Tag Archives: Sauder Village

Mountaineers talk about Passion-Rughooking

Susan Feller and June Myles presented gallery talks at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week. As West Virginians each appreciate the heritage involved in rughooking and have been featured in WV Living Magazine with their work.

Discussing Marion Sachs’ interpretation of David Galchutt’s art

The topic of Susan’s talk was pointing out the elements and principles of design in the winning entries for Celebrations 27, published by Rug Hooking Magazine. She has been included in three Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs issues and a judge, her work has been juried into several contemporary Hooked Art collections. Author of Design Basics for Rug Hookers, Stackpole Books 2011, her advice has helped many create their own “Great rug.” Involved in promoting the traditions carried on by artistic contemporaries, Susan teaches and lectures worldwide, and is a member of TIGHR, McGown and Surface Design.


hooked with wool fabric or yarn juried work. Celebrations 27

June on right during talk

June has been hooking since 1988. She is a graduate of Hollins University in Virginia with a degree in physics, and spent her junior year abroad at the Sorbonne in Paris. She has maintained her interest in science as well as art, serving for three decades as a docent at the American Museum of Natural History. She is the artist and author of the Men Only book and hooked rug collection. The stories June shared about how she selected a newspaper clipping saved for decades, or woodblock from children’s book as subject were encouraging to the audience as resources. She described the variety of materials and techniques used to finish the edges from old chestnut frame by a friendly carpenter to the right beads accenting an Afghanistan fellow.

Attendees said participating in the gallery talks at Sauder Village adds to the learning process for the full exhibit. We encourage you all to take advantage of a docent lead discussion on your next museum visit.

Made by Men theme at Rug Hooking Week

The coordinator of Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village, Archbold, OH is Kathy Wright and her name describes the results every year. 2017 brings attention to the minority gender in the domestic traditional craft of rugmaking — MEN. Exhibits of hooked work by contemporary artists and historical gentlemen alongside of those who manufactured the tools and supplies, the collectors, tradesmen, promoters and restorers will be on display through Saturday August 19.

There are individual displays for each of the men  along with the full collection of over 600 pieces. A story behind each and every item, and I have met many of them in person this week. It has only just begun.









2016’s influence

It’s time to look back, review, evaluate and gather inspiration from the people, places and things on my journey of 2016.

With students and friends while gathering for a few days of immersion in our mutual interests…fiber arts on the Puget Sound, retreating in Hampshire County WV and South Carolina, teaching in Maryland and Ohio at Sauder Village and lectures at Schwenkfelder Library, Pennsburg PA inspired me as much as my encouraging their design skills. Working with Alissa Novoselick and Emma Pepper developing an arts conference in WV; participating in an exhibit curated by Roslyn Logsdon in Maryland; promoting the McDonald Sisters of Gilmer County to thousands; and handing off a legacy to Green Mountain Hooked Rugs exposed me to new skills and supportive people.

Big city Seattle, arts filled Asheville, rural Summerville Georgia,  Thomas, WV population 600 and the beauty of nature along trails in Fayetteville, Seneca Rocks, and Harpers Ferry are places remembered in my sketch books and beginning to appear in fibers.

We gather objects to remember places and people especially collecting them from fellow artists. I like to wear jewelry made by artist friends when traveling, it is as much of an ambassador as I am. We often photograph our flowers in the art vases, new artwork hanging on log walls, and even show great food on our trips sharing our experiences with an “extended family”. Thank you to Kate Harward, Ginger Danz, Christine Keller, Norma Acord, Donald Stone, Wendy Clark, Rebecca Wudarski, Mountain Daughter Metalworks, Bruce Wilson and Marilyn Bottjer for your talent we live with daily.

I am planning to explore places, interact with friends and react to artwork daily in 2017, perhaps we will meet up on our journeys and share some experiences.

Revealing Squares

4-24-14 Positive Negative; hooked

4-24-14 Positive Negative; hooked

I am thrilled to announce the administrative work is completed and you can virtually explore the Year Study – square by square.  Review the exhibit here online.

