WW4 – Workshop Week In the Studio online

Excited to again be part of Workshop Week 4. This series formed in Fall of 2021, answers the thirst for learning, exploring techniques and thinking for creatives. Jumping online we all learned quickly as instructors and students. Look over the descriptions and contact each instructor directly with questions and to register.

 IN THE STUDIO WORKSHOP WEEK 4

Welcome to In the Studio Workshop Week 4 (WW4). We are excited to offer 9 workshops this time around. A couple have proven popular in the past, and the rest are brand new. None will run concurrently so that you may register for as many as you wish.

All classes will be held online via Zoom. The Zoom link will be sent to you by your instructor via email prior to the class. Please read through the class descriptions carefully, and if you have any questions or would like to register, email the instructor of the class directly.

Note that by registering for any WW4 classes, your email address may be shared with all instructors for the purpose of organization and follow-up. You will not be added to any mailing lists.

All workshops will be taught in English.

One paid registration = one participant.

All teachers are standardizing to a NO REFUND POLICY. If you find that you cannot attend a class, you may transfer your registration to a friend. Make sure you contact the teacher before doing so.

BONUS EVENTS
All registered students are eligible for two bonus Workshop Week events: Workshop Week Panel Discussion Join us for a bonus episode of our online series In the Studio in which the instructors will engage in a panel discussion and take your questions. It will be held Sunday, January 30, 2022, at 6:00 PM Eastern. The Zoom link will be sent the day before the panel discussion to all students registered for at least one class. The topic of the panel discussion will be announced closer to the date. Workshop Week Gathering You are cordially invited to join the WW4 instructors and students for an online gathering Sunday, February 6, 2022, at 6:00 PM Eastern for 1.5 hours. This gathering is a place to chat, to show off pieces begun during WW, to work on a piece in progress, or to just sit back and listen to the conversation. The Zoom link will be sent the day before the hook-in to all students registered for at least one class.

WORKHOP OPTIONS

BUILD A BABY BOUCHEROUITE With Laura Salamy

Sunday, January 30 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Course description Boucherouites are having their day! They’re so trendy that you can’t look at a Better Home and Gardens magazine or watch an HGTV show without seeing them.

The Berber tribe of Morocco have been creating Boucherouites, one-of-a-kind, hand-knotted rugs since the mid-20th century. Traditionally, they’re made using old clothes and other textile scraps. They’re a pretty freestyle form of expression often looking as if the weaver started with one color scheme and pattern, got bored, and moved onto something else. They’re fun in a colorful, spontaneous way and are easily adaptable to rug hooking.

In this workshop you’ll design your own hooked “Baby Boucherouite” rug and start to hook it with textile scraps you have on hand be they cotton clothing, old bedsheets, and/or leftover wool noodles. The sky’s the limit! We’ll also discuss how to prepare, cut, and hook with non-wool materials.

Length of class: 2-3 hours

Who should take this course This class is designed for a student proficient at rug hooking basics, particularly the mechanics of pulling loops through a backing.

Materials needed Because this is an online workshop, students will supply their own materials. Materials will include those one usually uses to hook a rug as well as a few others. More information will be provided to students upon registration.

For more information/to register, contact Laura@highonhooking.com

Class fee: $50 US

About Laura Salamy Laura Salamy is the hooker behind High on Hooking.

I’ve never been a “traditional” hooker, preferring to color outside of hooking’s more “typical lines.” Instead of limiting myself to wool, I prefer to use most any material I can get my hands on. Often that means cutting strips from old t-shirts and bed sheets. Up-cycling throw-aways to art is a priority for me. Our landfills are filling up. Or they’re already full. While certain projects benefit from virgin wools or other fibers, I like to do my little part to slow that process and make something lovely at the same time.

Laura’s work has been seen in various exhibits as well as Rug Hooking Magazine; ATHA’s Art of Rug Hooking magazine; Karen D. Miller’s book Eyes Open to the World: Memories of Travel in Wool; and Judy Taylor’s T-Shirt Treasures: Creating Heirloom Hooked Rugs from the Humble T-Shirt. She currently serves as President of the Adobe Wool Art’s Guild, New Mexico’s only rug hooking guild. Learn more about her work at https://highonhooking.com.

FINISHING IS AN ELEMENT OF YOUR DESIGN –
CHOOSE THE RIGHT ONE
With Susan Feller

Monday, January 31 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern

Course description How many projects are done but not finished? Learn how to select the technique that enhances your work. Many of us always use one method “to get it done.” The edge or frame should not detract from the artwork, rather integrate its style into the environment.

Students will be asked to send an image(s) of completed work in advance. Instructor will provide suggestions of finishing techniques. Once in agreement, a tools and supply list will be sent. Work will begin in class. The full class will learn a variety of finishing techniques including: crochet; fringe; whip, multi-cord whip; and canvas wrapped for hanging. Handouts along with live demos will be provided.

Who should take this course If you consider finishing to be a chore, haven’t learned any method or use just one, if you want to enter work in an exhibit, gallery, or sale, this class will help. Pick up a few tips and maybe share your own approaches to completing your artwork.

Materials needed Susan will send list after communicating with student.

For more information and to register contact rugs2wv@gmail.com

Class fee is $50 US

Recommended reading: Finishing Hooked Rugs: Favorite Techniques from the Experts (published by Rug Hooking Magazine). The chapter “Framing Art” was authored by Susan.

About Susan Feller Susan has been a custom picture framer for two decades. As a professional artist she brings experiences about being rejected and accepted into juried shows. Willingly sharing lessons culled from these experiences is the purpose of this class. To see more of Susan’s work, visit https://artwools.com.

BRAIDING AS A WAY TO FINISH A HOOKED OR PUNCHED PIECE
With Yvonne Iten-Scott

Tuesday, February 1 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Course description Braiding is a lovely way to finish the edge of your hooking or punching. In this class you will learn how to create the perfect braiding and attach it to your work. The braid will be joined together with a hidden seam. We will then beautifully finish off the back with a padded back and wool or other fabric.

Length of class: 3 hours Number of students: 6-16

Students who have already hooked or punched a small circular piece. Basic knowledge of hand sewing will be helpful.

Materials needed Participants should come to class with a hooked or punched circular work with an unfinished back and 1- to 2-inch border of backing. Also needed: needle, thread, a piece of wool or other fabric for the back of the circle, quilt batting, scissors, and wool for the braid. Optional: braid masters for folding the braid and a rug clamp which can be purchased from the instructor.

Class fee is $50 US


For more information or to register, please contact Yvonne at itenscott@aim.com

About Yvonne Iten-Scott Yvonne credits her Swiss father with instilling the value of handcrafted items. Her love of homesteading and traditional craft has led her to recently return to a rural lifestyle with chickens, guineas, bees, and a large studio to create and teach.

