts they provide frequent tips on how to transform casual pairings into “Oh my God! I love your outfit!” And their jewellery is light, packable and best of all — affordable!

Chris and Teri are ingenious and imaginative. Each Hookk creation is original — a unique combination of crocheted shapes (many of which they have invented), and colours (much of their jewellery features variegated yarns). In some pieces they integrate bits of wood, leather and beads — basically, anything that catches their artistic fancy. The results are fun, funky and very eye-catching. They suggest using their crocheted pins on your coat, your hat, your pet, your bag, and (their personal favourite), on anything denim. Here’s another destination: for years I’ve been displaying my favourite pins on plain lampshades and hats so I can enjoy them every day. I can just picture a room with their Hookk jewellery featured as a fun-loving decorative statement.

Eclectic is another adjective that pops into mind. We’ve all seen and probably worn the de rigueur gold or silver chain and pendant necklace, but I’ll bet you’ve never sported a necklace that features a plumber’s brass tee valve! That necklace sold the first time they showed it. Admittedly, the customer’s father was a plumber…but it’s a great piece, absolutely original, and very striking. Patterns do not feature in their creative explorations. The materials they use are primarily organic, but their number one criterion is fun — fun to make and fun to wear.

Sisters, Sisters…

Irving Berlin’s song came to mind as I interviewed Teri Bell and Chris Wynnyk in Teri’s beautiful home on Otty Lake near Perth. Just change the last word in the lines “Caring, sharing / Every little thing that we are wearing,” from “wearing” to “creating”, and it describes their friction-free and extraordinarily productive partnership.

Teri is now retired while Chris is still working fulltime, and over the past three years they have worked out a collaboration that accommodates their different schedules. Teri is a Certified Public Accountant, so she handles the finances and Hookk’s bookings at artisanal craft shows. Also an accomplished painter, Teri’s artistic talents are apparent on their social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. In addition to all her innovative and whimsical jewellery creations, Chris recently reciprocated by being her sister’s eyes and ears during a major renovation at Teri’s home while Teri was living abroad with her husband Jamie. Prior to retirement the couple worked as diplomats for Global Affairs Canada, and their home is replete with superb examples of art and artifacts from around the world.

The sisters and their three other siblings were born and raised in Halifax/Dartmouth until their Navy dad moved the family to Ottawa in 1974. Chris attended college to become an architectural technician and conservation technologist, and worked as a project coordinator/manager for various general contracting companies. Now she works in sales support and coordination for Team Harding in Kanata, ensuring the success of your new fireplace installation. Teri earned her CPA designation at Carleton University, and fulfilled her goal of joining the Public Service. When her husband’s career in the diplomatic corps entailed overseas postings, she decided to join Global Affairs as well, and eventually became an auditor and fraud investigator. Chris notes that Teri is also “an awesome baker.”

The rapport between the two is a pleasure to behold. They take turns extolling each other’s virtues, and agree that Chris is a free spirit and Teri is more structured. The dichotomy works — they complement each other. Chris teaches me a new phrase — she describes them as “Frick and Frack”. The Urban Dictionary informs me that it is “slang for two people who work well together or get along great.” The partnership formed during Covid when Teri became socially isolated during her husband’s posting to the Netherlands. She started crocheting again, and came across textile jewellery. Intrigued, and inspired by the yarn, she began experimenting. She was definitely not interested in using other people’s patterns. Chris responded enthusiastically and equally imaginatively, and soon they were Hookked up.

Their first show in 2021 was a disaster. On a dreary spring weekend in Westport, they sold one necklace. Fortuitously, Teri’s mother-in-law offered them a space at her booth at the Perth Farmers’ Market soon after, and their sales were so encouraging they redoubled their efforts. In 2022 at Almonte’s Fibrefest, they nearly sold out. Artisanal craft shows attract attendees who are looking for original creations. I agree with Teri’s observation that “Wearable art is all about joy… making connections. It’s a conversation starter.”

The duo are on a dynamic creative roll. They love their medium — natural yarns available in an endless rainbow of colour combinations, complemented by anything that strikes their fancy, amplified by an endless possibility of shapes. It’s the perfect creative playground that tantalizes Teri and never constrains Chris.

They have enjoyed “amazing support, mentorship and encouragement from the local fibre community,” calling out special thanks to the generous folks at the yarn shops Unraveled unraveled.ca in Perth, and Yarns Aplenty yarnsaplenty.ca in Smiths Falls.

Hookk Up at the Stewart Park Festival!

From July 19–21, Hookk’s creatively crocheted accessories will be on display at the Stewart Park Festival in Perth. On September 7 and 8 they will join a host of other fabric artists at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum’s 29th annual Fibrefest. As usual, the back of their Artist Trading Card provides details on the duo’s upcoming shows, as well as coordinates for how to contact them if you hanker for a joyous, crocheted, made-to-order conversation starter.

Artist Trading Card

WHO Teri Bell and Chris Wynnyk

WHAT Crocheted Jewellery

WHERE Facebook & Instagram hookk_creativecrochet ; contact by email at teribell2013@gmail.com and/or cawynnyk@gmail.co

WHEN July 19-21, Stewart Park Festival 2024 stewartparkfestival.com ,Sept. 7-8, Mississippi Valley Textile Museum’s 29th annual Fibrefest mvtm.ca/whats-on/fibrefest , Oct. 26, IODE Fundraiser, Carleton Place

WHY “It gives us joy to create connections through our art.”


Hookking Up with Teri Bell and Chris Wynnyk! - theHumm July 2024

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

These two Valley sisters have hook(k)ed up in a deliciously creative undertaking titled Hookk Creative Crochet. For the past three years these two fabric artists have played and experimented and thoroughly enjoyed themselves developing a line of crocheted jewellery. Suspend any initial reservations, and take a serious look at their eye-catching results.

Matched with the right outfit, their colourful, organic, wildly original pieces can spice up your wardrobe and your life. Each croche......


Celebrate Summerat Almonte Celtfest! - theHumm July 2024

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- theHumm July 2024

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Explore Exciting New Flavours!
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- theHumm July 2024

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