Jo Franco and Judy Stephens are literally worldwide travelers in search of rug hooking tools, contacts and inspiration. We met in Wales four years ago during the Tri-Ennial of TIGHR (the International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers). I went home to the States as President for the next three years and they headed home to Australia having asked: ” What can we do to spread rughooking?”
Fast track to 2009 and these two, along with Miriam Miller and Jacqui Thomson became the next Board for TIGHR at the Louisville, KY Tri-Ennial. While on the road members of this group visited suppliers, artists and friends in the States, Canadian rugmakers, attended a retreat in the UK, and worked at a project involving sight impaired rug hookers in Gambia.
Jo and Judy teach both Australian techniques in rugmaking incorporating aboriginal basketmaking and proddy popularized by the English immigrants along with, in Jo’s case, being McGown Certified in traditional styles.
Visit their website ausrugcrafters.com to see more work, and supplies available in Australia for rug hookers.