A voracious traveller and lifelong learner, Yvonne has studied with some of the world’s best fibre art teachers. She brings these many influences together in her artwork – notably with a freedom to explore. That means no rules and all fibers and techniques are fair game. It’s about delving into oneself and aspiring to create more sculptural pieces in her practices.

Find more information about Yvonne’s work at https://yvonneitenscott.com

CREATING PERSONAL LANDSCAPES
WITH ALTERNATIVE MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES
With Elizabeth Miller

Tuesday, February 1 at 6:00 p.m.

Course description Join Elizabeth Miller for an exploration of landscape (or seascape, snowscape, etc.) in both its literal and metaphorical meanings. Students will be asked to provide a landscape image, real or imagined, that has meaning to them and reinterpret it through rug hooking. Key questions will include, “What does this scene mean to you?” ”What do you find most interesting/engaging/compelling about this landscape visually, symbolically, texturally, historically?” “What materials and techniques will best recreate and express the impact this view has on you, as the artist?”

This workshop is for students who want to take their art beyond basic representation of a scene and create a hooked/fiber art image that speaks very personally to them. It is also for students who want to broaden the range of materials and techniques they use regularly in their hooking. The resulting piece may or may not be directly representational of the scene that inspired it, depending on the student’s individual preference and aesthetic. However, each resulting piece will reflect the student’s personal relationship with that landscape.

Materials needed No prior use or knowledge of alternative materials or techniques is necessary. Beth will demonstrate thirteen techniques beyond the basic loop and provide suggestions for materials besides cut wool or yarn. A list of suggested materials and tools to have on hand will be provided prior to class as well as a PDF document describing each technique covered. Assistance in finding sources for any of the suggested materials will be provided.

Class fee is $50 US


For more information or to register, please contact Elizabeth at parrishousewoolworks@gmail.com.

About Elizabeth Miller: Elizabeth Miller is the founder and teacher at Parris House Wool Works in Paris, Maine, a studio promoting traditional skills and all things rug hooking. She is the author of Heritage Skills for Contemporary Life: Seasons at the Parris House, published by Down East Books in 2021. Her work has appeared in Making Magazine and Rug Hooking Magazine and will be featured in an upcoming episode of the television show, Maine Cabin Masters.

More information can be found at https://parrishousewoolworks.com

SHOWING UP FOR YOURSELF – IN ART & LIFE
With Meryl Cook

Wednesday, February 2 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Course description: How can you use your art as a means to really show up for yourself – to heal, to be more fully the person you are meant to be, to thrive, to express what’s inside?

What does it mean to show up for yourself? Using journaling and sketching the class will explore: how to get unblocked; exercises for showing up for yourself; and design methods such as tapping into the body feeling to create abstract designs. Depending on your particular art practice, you will create a design or a series of designs based on what you need right now – to be well, to thrive, to be happy.

Who should take this course Artists and creatives who are ready to dig a little deeper, to practice self compassion and who want to take their art to a new level. All are welcome.

Materials needed A list will be sent upon registration and contact with Meryl.


For more information or to register, please contact meryl@merylcook.ca.

Class fee is $50 US

Recommended reading One Loop at a Time, a story of rug hooking, healing and creativity and One Loop at a Time, The Creativity Workbook both by Meryl Cook. (More info below.)

What people are saying:The writing exercises were insightful. A ‘growing’ experience. I appreciate the work and energy you put into making it both fun & informative … your skilled teaching. Your teaching style is engaging and encouraging and sensitive. You strive to include all the participants with a gentle, encouraging manner. You have a nice calm & soothing way of presenting. I love, love, loved your class and your work and the stories behind your work. Meryl facilitated the workshop in a calm and nonjudgmental way, giving each participant a chance to reflect and express their response to the colours.”

About Meryl Cook Colour, texture, joy and self-compassion define Meryl Cook’s work as an emerging fibre artist, writer and facilitator in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. Her current mediums are rug hooking, spinning, wet felting and journaling. Meryl’s mission is to inspire others to reconnect with their joy and creativity.

At age 58, Meryl turned to journaling and rug hooking as a way of showing up for herself following treatment for breast cancer. Since 2016, Meryl has spoken and taught creativity workshops (in person and virtual) across Canada and in the U.S. She is a juried member of Craft Nova Scotia and was the Craft LAIR resident in 2018. Her work has appeared in The Ice House Gallery and Argyle Fine Art Gallery in 2021, in the Mary E. Black Gallery in 2019 and 2020, and as a special exhibit at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week in 2018. Her collaborative piece Boundaries/No Boundaries with Linda Rae Coughlin is currently part of the Global Textile Hub exhibit ‘Reimagined’.

Meryl is the author of two books, One Loop at a Time, a story of rug hooking, healing and creativity (2016) and One Loop at a Time, The Creativity Workbook (2017). Her chapter “Journaling and the Reinvention of the Self One Loop at a Time” appears in the recently published (June, 2021) Transformational Journaling for Coaches, Therapists and Clients by Lynda Monk and Eric Maisel. www.merylcook.ca

EXPRESSION THROUGH ABSTRACT RUG HOOKING
With Haley Perry

Wednesday, February 2 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern

Course description Rug hooking is a process that encourages abstraction through the nature of the fabric medium. In this course, we will explore how to use abstraction to create more expressive artwork. We will discuss the formal elements of design in art and participate in drawing exercises to put these theories into action. This class will be a first step in developing your personal visual language, allowing you to build the abstract and narrative rugs of your future.

Who should take this course Students with interest in any textile art are encouraged to register, as the lessons taught apply to a wide variety of mediums.

Materials needed This design class will be a lecture format with drawing exercises, so a sketchbook, pencil, and colored pencils are needed to participate.

Class fee is $50 US


For more information or to register, contact Hayley at loopbyloopstudio@gmail.com.

About Hayley Perry Hayley Perry has been making and designing rugs for years thanks to her family members, who taught her everything she knows about rug hooking from a young age. After earning her graduate degree in painting in 2011, Hayley developed Loop by Loop Studio, a rug hooking design business, taking after her mother and aunt.

More recently, rug making has become a true artistic expression once Hayley started to delve into her own personal narrative. She has shown her rug hooking and painting work in galleries all over the United States. Hayley has been granted multiple artist residencies to share her rug hooking practice and has written articles for Rug Hooking Magazine and Wool Works magazine. Hayley has a passion for teaching art and rug hooking and has taught many different art courses throughout New England.

Learn more about Hayley’s work at https://www.loopbyloopstudio.com.

PET PORTRAITS With Charlie Dalton

Thursday, February 3 at 6:00 p.m. Eastern

This workshop will be divided into two sessions: FIRST Going over Charlie’s portrait process from photo choice to transferring the photo to a backing to starting to hook (approximately 3 hours) AND A follow-up session for trouble-shooting and sharing your work with the class (1-2 hours) will be scheduled during the first session.

