Tag Archives: “rug camp”

Sauder Village 2010

Last year we thought all the forces had gathered at Sauder Village in Archbold, OH for the Rug Hooking Week in a “perfect storm”. Well this year the exhibit was even better.

Ruckman Mill Farm at Sauder Village 21010

Starting with the pinnacle of inspiration: Noah’s Ark and the collection of works by Mary Sheppard Burton and Leonard Feenan as the featured exhibit.  Although Mary had recently passed away, the retrospective included personal pieces never seen to the very last piece she was working on, being completed by her grand daughter, Jennifer Zamato who was in attendance.

Kathy Wright the event coordinator for Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village, pulled together several small collections including six rugs hooked by members of a close network.  Each rug included elements worked by every one of the  members.  The owner started their rug and others knew the recipient well enough to either go along with their “likes” or play with this, responding directly to the work already on the piece. The visual step by step evolution of the rugs provided along side, added to viewers appreciation of the process.

Jim and I were thrilled with the turnout again, thousands annually make their treks to what is becoming, after fourteen years, the premier annual exhibit of hooked rugs in the United States.  Friends who only see us here, to workshop attendees over the past year visited, shared their works and went home with more colorful wools, or new patterns.

We were invited back for the 15th Annual Rug Hooking Week, August 15-20, 2011. Go to www.saudervillage.com  and review the Hooked Rug Week Special Events

Loyalist College and Belleville Ontario, Welcoming

This was my second year instructing on the staff of Loyalist College in Belleville, ON, Canada. Again an inspiring group of students, who kept me working them for five full days.  I have enjoyed traveling and seeing how different groups approach rughooking studies.  The Canadian’s are serious and dedicated to improving their skills.

The new director of Continuing Studies is Holly Cockeline, who come to find out hails from Nova Scotia where she was exposed to rughooking by association with Dianne Fitzpatrick.  Seems from her interest during the week she will be pulling a few loops again in her new home.

This workshop centered around the basics : Elements and Principles of Design. We gradually built on these concepts using small 5 inch mats and the same materials.  By mid week the suggestion for next year’s lesson plan was to zero in on VALUE.  Everyone mentioned and showed me with their pieces that the session helped them see, and grow in their art. 

Registration opens in mid February,

Colorful inspirations Hollyhocks

While in Belleville, the residents of the Dormitories (myself included) entertained ourselves with sidetrips.  Pictured are Andrea and Peggy at the honor system seed box for wild hollyhocks. We travelled to the far eastern side of gorgeous, artistic Prince Edward County one evening in search of these flowers.

Stopped along the way in one of the towns for very local ice cream… delicious. Then saw the Lake on the Mountain, an unexplained phenonomen (high above the water line of waterway)… and ended up eating dinner at a Tim Horton’s.

There was a great seafood restaurant in Belleville on Sydney Street just north of the bridge (would be on your right if heading north immediately after coming over the bridge) Name escapes me right now.

Heirlooms Rug School

The Blair’s (Fred, Nancy and extended family) conducted another successful and fun week of rughooking in Holland MI.  Again the site was the hospitable Haworth Inn and Conference Center with 9 instructors and a full house of students. 

The fifteen who enrolled in the Fraktur Design Workshop with me produced (with minimal encouragement on my part) unique and personal designs. With five days to dedicate to the patterns, each evolved before my eyes, satisfying me with colorful motifs.  A big thank you to all, looking forward to seeing the completed pieces on display.

Happy Students and Instructor (center in green)


Next year will be the 5th Annual Heirlooms Rug School and registrations are open now.  Although I won’t be an instructor (two year rotation rule) there are great people to select from. Contact Nancy Blair at thhkrugs@alteco.net or phone her at 616-895-6378

Green Mountain Design Workshop 2010

Orange/Blue, Red/Green and Samples

A full class with beginners and very experienced rughookers settled in on Friday, June 4 for three days experimenting with the design elements and principles at the 29th Green Mountain Hooked Rugs School in East Randolph VT.  Each lesson plan’s end result was a five inch square hooked using materials and exercises to understand the particular elements or principles. 