From November 2013, through November 2014 the  individual squares are listed for sale at squareup.com/store/Susan-Feller-ArtWools select STORE then the month you are interested in or scroll through. Sold pieces are not listed on the sale site but you can still study them at www.ArtWools.com/year-study.

Looking forward to conversations in person, here online and through articles about creativity, process and product.

Premiering Year Study at Sauder

Year Study Journals

Year Study Journals

One month to go! The prep work is administrative now – scanning journal pages, photographing, cropping and uploading images and creating labels for the only public exhibit of all 365+ squares.  The YEAR STUDY will be hung as twelve panels (months) at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week in Archbold, OH August 12-15. On Saturday morning I am conducting a gallery talk, sign up for this or enjoy the visuals while at the show.

The variety of techniques, materials and composition styles are sure to encourage fiber artists. Taking the time to educate myself with these elements has been more important than I first expected.  As an artist there are times when everything clicks and volumes of pieces are the results.  The satisfaction of sales and ease in making similar work just keeps flowing along.

BUT I have observed the spark of the artist does not end up in every one of their pieces. Back in my college days when a roll of photographs was taken there was probably only one or maybe two which were great, artists know when the object has a soul.

Working in uncertainty everyday to create a visual record was helpful to learn how to communicate visually.  Besides improving drawing skills I learned to simplify, enhance shapes, use colors and values to direct the viewer. Using a variety of techniques within one square, I have been able to create interest in a small object.

Several themes are haunting me and the studio has been reorganized, purged of clutter and is ready to be used for creativity. While cutting up the panels and adding the finishing to each square is still ahead, knowing they will be purchased and enjoyed by others makes this step enjoyable along with educational.

Finishing up the Study

March 23 I finished the last month in the Year Study.  That is not to mean every single square is completed but I can say there is an end in sight and the twelve panels will be ready for Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week August 11-15 in Archbold, OH.

Visit Year Study – Collection Gallery to see the months and individual squares.  Over time the full project will be uploaded.

August 2014 nine squares

August 2014 nine squares

Lessons learned? Sketch and complete each subject at least within the month.  I jumped around and when busy with teaching stopped working on the pieces until months later.  The creative momentum was lost for a particular design or a techniqueI had suggested did not interest me when it came around to doing that square. So I changed it.

I still procrastinate.  Although deadlines are met, I prioritize the projects and decide whether a commitment is worth pursuing or can be shelved.  This one will be completed because I told many people, it has been accepted as an exhibit, I am happy with the results, the documentation will be useful in future articles, workshops and the direction of my artwork practices.

Color studies

Color studies

Solution:  Independent study with one person as student and advisor means goals or methods can be changed to meet the situation.  Stay positive do not chastise, evolve. I changed some designs from original sketch.  There were days with no sketches which I used to explore a series with pleasure.  I got through by breaking the 365+pieces  down into segments of a each month.

Results: When the project began I thought it would be rewarding to explore new techniques in surface design.  Now 18 months later and counting, that goal was met and I have set another one: to educate. During the year photographs were taken when changes were made to a piece.  I will write a series of articles describing the process, challenges and solutions.  In future posts and the pages on the site under Year Study, mini courses will develop and a dialog with viewers.  I found using social media helpful for encouragement, directed critique and developing an interested audience.

Progress in the Mountains, Susan L. Feller 2014

Progress in the Mountains, Susan L. Feller 2014

There is an urge to work on larger pieces finally.  Abstract, geometric, simplified palettes, and environmental stories are the styles and subjects which will be developed.


To be continued. I am glad to be on this creative journey with you.

Class topics in 2014

I just reviewed photos from workshops this year.  Many lessons were taught, dozens of lessons learned, and plans were made for next year ….  all reasons why I teach.  See the calendar for workshop sites in 2015.

Alta Vista Golf Course, site of workshop

Alta Vista Golf Course, site of workshop


I flew to Mesa Arizona in January right in-between the coldest spells in West Virginia.  People came down from South Dakota to escape the cold and others ‘wintered’ in sunny Arizona.  The projects were colorful and three days went too quickly.