Who should take this course Participants should be proficient at rug hooking basics. Please register early enough to talk with Charlie about what makes for a good pet image, your hooking experience, and suggested materials.

Materials needed A high quality photo (or three) of your pet;

A computer with an app to edit and print your image (e.g., Photoshop or Photoshop Express which is free);

  • A wool cutter with a #4 blade OR good fabric scissors for cutting;
  • 2 rug hooking hooks (smaller shank hook for hooking and a larger shank hook for tracing);
  • A sheet of carbon paper (source this early!);
  • Packing tape;
  • Printer;
  • 18” x 16” piece of linen (12” x 10” working space);
  • Sharpie marker;
  • Scissors; and
  • A good selection of wool in the colors that you will need for your particular pet (these wools can be new and/or recycled).

For more information or to register, please contact Charlie Dalton at charlievdalton@gmail.com.

Class fee is $50 US

About Charlie Dalton

Charlie Dalton, aka The Hooking Colonel, is a former Spanish teacher who now lives in Price, Utah. He learned to hook from his mother-in-law, Cass Gannaway, while teaching in Sewanee, Tennessee. He enjoys geometrics and enjoys incorporating his drawings inspired by Alma Thomas into the rugs that he hooks, but his passion is animal portraits. Charlie started creating animal rugs to give to friends mourning the passing of pets, and over time his work developed into the cosmic pups that he hooks today. Charlie credits a close circle of friends with some pretty special pups for being the impetus for his pet portraits. You can learn more about Charlie and see his work on Instagram @thehookingcolonel.

BASICS OF WATERCOLOR FOR THE TEXTILE ARTIST
With Jane Mason

Friday, February 4 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Course description Having a few basic watercolor skills and a journal can help you capture the color and energy of a scene. This is helpful as you use your journal entries, photos, and notes to weave your thoughts and visions into your own textile art.

A goal of this course is to inspire you to grab a journal, wander around in nature, and do watercolor sketches of an element that leads to textile art.

No watercolor or drawing experience is required.

This is a Zoom class. The techniques and processes we discuss are intended to be used for sketching anywhere inside or out. The tools are minimal and can fit in a gallon-size zipper-type bag.

I’ve sketched with watercolor at parks, in airports, and at cafés. It’s an adaptable and portable skillset. And sometimes less intrusive than taking photos of a scene.

What’s included
1. Introduction to watercolor tools: paper, paint, brushes, watercolor pencils, and watercolor crayons.
2. Introduction to basic watercolor and micron pen sketching techniques.
3. How to evaluate a scene and decide what to include.
4. How to create meaningful notes to help you interpret your sketch back in your studio. 5. A checklist of “The Ten Commandments of Watercolor.”

Length of class: 2-3 hours (Teacher will stay longer for questions, etc.)
Number of students: 6 min., 14 max.

Who should take this course Anyone with an interest in adding to their artistic skill set as a textile artist. It’s perfect for rug hooking, punch needle, quilters, collage artists, and more. Even if you are an experienced watercolorist, I believe this course will add some tips to your current knowledge. All ages: from 9-90.

Materials

  • If you want the least expensive paint set, I recommend a standard Crayola pan of watercolor paints. The brush is terrible in this set. Make sure you get a “real” brush, see below.
  • Or, as an intermediate level, the Cotman Brand by Winsor Newton, the Field Kit “Pocket Box” is a good choice.
  • A more professional (and expensive) set is the Daniel Smith Paint Set, “Essentials Introductory Watercolor,” 6 Tubes. Included: Three cool primary colors: Hansa Yellow Light, Quinacridone Rose, and Phthalo Blue, and three warm primary colors: New Gamboge, Pyrrol Scarlet, and French Ultramarine. If you get the Daniel Smith set, you will also need a small tube of Burnt Siena watercolor paint, and a palette to put everything on. A palette can be a plastic plate, a plastic palette, or a ceramic plate. 2.Basic graphite pencil (#2 is fine), eraser, and optional pencil sharpener.
    3.A watercolor sketch-book journal. At least 5” x7”. Look for one with 140# cold-pressed cotton paper. I prefer wire-bound because they are easy to open flat.
    4.Watercolor pencils. You can buy them individually at your local independent art store. Or a small set, 8-ish, is usually a good collection. Any brand is fine. Note: these are not colored pencils. They are watercolor pencils.
    5.Optional: watercolor crayons. These we use in a similar way as watercolor pencils, so they are not required. But they offer another tool for a variation of techniques.
    6.One of two round watercolor brushes size 6 and 8. Or 6 and 10. Princeton is a recommended brand. Expect to pay anywhere from about $8 to $25 for each brush. Don’t get a crummy brush.
    7.A Micron Ink pen. I prefer a .05 size tip and larger. I find that the smaller tips skip on watercolor paper. 8.Other supplies, such as a cup of water in a container that is exclusively used for art, and facial issues or paper towels. A mister spray bottle is helpful.
  • I recommend registering at least two weeks before the class to allow time for supplies to arrive. Depending on the brand and quantity of supplies purchased, the cost may be between about $50-$90 US. Supplies will not be purchased from me but from retail vendors, hopefully local, independent art stores.
    Students may take the class without purchasing supplies and opt to buy them later if interested. You will still get much out of the class from watching the demonstrations and participating in the discussion, but I recommend acquiring the minimum supplies to work with us in class.

For more information or to register, please contact Jane Mason at janemmason123@gmail.com.

Class fee is $50 US

What people are saying “I’ve got to admit that I was intimidated going into the class. I don’t consider myself a creative person. I am handy and can learn any technique, but I wouldn’t think of myself as an inventive artist. Jane taught me that we are all artists in our own rights. Having her show techniques and different options awakened my creative imagination.” Member, Cream City Rug Hooking Guild

“Jane expertly guided a group of 17 students in a thorough review of the basics, allowing each participant to share their knowledge while skillfully staying on schedule to fully cover the course objectives…. Jane, helped students translate their ideas into a textile design and working textile piece.” Member, Loopy Ladies Rug Hooking Guild

About Jane Mason As a professional watercolorist and textile artist, Jane has been teaching for 30 years. She studied Textiles and Design at the University of Nebraska and completed her master’s degree in Museum Studies at Harvard University.

Her work, including paintings, hooked rugs, quilts, and collage pieces, have been exhibited in dozens of solo and group exhibits across the US and in Italy.

Jane won her first art contest at a museum in Omaha as a five-year old. Ever since that honor, she has considered herself an artist working to maintain her five-year old point of view in her typically colorful and sometimes whimsical work.

She has been a consultant on two occasions to the curators at the Harvard Art Museums on interpreting and analyzing watercolor paintings in their collection. Jane has published many articles in art-related publications including one on how to select a frame for rug hooking in ATHA Magazine.

