About the artist
Making rugs is more than a hobby for me. I find it’s a means of self-expression. I believe rugs have limitless potential as an art form. Every new rug involves the use of different artistic elements and I am happy to share my experience with others. A hooked rug can be flat and two dimensional or it can be three dimensional and sculpted. My favorite style of rug hooking is a fine cut (#2 and #3) with sculpting. But I enjoy all other styles.
I began rug hooking in 2008. I have made more than 100 pieces and four of my rugs have been featured in the “Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs” magazine. My article about making ponchos using rug hooking technique is published in Rug Hooking Magazine in the fall issue of 2018. I am a certified teacher of the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild and I belong to the rug hooking group “Rugs on the Rocks” in Sudbury, Ontario.
Rugs on the Rocks is a rug hooking group that meets every Thursday from September to June, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Older Adults Centre in Sudbury, Ontario. Our group is composed of a number of very talented people with a wealth of knowledge, raw beginners, and everything in between. We share information and technique, and we learn from each other in a non-judgmental and fun environment.
Rug hooking is not simply about covering floors. Rug hooking is much more than that. Creativity, Individuality, Beauty, Colour, Artistry, Tactile Stimulation, Recycling, Practicality, and Historical Tradition come together in a hooked rug.
Hooked rugs are truly priceless because so much of the lives of their makers go into them. The life is inherent not just in the strips torn from clothing worn by family and friends, but also in the memories these fabrics evoke.
I am enthusiastic about our art form because it has unlocked for me a door of expression.
Prior to 1800, the floors of most North American homes were kept bare. Sand was spread evenly over the floor and brushed with a broom into swirls. Before the turn of the century, Bed Rugs were used. This is where the term rug may have come from. It was spelled rug. These were creations made with great skill using new fabric and carefully planned. They were used for a long period of time on the same bed since they were cherished. They did wear out and sometimes were finally placed on the floor.
Carpet mills in America started in 1825. Carpets were expensive and only for the affluent, however they inspired homemakers to try to cover their floors. The need to cover floors was thus started. The first hooked rug was made in Canada or in the United States. In the 19 century, the area of Maine, New Hampshire, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and French Quebec was really one continuous region. Rug hooking becomes folk art.
The hooking technique itself is quite simple. The strip of cloth is held beneath a woven foundation, usually burlap now more often linen, which is stretched onto a frame. A hook is inserted through an opening on the surface and a loop of the cloth strip is pulled up through it. The hook is then inserted into an adjacent hole and an additional loop is pulled up; the closer the loops, the tighter the pile. After the hooking is complete the loops are sometimes clipped at varying heights.
The many basic crafts so closely connected with these rugs, such as dyeing, weaving, sewing and hooking itself, show the skills that are involved in making these rugs. The art, however, is in the design and the use of color.