Colorful Explorations began with a neutral bundle of wools in a warm palette of natural to deep brown.  There were solids and textured wools and the lesson was to use the basic elements of line, shape and form to create a simple composition.

Next we introdced a 6 value swatch from Dorr Mill Store.  The color choices were from the primaries: red, blue or yellow and their complements: green, orange and purple. And the lesson was to work with contrast, and value to enhance the depth of a shape.

Yellow/Purple and Hooked mats by Susan Feller

Third lesson the participants chose four pieces of wool from the color they had and its complement.  This pile included several values of solids and three different textured wools.  Each time they were encouraged to delve into their own scrap bags to suplement the wools.  My bag had been previously sorted by color families and was also well scavenged.

Fourth, put all you learned together and if you want to add as many colors, values, textures you want.

I can conduct this workshop in modules of three hours each, and have a 5 day lesson plan which will be used at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario in July.  Interested in your guild playing with small hooked pieces and learning more about how to design and colorplan? Contact me at 304-496-8073 or through the website.  http://www.RuckmanMillFarm.com  (see pages over on the right hand side)

Where did May go?

Today is already the 9th of June.  Since the last posting, I have been to Ripley, West Virginia for the 45th Cedar Lakes Rug Camp run by the Blairs of Tomorrow’s Heirlooms  for a full week of teaching, home for a few days and most recently off to Vermont to the 29th Green Mountain Hooked Rug School at Vermont Technical College in East Randolph, Vermont.  This school is conducted by Stephanie Ashworth-Krauss assisted by her daughters and staff.

To catch up, the week at Cedar Lakes I taught Fraktur Design to 14 talented people, all of whom their own rug pattern by lunch on the first day.  The templates and books along with my encouragement with ideas help anyone, even those who say they can’t draw a straight line.  Truthfully, those are the people who I am most proud of when we see their results. 

This great bird detail is from Susan Latham’s rug, her third hooked project.

Beginning of a wedding rug

Ohio Rug Camp

Twelve really fun people and I were scheduled for the Parlour Room at Punderson State Park.  The rambling stone structure included a wide but spiraling staircase and our class space … up in “heaven”.  Our view of the lake allowed peacefulness, and the thrill one evening of seeing a Bald Eagle soar over the waters. 

Another successful and very creative workshop designing their own patterns using the Frakturs as inspirations.  With my templates and extensive library of colorful collections each student (even those who “couldn’t draw a straight line with a ruler”) had a unique design on paper by lunch on the first day! 

Ohio Rug Camp 2010 great group!

For anyone who is considering the design workshop… please sign up for the next one near you (see www.RuckmanMillFarm.com calendar). I am sure you will enjoy it and learn how to use this design resource  to create many patterns.

April and we are off to the camps

From the middle of November until sometime in February I am usually homebound. The creative juices run, snow falls outside (lots this winter) and Jim and I get to spend time togther.  But now the rug camps and schools begin in earnest.  Just returned from a fantastic experience at the Puget Sound Rug School in Federal Way, Washington State. Coordinators Diane Learmonth and Michele Wise knew there was something missing in the Pacific NorthWest and filled the niche.  Three great teachers, myself, Jule Marie Smith and Katie Rainwater, loads of interested students and the lovely Puget Sound right out the windows.  They are doing it again next March.  I will add the contact information.

Manipulating Fibers Collection March 2010

My workshop included eleven courageous and talented women who went out on a limb “site unseen” with me and really had a creative time.  The topic was Manipulating Fibers… bring all the tools you have to do just that, and I will too.  Every one was busy from the first moment and continued through several projects over the three days.  We used the hand dyed (artwools) as inspiration to select a palette, or designs to enhance.  There was a mosaic frame that then had simple hooked, felted and beaded work created to enhance it.  A work in progress which will give the viewer the feeling of looking down into the shallow sea to colorful starfish and urchins.  Trees and sea splashing waves, birds with feathers of wool, flapping in the wind and so much more.  Looking forward to being able to post this group’s finished pieces on a page of their own.