In addition to teaching, painting, and hooking, Jane enjoys traveling to visit her grandchildren, always arriving with lots of art supplies and textile projects.

Learn more about Jane’s work at https://fromjanemmason.com.

EXPRESSIVE ART THERAPY THROUGH RUG HOOKING
With Deirdre Pinnock

Saturday, February 5 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Course description This expressive art therapy class will inspire women to express themselves through rug hooking. Expressive art allows participants to show their individual personalities and bring attention to their strengths – their own “normal” – in an environment where there is no judgement, only encouragement. To create and experiment while revealing your inner self, bring your worms and yarns and especially all the materials you were told you shouldn’t hook with.

Who should take this course Any rug hooker who strives to or may find it difficult to embrace their own sense of self and then express that is encouraged to attend. All skill levels welcome.

Materials needed The items you usually hook with to include: scissors, hooks, backing, frame/hoop, and so on. A variety of materials for hooking. Examples include: fabrics, yarns, twine, nylons, wire, pipe cleaners, your own hair, paper, rubber bands, coffee filters, and so on. There is no limit to what you can play with and hook!

For more information or to register, please contact Deirdre at dap1babs@yahoo.ca.

Class fee is $50 US

About Deirdre Pinnock: Deirdre Pinnock is a talented rug hooker, mental health advocate, aspiring entrepreneur, and self- identified “woman of color” based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is passionate about fusing different materials, vivid colors, and therapeutic qualities into her work with a dash of playfulness.

Deirdre received a grant with well know rug hooker Nadine Flagel to teach youth and seniors in Richmond, BC. She accepted another grant to teach during the East Van Crawl with the “Hooked in the Maples” group in Vancouver. She also teaches at the Britannia Library and other neighborhood locations.

The purpose behind Deirdre’s art revolves around self-healing and empowerment to battle through her grief, pain, and anxieties. She likes to weave the current political climate into her fiber art and confront issues in a whimsical and humorous way.

See more of Deirdre’s work at https://christina7479.wixsite.com/deirdrepinnock.

100 Days sketching now on exhibit

Starting 2021 with zoom groups was very different from a full calendar in 2020 of traveling. To focus on creative growth I began the 100 day drawing challenge on January 30. I hope this doesn’t have to be another Year Study. With colored pencils, markers a new journal (which ended up being two) and views outside my windows I decided to document nature. Networking with “friends” via social media each day kept me on track ending on May 10. Along the journey the sketches began to take form as fiber art – paints came out, embroidery threads and the rug hooking materials too. Thanks to that network, when Jamie Miller from Taylor Books Annex Gallery asked, I was ready with a proposal.

July 11- August 8, 2021 the collection is on exhibit with fellow Appalachians Chase Bowman, Chris DeMaria, Emma Doolley, Amanda Jane and Mike Ousley at Taylor Books Cafe and Gallery, 226 Capitol Street, Charleston, WV. There is a quick Instagram video showing the work up but seeing textile art in person brings a deeper appreciation for the materials and techniques.

Not being a gallery owner anymore I prepared a catalog of the drawings and fiber art so visitors could leaf through from winter into colorful spring.

These are some of the works on the walls.

Journaling 2020

I constantly write quotes and important dates on scraps of paper because I like history. In 2020 they piled up and haunted me. All the noise coming through radio, media outlets and rattling around my head had to be organized, edited and preserved through art = my personal story. Via zoom I talked with many other textile artists who had spent their hours pulling loops and stitching work that would last beyond these days. They were my inspiration and helped in finding my own voice.

organized by month, quotes and events through 2020

How would I start? By July 2020 I was removed enough from the well planned life of Jan/Feb and the abrupt change when covid-19 entered my world to start composing. What size linen should I cut off the bolt? I decided on the full width and ended up with a runner 54 x 24. I could dedicate 9″ to each of the six months. One decision made. Here are the rest which evolved as I worked.

  1. Use stark neutrals as background fabric to indicate mood of the month. Cold and harsh first 6 months = blacks and natural. The second half became warm tans and browns as events heated up. Besides, my dwindling inventory of fabric didn’t have enough black/whites left.
  2. In lockdown I would use what I had, including at one point cutting up an old pair of black jogging pants.
  3. There would be pictures to attract people from a distance and words to communicate two ways. The images would form an active path zig-zagging through the months. Different techniques were needed to get detail : embroidery, applique’, along with horizontal hooking for the background which helped form the letters.
  4. The covid symbol would float throughout until eradicated. Becoming a major element in many months, and more routinely designed as the year progressed.
  5. Quotes would be credited. For variety colors of symbolic logos, political parties, historic events (suffrage purple, gold, green, white) were interspersed with the neutral high contrast lettering.
  6. Include my own personal story along with global events. After all this is my historical record. I didn’t want to memorialize the negative feelings I had and spent time editing the pile of quotes by President Trump to just one in March. Rug hooking is therapeutic and the time spent on this project should help me process and heal.

The first panel came together over the months of July and August. I hooked away listening to the Conventions, jotting down more quotes as the loops filled in the spaces. I thought the second composition would continue right away but found I had to put it aside until March of 2021. With distance it flowed easily, after a few adjustments the second six months panel was completed in just 28 days. I did not compare them except for the checklist of designing. The border uses the same rainbow fabric from Dorr Mill and two rows of black fabric (although slightly different) ties them together along with the monthly change in values and visual pattern. These must be seen to appreciate the multiple stories and techniques. Their first exhibit was an invitational “Social Studies” at Beckley Art Center, Beckley, WV May 14 – June 19, 2021. Here are some detail images.

The Journal is published online in an article by Emily Hilliard, WV Humanities Council ‘West Virginians’ Creative Responses to COVID-19: A Digital Exhibit’ and in the Fall issue of Goldenseal Magazine.

It was selected for the WV Juried Biennial Exhibition Nov. 2021-Feb 2022 by the WV Dept. Culture, Art and History, Culture Center, Charleston, WV

Two artists – two styles

The gallery Lost River Trading Post is in Wardensville, WV. Visitors to West Virginia from the east enter the town having traveled along the paved highways and country roads following paths over the mountains which were carved out by native cultures centuries before our cars. It is a town that reflects its past heritage and is filled with small commerce for today’s lifestyles. Our paintings and fiber drawings depict the mountain layers evoking the surrounding natural beauty in the exhibit NEAR AND FAR. Visit until January 4, 2021 to see and select some of the artwork for your own home.

Abbie Chessler and Susan Feller’s work in this exhibit is a bringing together of expressions of far mountain vistas and the intimacy of the forest when it surrounds you. Susan and Abbie look to the natural world around them for inspiration. This emotional connection to the forest and mountains is reflected in their use of color and form. It is the thread that makes their work seem as if it belongs together.