The class at Cedar Lakes Rug School was filled with sixteen eager students.  Some had finally signed up with me after a few years of seeing work by other students and others repeated with new projects and goals.  At the end of the week, I complimented them all, referring to this session as a Masters Class.  I was challenged, they contributed and every project was well on its way to being a great piece.  I am teaching here again next year, email Nancy Blair at  thhkrugs@altelco.net   for details.

The topic at Green Mountain Rug Hooking School in Vermont was the Moods of Color.  We did get to hooking designs based on a mood the participants brought  but began the three days with several exercises.  On the blackboard each posted a word under one of six colors.  Before looking farther what would you say about Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple?

Manistee Rug School in Onekama, MI is coordinated by a guild rather than a business.  Volunteers for every job join together bringing in the new members and adapting each year to the needs of all.  This was a repeat for me, the first time was in 2011.  I made a point to dine with a different instructor each evening, making new friends and delving deeper into old friendships.  The class included beginners, pattern designers, experimenters, folk painters and abstract artists.  Diverse and challenging, their projects evolved well over the week.

Sauder Village Rug Week is in Archbold, OH is in its 18th year.  Ruckman Mill Farm vended again right next to Dorr Mill Store in the Exhibit Hall where we enjoyed the Celebration rugs and special collection of Esther and Judy Knipe.  The workshop I taught covered a wide variety of ways for Finishing Hooked Rugs, (title of new book by experts in each technique… including a chapter on finishing work for gallery exhibits by me).  We used the exhibit to explore finishes, talked about the appropriate new technique for students work and using a small sample “learned” three techniques.  Response from the students was to offer this again.  Look for class schedules at SauderVillage.org in early November.  I will be teaching several different classes all week.

Susan L. Feller, Ruckman Mill Farm

Susan L. Feller, Ruckman Mill Farm


Collections at Sauder Village

The 18th Annual Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village, Archbold, OH is over, preserved in memories and digital snaps.  THE event for fiber enthusiasts will happen again August 12-15, 2015.  Bookmark SauderVillage.org and check in early November for schedule of workshops, vendors and featured exhibits.

Thank you to Rug Hooking Magazine and Sauder Village for sponsoring this show and congratulations to Event Coordinator Kathy Wright.  Look forward to old and new friends next year.

These images capture my digital highlights, the mind is overwhelmed by hundreds more.

Zodiac Collection at Sauder Village 2012

The 16th Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village, Archbold, OH is over and plans are being finalized for the next one August 14-17, 2013.  Below is the entire Zodiac Collection of hooked art (approximately 18″ x 26″) published in Rug Hooking Magazine J/F 2012 as it was presented for thousands of visitors.  Congratulations to the designers: Aries, Mariah Krauss, VT; Taurus, Patti Armstrong, Ontario,CN; Gemini, Sara Judith, British Columbia, CN; Cancer, Diane Learmonth, WA; Leo, Linda Rae Coughlin, NJ; Virgo, Francine Even, CT; Libra, Yvonne Autie, UK; Scorpio, Susan Feller, WV; Sagittarius, Jennifer Larmour, NY; Capricorn, Natasha Chan, IN; Aquarius, Jo Franco, W Australia; Pisces, Andrea Sheppard, Ontario, CN

Zodiac Collection Fiber Artists from Around the World

Twelve fiber artists selected by Susan L. Feller for their innovative designs and in some cases young energy, depict the Zodiac signs in hooked works.  The collection is published in Rug Hooking Magazine’s Jan/Feb 2012 issue.

Virgo, by Francine Even, CT, USA

Seeing the pieces in the magazine and reading the thought processes is one thing but actually viewing all twelve works and meeting some of the artists can be done by attending Sauder Village’s 16th Rug Hooking Week in Archbold, Ohio. The event is Wednesday-Saturday, August 15-18.  Susan will lead a gallery walk with fellow artists during the exhibit.  See events, workshops or sign up when you arrive.