Tag Archives: workshop

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

Way Up North

Cobourg, Ontario, Canada- A total of 63 hours from farm to event to farm again and what an intense experience.  The 44th OHCG Annual Conference “Hooked on the Waterfront” was held in Cobourg, Ontario April 29-May 2, 2010.  Attended by 305 of the 863 members from chapters around the province of Ontario and members at large. includind one day workshops, mini sessions, general meeting and an awesome exhibit of over 600 rugs surrounded by thirteen colourful vendors this event was coordinated by five of the chapters along the northern shore of Lake Ontario.

I picked up Deb Smith, Editor of Rug Hooking Magazine early on Friday, just outside of Harrisburg, PA and we continued the easy commute (but long) up I81 crossing the border at 1000 Islands Bridge and hooking up onto the 401 going West to Cobourg.  We arrived and checked in to an organized and cheerful group.  The evening ice breaker was a mini lighthouse sketched on burlap with precut strips, which we hooked while chatting with Yvonne Muntwylier (Past President of TIGHR 2000-2003) and a brand new member/rughooker Karen.  Yvonne is full of creative juices and her excitement along with our encouragement assured Karen she was on a great journey as retirement loomed next year.

There were many familiar faces and the large name tags helped make the personal connections.  Deb was introduced to the entire audience the next day, as the members at large were asked to state where we were from.

We were off to the exhibit and vendors by 10:30 entering the show with open mouths and cameras flashing for hours.  The display system is cumbersome to assemble using chains dropped from the top rod, and sliding dowels through the links with balanced rugs. The final effect is a great exhibit.  This year the backdrop used black drapes, and each chapter was responsible for their section.

I was looking for works which caught my eyeto include in the upcoming book and took many photos to hunt down the artists.  Many of the students at Loyalist College last summer had completed their fraktur designs and hung them.  It was so much fun to come across each while looking at the full exhibit.  Even a design by Nancy Jewett, of Fluff and Peachy Designs was there, and I took a photo to send off to her.

A tribute to Germaine James included almost twenty of her works and a photo collage.  Terri James attended the full weekend, talking with friends and enjoying the close friendship.

The vendors were busy all day, filled with colourful wools and supplies. 

Andrea Sheppard and I took Patti Armstrong’s workshop “Working with Alternatives” which was an economical dip into the recycled materials way beyond just recycled woolen clothing.  Since Patti is allergic to wool, it burns her skin on contact, she tries any item which can be pulled through the backing, from shoe laces to pantyhose (dissecting even the heavy waistband into two strips sometimes).  It was a fun quick study for an hour, jumping into the small kit she had assembled for us with plastic bags for the sheep bodies, layers of a jacket, from outside to lining each giving a different effect.  And in the end even the shiny candy wrappers ended up peeking through the branches of our trees as fruit.  A tiny 5 inch square shadow box for $1.25 at the DollarRama gussied up with a green layer of paint by the disabled community she works with finished the project for under $10!  

Keep in mind Patti has been a past recipient of the Rowan Award (Best in Show) using alternative materials.  Her work is avant-garde yet set in the traditions of rughooking.  This leads me to comment on why I continue my membership and attendance in this group, the respect for tradition is strongly felt, yet in the displays at least 80% or even more are original designs.  Beginners are encouraged to use templates or just draw out their own first design.  The OHCG Teachers Branch certifies instructors and continues refresher courses annually on a specific topic.  As someone from the United States (we who are brought up to believe we are the best) I was humbled last year, at the first annual I attended, to see the heritage, tradition and contemporary art encouraged here in just one of the Canadian Provinces.  Wake up “Americans” we are not the only ones in this rughooking world!

Now off my high horse.  I really felt welcomed as a fellow member, and look forward to continued friendships, and many more through OHCG, cyberspace and at the next annual in London, ON. Interested in joining the fun visit http://www.ohcg.org

Schwenkfelder Library and Museum Workshop

PENNSBURG, PA   Saturday, April 24 was the last day for “Fraktur Motifs Inspire Clay and Wool”, a five month exhibit I coordinated with the Schwenkfelder Library and Museum curator, Candace Perry.  Eight participants took the design workshop.  The wide variety of designs surprised the class and staff but not me…. Everyone IS creative, we just need to give them the tools to use and encourage ideas.  

David's Stem of Flowers, by Susan Feller

Original frakturs hang in the Museum displays and can be found in the beautiful text:  Fraktur Writings and Folk Art Drawings of the Schwenkfelder Library Collection by Dennis Moyer, PA German Society, 1997 available in their gift shop.  With this visual stimulus and the rugs created by past students still in the Fraktur Gallery display this

group was especially inspired.  I look forward to seeing the patterns turn into rugs arguably some quicker than others.  Three of the participants are brand new to rughooking!  They have learned more than some rughookers who have hooked for years– these people know how to make their own design.

Design Workshop participants

Retreat in Harrisonburg,VA

Like minded enthusiasts took to the dye pots and rug hooks over the weekend of April 17 and 18 in Harrisonburg. VA.  After the Mountain State Fiber Artists Spring meeting on April 10 in Morgantown, WV and the informative lecture by Sandra Brown on how to show 3-D in our 2-D format, several of us wanted to practise what we learned. 

Dye techniques results

The learning curve continued upward because I brought down the electric skillet and between us all we had the necessary dye equipment to practise value, spot and dip dyeing. 

The ATHA members of the group have taken up a challenge posted by the Quilters of Morgan County to the rughookers for each to convey 3-D in our 2-D mediums during the Morgan County Fair, Berkeley Springs, WV in August.  We discussed subjects and designs for the challenge, Carolyn Boutilier will be working on a landscape, as of the weekend, Donna Bleem is planning on using the Mandala designs as a base, Susan Feller and Beth Tembo are leaning towards geometric, or abstract patternings.

The encouragement and knowledge eagerly shared by all left us with wanting more.  Surely there will be another getaway in the next few months.

Fun group of ladies

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.