F

Abbie describes her process “I continue to be inspired to paint the far mountain views. The light, the sky, the colors are always changing. My creative process is very much a meditative practice. I stop to breathe and remain in the present moment as I am working. Each painting emerges as I layer the colors, looking out of my studio window for inspiration.

I hope my calm mind is transmitted to the viewer and that my paintings provide an invitation to appreciate and protect our earth”. Visit abbiechessler.com or @archessler on Instagram

Susan states “The message in all my work is to consider human impact on nature. Are the trees, coal and even hay, resources for us to exhaust or materials to carefully harvest? Makers for generations used traditional hand work skills (embroidery, applique’ and rug hooking) to create utilitarian objects. They left their unique voice in the designs and often spoke of their social environment. I am carrying on that legacy, hoping others will join me on this journey”. Visit ArtWools.com to explore, react and connect

These two images show just how similar our design sense is – it boils down to seeing shapes and lines.

Rug hooking in 2020

Handcraft skills through the centuries have been an essential part of domestic living. Fibers harvested, spun, woven and made into warm clothing eventually became scraps for the hook or needle to re-connect into decorative household goods. Who were the makers and their stories? So many unknown by name but personable in designs.

Today with the digital age, creatives share process images under their profiles, showing the spaces they work, materials collected, and especially tools and techniques. Researchers 50 years from now will thank us all for including these details. (Believe me from past experience trying to learn about the McDonald sisters and their work practices.). Search contemporary rug hooking, fiber arts, hooked art.

Over the past several months I have “met” many contemporaries via a network of fiber organizations and professionals. On this International Rug Hooking Day, December 4, here are a few.

from Motherhood series, Karen D Miller, Ottawa, ON – Distancing

Karen D. Miller Studio from Ottawa, ON Canada . Karen is an author, fibre artist, instructor and mother – click for the collection Motherhood. She is coordinating a series of fibre artists lecturing In the Studio you can find these events on her website KarenDMiller.com . Past visits have introduced us to Larry Weyand from Newfoundland, Nadine Flagel from Vancouver, BC, Patti Mullins Colen from London, ON among many others. Coming up next is Tracy Jamar, NYC on Jan 13, 2021.

I have curated some of these into a collection of hooked art from a series of zoom conversations with creatives who responded to socio political events for a future post. The book Crafting Dissent is a chronicle of historical essays describing craft used in protest. It mentions most of these calls have been picked up by younger makers which lead me to the research of rug hookers responding. In our 50’s and above, with time but not necessarily mobility to actively protest, we instead use loop pulling to process our anger, document events and leave visual statements for generations to come.

Suzanne Cantrell adapted pattern by Parris House Wool Works; Maggie Crab; Sharon Townsend (Adam Albright Photography)

I met three generations who processed Black Lives Matter – Sharon Townsend, Suzanne Cantrell and Maggie Crabb.

Liz Marino has completed several from her fingerprint created as a portrait, suffrage anniversary, BLM and Covid.

What are we all missing in Covid-19, Liz Marino

Men and women pulled loops in simple geometrics selecting reds to depict the virus, or multi colors haphazardly chosen from the scraps just to be making something during the long hours of lockdown. Our conversations connected us because of the art.

Social media groups are the networking support for established makers and those coming to our crafts because of extra time. Rug Hooking Magazine uses their facebook page for informative events. In lieu of the annual Rug Hooking week at Sauder Village where finalists in Celebrations are exhibited, two webinars provided a gallery talk I lead with judges and personal interviews of many winners conducted by Gene Shephard. These can be viewed by clicking each highlighted link.

We all look toward 2021 and beyond for the opportunities to once again see fiber art in person throughout the world in local communities and museum venues. Normal is a frame of mind and the lessons learned from slowing down this year have been poured into our hooked, punched, prodded and sculpted fiber art. We will continue to virtually share the 19th C crafts using our new 21st C tech skills .

See you in a zoom meeting, at a virtual opening, chatting in a common social group or across a room at the next show. Until then stay safe, healthy and especially CREATING.

Workshop Opportunity week of Oct 26-30

UPDATE: the first week went very well, full classes in all five sessions wonderful feedback from surveys. Plans are being finalized for a second week of virtual workshops, a couple of featured vendors and again bonus events. Registration will open early December for the Jan 31- February 5, 2021 Workshop Week.

There are five instructors who have come together under In the Studio to offer a workshop each day/night the week of October 26-30.

All registered students will also be invited to participate in two bonus Workshop Week events:

Workshop Week Hook-In

Join all of the instructors and the other students for an online hook-in. It will be held on Wednesday, October 28th, 2020, at 6:30 pm EASTERN for 1.5 hours. The Zoom link will be sent the day before the hook-in to all students registered in at least one class.

Workshop Week Panel Discussion

Join us for a bonus episode of the series ‘In the Studio’ where the five instructors will engage in a panel discussion and will take your questions. It will be held on Friday, October 30th, 2020, at 6:30-7:30 pm EASTERN. The Zoom link will be sent the day before the panel discussion to all students registered in at least one class.

Here are the classes and intro featuring each instructor. Note in the descriptions the way to contact the teacher for registration links and payment. We all look forward to this exciting time getting “together” in 2020 and learning. Please note that by registering for any classes in Workshop Week your email address will be shared with each of the five instructors only for the purpose of organization and follow-up and to invite you to the above sessions. You will not be added to any mailing lists.

WORKSHOP OPTIONS

TRAVEL DESIGN: LET THE WORLD INSPIRE YOU
lead by Karen D. Miller

Monday, October 26th, 2020,
at 6:30 pm EASTERN – 9:00 pm EASTERN

Find inspiration for your art from your own travels! Using your memories, your photos or even just your dreams of where you would like to go once the pandemic is over, we will talk about how to find, capture and interpret your ideas. Travel does not have to be far from home so, even if you haven’t travelled to exotic locales, this class is still for you. The hands-on activities in this class will leave you feeling inspired and with a number of designs ready to turn into art, no matter what medium you use!

This class is inspired by Karen’s book Eyes Open to the World: Memories of Travel in Wool published in 2019 by Ampry Publishing. It is not necessary to purchase the book to take this class, but students may find it a useful supplement to the information in the workshop.

Materials Needed:

  A sketchbook (or a book with blank pages)

  Pencil, eraser and pencil sharpener

  Pencil crayons

  Photos from somewhere you have travelled (can be close to home or further afield, and can be printed out or on a device)

  A small watercolour set and brush(es) (does not need to be fancy- can be a set for kids) Class Fee: $45 US (Conversion will be made to CAD for Canadian students).

Payment can be made by e- transfer for Canadian students, or a PayPal invoice will be sent to students outside of Canada. For more information or to register please email Karen D. Miller at info@karendmillerstudio.com.
Karen D. Miller is a fibre artist living and working in Ottawa, Ontario. She has had her work exhibited across Canada and the United States, and in Canadian and American publications as well as those in Europe and Australia. Her work has been featured four times in Rug Hooking Magazine’s annual Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs, and in 2020 she was invited to be one of four judges for the publication. In addition, she is a frequent contributor to Rug Hooking Magazine. This past November, her first book, Eyes Open to the World: Memories of Travel in Wool, was published by Ampry Publishing. You can learn more about Karen and see her work at www.karendmillerstudio.com.

BASICS OF DESIGN: EXPLORE THE VOCABULARY FOR DESIGNING- ELEMENTS AND PRINCIPLES

with Susan L Feller

Tuesday, October 27, 2020, at 6:30 pm EASTERN – 9:00 pm EASTERN
Beginner or years into your fiber arts journey, this workshop will help to incorporate the building blocks (elements and principles of design) to create better compositions. Students will explore the concepts using small samples, and will become comfortable using design, materials and techniques.

In the 2.5 hour session we will define the Elements and Principles of Design and discuss the universal art vocabulary. Exercises included require pencil, paper, a selection of fabric in range from light to dark, and an open mind. YOU CAN DRAW. Participants will be invited to a private group for follow up discussion and more assignments over a three month period.

This class is based on Susan’s book Design Basics for Rug Hookers, published by Stackpole Books and available in an online search.

You will be contacted by the instructor before class to expand on materials and to allow for a discussion of one’s personal background in designing and expectations for the class.

Optional Materials:

For Canadian students: Wool kits and backing available by contacting Martina Lesar (studio@martinalesar.com); ask for Design Workshop Kit.

For US students: Wool kits and backing available by contacting Parris House Wool Works in Maine (parrishousewoolworks@gmail.com); ask for Design Workshop Kit.

 Please note that purchasing Susan’s book and/or the Design Workshop kit are not required, but both are beneficial to have for the class.

Class Fee: $45 US. An invoice will be sent electronically.
For more information or to register, please email Susan L. Feller at rugs2wv@gmail.com with “Design Class” in subject.

Susan L. Feller is an award winning fibre artist, author, and teacher. She is a frequent contributor to Rug Hooking Magazine and she has had her work featured in and been a judge for their publication Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs. Susan frequently exhibits her work across North America. You can learn more about Susan and see her work at www.artwools.com.

HERE AND NOW IN WORDS AND FIBER
with Elizabeth Miller from Parris House Woolworks

Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at 1:00 pm for approximately 2.5 to 3 hours in length.

“Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage.” – Julia Cameron

Beth says “In this workshop we explore the intersection of words, writing, visual images, and the emotions and responses they evoke through the medium of rug hooking. However, we are narrowing our context down to the here, the now, the present, the close at hand. In this time of COVID-19, I want to turn that feeling of restriction into an expressive opportunity through the use of visual design and accompanying poetry/prose. We will focus on our immediate environments. The purpose here is to expand your appreciation for the seemingly familiar and see it in new ways.

Through a series of wordplay and sketching exercises, we will come up with a short piece of original writing (think Haiku, single stanza poem, or ten line prose) that will form the foundation of your rug design.

While this workshop is not meant to be a traditional “how-to,” I am also happy to talk about how to apply materials other than wool or techniques beyond the basic loop to your individual design if you are inspired to do so. This differs from my telling or showing you “what to do” as this project is going to be deeply personal ,and you are the intuitive expert on its creation.

I will offer a closed Facebook group for workshop attendees who want to continue interacting as they finish their projects and can provide ongoing support and resources through completion.”

Materials needed:

  • Pencil and sharpener
  • Eraser
  • (Optional) Images you may want to work with/phone or tablet camera
  • Medium to large sketching paper – can be pieced together if needed
  • Notebook for writing
  • Fine tip Sharpie
  • Quilting square is helpful
  • Ruler, if no square
  • Hoop or frame
  • Rug hook

Snip scissors

Variety of colors and textures in wool and/or fiber

18” x 18” (suggested) or some other size serged/zigzagged/taped rug foundation

Cutter or some way to cut wool/fiber

(Optional) Calligraphy or art paper and pens Class Fee: $45 US
For more information or to register, please contact Elizabeth Miller at parrishousewoolworks@gmail.com.
Elizabeth Miller is the owner and artisan at the Parris House Wool Works in Paris, Maine. She has taught workshops at numerous locations, including at the Squam Art Workshops, and the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village. Her work has been featured in Rug Hooking Magazine and Making Magazine, and she has a line of originally designed, hand-hooked, home decor items available through the Beekman 1802 Mercantile in Sharon Springs, NY. You can learn more about Elizabeth at her website www.parrishousewoolworks.com. Her upcoming book, Heritage Skills for Modern Living: Seasons at the Parris House is available for pre-order through her website as well as on Amazon.

INTUITIVE DESIGN with Meryl Cook
Thursday, October 29, 2020, at 1:00 pm-4:00 pm EASTERN

Join Meryl Cook as she shares her intuitive design process. In this class we will explore creative journaling (writing and sketching) as a means to create designs from within. This workshop will appeal to artists wanting to stretch their design muscles and to those wishing to explore a unique approach to journaling. You will learn: creative journaling methods for unblocking creativity and how to use your journal to create simple, intuitive designs.

These designs can be translated to your rug hooking or to any artistic medium. No need to be a rug hooker, all are welcome. Be prepared to have fun and leave with practical tools for journaling and an intuitive design.
Materials needed: a journal (or paper), pens or pencils and a sense of adventure. Highly recommended is Meryl’s second book, One Loop at a Time, The Creativity Workbook. Class fee: $45 US (approximately $59.14 Canadian as of September 9).

For more information or to register, please contact Meryl Cook at meryl@merylcook.ca. Payable by e- transfer within Canada to meryl@merylcook.ca or by PayPal if outside Canada. Class limit of 12 students.

Meryl Cook, artist, author, speaker and facilitator, specializes in connecting people with their creativity. Her corporate work focuses on engagement and well-being. Recent corporate clients include Nova Scotia Department of Environment Water Branch, Service Nova Scotia & Internal Services and Argyle Fine Art.

She is a sought after teacher in the journal writing and fibre arts communities. As an artist, colour, texture, joy and self-compassion are the key features of Meryl’s beautifully crafted hooked rugs and her books about her journey from homeopath to artist and journal writer. Meryl’s home studio is in Dartmouth, where she hooks and spins looking out at the Halifax Harbour.

Meryl is the author of One Loop at a Time, a story of rug hooking, healing and creativity and One Loop at a Time, the Creativity Workbook- both of which can be purchased from her website, www.merylcook.ca.

BUILD A BABY BOUCHEROUITE with Laura Salamy

Friday, October 30, 2020 at 1:00pm EASTERN for approximately 2.5-3 hours in length.

Boucherouites are having their day! They’re so trendy that you can’t look at a Better Home and Gardens magazine or watch an HGTV show without seeing them.

The Berber tribe of Morocco have been creating Boucherouites, one-of-a-kind, hand-knotted rugs, since the mid-20th century. Traditionally, they’re made using old clothes and other textile scraps. They’re a pretty freestyle form of expression often looking as if the weaver started with one color scheme and pattern, got bored, and moved onto something else. They’re fun in a colorful, spontaneous way and are easily adaptable to rug hooking.

In this workshop you’ll design your own “Baby Boucherouite” rug and start to hook it with textile scraps you have on hand be they cotton clothing, old bedsheets, and/or leftover wool noodles. The sky’s the limit! We’ll also discuss how to prepare, cut, and hook with non-wool materials.

This class is designed for a student proficient at rug hooking basics, particularly the mechanics of pulling loops through a backing. You need not own a cutter to participate (or even to hook rugs!).

Because this is an online workshop, students will supply their own materials.

Materials needed: Hooks; Backing of choice, enough to allow for a rectangular mat at least 12” by 6”;
A frame; A pencil (or “magic” pen) and Sharpie (we’ll draw rugs straight onto the backing); Fibers of choice (wool, yarn, old clothing/textiles, whatever); and

A mind and spirit open to experimenting and FUN. Class Fee: $45 US
For more information or to register please contact Laura Salamy at Laura@highonhooking.com. Class limit of 12 students.

Laura Salamy is the hooker behind High on Hooking. I’ve never been a “traditional” hooker, preferring to color outside of hooking’s more “typical lines.” Instead of limiting myself to wool, I prefer to use most any material I can get my hands on. Often that means cutting strips from old t-shirts and bed sheets. Up-cycling throw-aways to art is a priority for me. Our landfills are filling up. Or they’re already full. While certain projects benefit from virgin wools or other fibers, I like to do my little part to slow that process and make something lovely at the same time.

Laura’s work has been seen in various exhibits as well as Rug Hooking Magazine; ATHA Art of Rug Hooking magazine; Karen D. Miller’s book Eyes Open to the World: Memories of Travel in Wool; and Judy Taylor’s T-Shirt Treasures: Creating Heirloom Hooked Rugs from the Humble T-Shirt. She currently serves as President of the Adobe Wool Art’s Guild, New Mexico’s only rug hooking guild.
Learn more about her work at https://highonhooking.com.

We look forward to this exciting week filled with energy, experiments and experiences to share. Sessions are filling as each instructor has sent the information to their mailing lists.

Achieving goals by a different path

Challenging self is part of living. As the restrictions to travel developed in 2020 I took some time to evaluate my dreams. Hiking the full 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail topped the list. Time to observe nature, leave external voices behind, reflect and connect with self were elements the journey would offer. But for me I admitted thru hiking would not happen. In 2020, the system was closed due to the pandemic to many others who hoped to set out. I made my own trail.

I had wanted to connect the traditional random woven rag rugs we had from family members with rug hooking in a design and found a long narrow map of the Appalachian Trail which fit this concept. Two runners of linen each 59″ x 19″ were marked with the trail blazes, major river paths, and geographical sections. I pulled wools from inventory and sorted them into seasonal colored piles to become strips ready for the hook and finally 107,616 loops.

Over the next two months I hooked away in the studio, daily posting progress shots on my Instagram page ArtWools, Susan L Feller. The encouragement from followers included stories of their own experiences with the trail. Some lived close by. As I got to that spot I thought about them, even inserting a favorite color. As the seasons changed from cool colorful spring into warmer summer I switched piles of wool intermingling the colors as I imagined would be happening in the higher elevations and warmer valleys.

The typical 6 month journey on foot may have not been physically experienced but I have a visual personal reminder. The two rugs look complete individually and can join together seamlessly. They even look interesting side by side which has lead me to think of a seasonal rug perhaps 36 x 60. In the exhibit ‘Journeys’ at Beckley Art Center, the label reads commission work would be entertained. The New River would be an interesting subject exploring one season for each panel (smaller than the runners though). Endless ideas and still lots of time in the studio.

Installed as part of exhibit at Lost River Trading Post in Wardensville, the two together step up the wall as I had envisioned. Or they can be enjoyed walking along a hallway.

The runners were displayed at Sauder Village during the 25th Rug Hooking Week in August. The Wisconsin Museum of Quilt and Fiber Arts have selected them as part of the first exhibit solely featuring rug hooking “Hooked by Design” Dec 9 – February 20, 2022. A catalog will accompany this show.

You want to exhibit -why,where,HOW

Just off a live talk In the Studio through Karen D Miller Studio where the topic of exhibiting fiber art was discussed. This post provides links for your own research and success.

Build a body of work by practicing, experimenting, critiquing and doing. Join arts organizations, regional museums, subscribe to trade media, and network with peers. FiberArtNow.net , Handweavers Guild WeaveSpinDye.org , RugHookingMagazine.com , SurfaceDesign.org . Participate in events, conferences, social media pages and groups created by fiber artists.

We select shows, events for a variety of reasons. The theme might interest you especially if it addresses the focus of your work. Who is the juror? Read their bio and the venue’s mission statement to identify the audience. How do you select what to submit? Excellent photos according to the specifics requested, the best work and, if multiple entries, be consistent in style the jurors and organization will recognize your work in the future. Location of the show might influence entry. Can you hand deliver a large piece? Is shipping an added expense? Will the work be insured on site? What is the sales commission? Is there a catalog in print and online? What are the events planned – reception, gallery talks, workshops, online exhibit, social media promotion?

Preparing work for public view and sale is different than showing to your local guild. Will the utilitarian rug be hung? What does the space require – sleeve and rod, wired to hang, professionally framed with closed back and wired to hang. Pricing should be researched and consistent. Your retail pricing must consider gallery commissions rather than adding the percentage when the piece is entered. Label the work including title, your name and contact, materials and techniques. A brief statement telling your story would be helpful for agents and the person who purchases your work. I include “Working with fibers connects me with the spirits from past generations of artisans. Due to the slow process of my craft, there is time to dwell on the natural subjects and materials I have selected. Now living in West Virginia, I have come full circle-back to the farm and rural lifestyle of my youth. I hope you think about your impact on the beauty conveyed in my art.”

Writing an Artist Statement is as important as making the work. There are several versions requested: short, a paragraph or two introducing the collection or work’s basic ideas and describing how they are addressed in the particular piece. In a larger version (under one page) your voice talks with the audience, how they should view the work, how it relates to overall direction, artists who influence you, the importance of a technique or material. This link gives more specifics and includes samples. Read other artist’s statements and juror’s reviews.

embroidery, quilting, rughooking, braiding, applique’ Girl Scout badges from 1963-1973, wool, cotton

The entry and my statement for Iconic ERA:

STITCH, 2017 at Claypool-Young Art Gallery, Morehead State College, KY

Working with my hands, identifying the materials through touch, sight and sound centers me. Growing up in rural America in 1960-70’s make-do skills were daily lessons. Sewing, crochet, knitting and crafts were taught by my grandmother and mother. Girl Scouting broadened the life learning knowledge developing me into a caring individual.
Iconic ERA is autobiographical. A psychedelic hooked mat is the base for the 1970’s iconic ERA logo. I circled this with my own Girl Scout badges placing the gold edged ones so if connected in the center they would create a PEACE sign. The striped fabric honors acceptance of all people. I used thin lettering of embroidery for the message “We all can vote for equality” to offset the powerful design.
This is one in a series of three exploring equality. The others can be seen at ArtWools.com/Gallery

Did you get accepted or rejected? If the latter how do you react? I often enter knowing my work will at least be viewed by some new critics. If it is rejected I will attend if possible, buy the catalog or view the selections online evaluating the results and learning. Observations from people I interviewed for this talk mentioned more fiber art being entered in art shows than a decade ago. That is good for the field and should raise our efforts to continue innovations, developing style, materials and entering professional images. If the positive is yes how will you promote this opportunity? Update your website/resume with image of the work, links to the venue, local and professional media announcements, attend the opening, talk with artists and audience and follow up with those conversations. Follow the deadlines to deliver work, labeling and packing for shipment, include return shipping payment.

What type of shows are there? How do you find them? Besides actively searching listings for shows on CaFE – CallForEntry.org, FiberArtNow.net/Submissions, GlobalTextileHub.com/ , RugHookingMagazine’s Celebrations and being juried there are other opportunities. Invitational – a curator will work with a venue or develop a theme for traveling shows and invite a group of participants who fill the overall theme. It may be all fiber, or statewide artists, work fitting a theme or the space. This is where networking is important. I have been a resident of West Virginia for two decades, entering annual and bi-annual art shows, participating in arts organizations and received invite to a major exhibit just two years ago. The solo show at Beckley Art Center is a result of my showing with a WV Public Broadcasting program and having a unique technique. Online social media and print opportunities are also avenues to get exposure. Many publications have active media platforms including weekend take overs of their accounts. Check out Fiber Art Now

If you are coordinating an exhibit here is helpful ADA guidelines in creating labels that the viewer can see….. see specifically 703.5 Basically the lettering should be 5/8″ tall, san-serif with first line bold, and no italics

Thank you to the following artists whose experiences are reflected in the above advice: Meryl Cook, Linda Rae Coughlin, Cheryl Ryan Harshman, Tracy Jamar, Lori LaBerge, Kris McDermet , Robby Moore, Executive Director of Beckley Art Center, and a special thanks to Karen D Miller Studio for coordinating this series In the Studio. All the best to fiber artists submitting and spreading the visuals of our techniques.

Visit my work everyday at ArtWools.com

Journeys announcement
inspiration for hooked artwork

Inspired to Collaborate

A photo came on my screen and I thought…that would be interesting to interpret with my techniques. I reached out to West Virginia potter and Tamarack Foundation For the Arts Fellow Hannah Lenhart for permission. Her response was “I was flattered and very excited! The original image happened because I was sanding and washing pots and setting them out to dry. I found all the “butts” super pretty so I arranged them for a photo. It’s cool knowing that someone else found the image as interesting as I did.” (Hannah and I have both received fellowship grants from TFA, she in 2018 as an Emerging Artist and I as a Master in 2013).

One of her vases became the “pattern” for 4″ circular shapes on graph paper to space them in ordered randomness. When I drew out with pencil, sharpened the lines with magic marker it was ready to use the lightbox and transfer to linen backing as a 24 x 20 design. THEN bags of wools came out, organized in color families with patterns and solids abounding to cut into strips. The variety of black and white squiggles and lines Hannah incorporates in her work were fun to interpret with high contrasting tweeds, plaids and checks. To get the color playing with black I used a technique called “beading” where two high contrasting strips of wool travel along, each contributing a loop in an alternating fashion.

I looked back at the image only once for a reminder on how the bottoms (butts) were decorated. Each has the signature HL and often a pattern of lines with the coloring of the mug evident. How was I going to make my circles unique? Of course my upholstery samples pile served up a wonderful variety to be cut and applique’d. Most were embroidered using Wendy Clark’s thrums to attach the piece with abstract lines enhancing the fabric’s design.

Isolation and time to “visit” the internet has lead to many advertisements being deleted but one came along just at the right time from Renaissance Ribbons. I found a ribbon with squares that could be used as a border and ordered it right away. After stitching the finished work to black cotton and folding the edge as a plain border the ribbon was added and definitely pulled the piece together.

hooked fabric strips, embroidery on upholstery fabric, inspired by Hannah Lenhart’s pottery with ribbon border

When I sent this photo to Hannah she replied “Audible gasp! (haha).  I’m a lover of color and pattern and I love how you played around so much with both! Also there is so much detail. This piece must have taken so many hours! A labor of love, much like ceramics. “ It has been fun knowing I was creating work imagined by someone else yet ending up with a unique signature piece. Here are our monograms in the rug.

The last step will be to see this with some of Hannah’s mugs set on top. When we can get together again that image will happen. It has been interesting collaborating by internet, glad we each have also met in person. Check out Hannah’sClayCreations.com and enjoy a cup of joy with us.

If you are interested in collaborating consider GlobalTextileHub.com and their next exhibition Collaborate/Re-Imagine Call for Entry, one artist needs to work with fibers the other any media…. commitment due Sept 30 and work submitted online by April of 2021. Virtual exhibit premiers in August 2021. See the prospectus here

Recycling leads to Networking

My roots in Girl Scouting guides choices even in this decade of my life. Using scraps from another maker helps them clear space, lowers my expenses and increases a supply of materials but especially helps the earth … limiting landfill growth.  We recycled in the 1960’s now it is called up-cycling and the Girl Scout motto includes “Make new friends and keep the old”, I definitely have expanded the artist network with this quest.

Wendy Clark is a fiber artist, weaving her hand-dyed threads/yarns into scarves, shawls and baby wraps through her company Wenweave in the mountains of West Virginia. She collects thrums (warp threads tied off between pieces) for me into garbage sized bags and then we meet up for the exchange. I get her “rats nest“ and we some inspiring conversation. One visit the talking lead to collaborating on a project. Hours after I have organized the threads they are ready to be hooked and embroidered into what I call my Thread Collection.  Here are a couple from that series, the full collection will be available at Beckley Art Center during my exhibit August 7-October 17, 2020.

In future workshops bundles of these colorful threads will be shared with students and go out in the world of creatives spreading our mutual friendship and love for sharing.
I send off the snippets from my work to a spinner who incorporates them into colorful yarn. Zero Waste!

Visit Wendy’s site Wenweave.com and see her work in person at Tamarack, in Beckley, WV