When we were putting together a list of possible teachers for the 2013 ATHA Biennial in Long Beach, CA, I made sure that Donna Hrkman was on it. (Yes, I spelled it right – Hrkman.) Since every rug I have ever seen of hers is a show stopper, I knew that she would have a great class.
As a teaser for the Biennial, I recently asked her if it would be OK to have a little private showing of her work on the IRgC. She graciously agreed to let us do that. Here are just a few of her amazing pieces and a little bit information about her I got from her bio.
Donna studied art in high school and earned an Associate in Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in drawing and painting from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After getting married, she worked at a frame shop where she met fellow artisan Alice Strebel of Kindred Spirits. Donna began illustrating their craft catalogues and books and then began designing her own line of primitive stencils, Blue Ribbon Stencils, which she ran for ten years. During that time, she was approached by the owner of The Daisy Kingdom Fabric Company and was a freelance fabric designer with the company for six years, featuring her original stenciled designs for clothing and home decor.
Then she got hooked on rugs.
Since 2004, Donna has published nine articles in Rug Hooking Magazine, has had six rugs selected as Finalists for Celebrations, has won an Honorable mention at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week for The Congo Rug (2005) and People’s Choice awards at Sauder for her Veteran’s Day (2010) and Indian Boy (2011) rugs, as well as a People’s Choice award for the Indian Boy rug at the Green Mountain Show in Shelburne,Vermont (2011). Most recently, she had People’s Choice awards given to her Alzheimers rug and her Olympic Spirit rug, 2012 at the Sauder Village Rug Hooking show, and a People’s Choice award for the Alzheimers rug at the Green Mountain show in Nov, 2012.
Donna also published her first book, Rug Hookers Companion, in Oct 2012, a handbook for rug hookers. She hopes to write more rug hooking books in the future.
She stays busy teaching a variety of workshops at guilds across the country and also creates hooked rugs by commission.
Her love for rug hooking goes far beyond making rugs for herself. She firmly believes that when you have a gift, you must share it with others. And that’s what she loves to do.
She firmly believes that when you have a gift, you must share it with others. And that’s what she loves to do.
(When she is in Long Beach at the “Color Coast to Coast” Biennial, do you think I should take her next door to the Long Beach Aquarium so she can scout out a model for a color version of this 3-D rug?)
(On second thought, maybe she has already been there?)
If you have a free spot on your Thursday Biennial class schedule, you might want to sign up for Donna’s one-day class – Funny Face. There are still a couple of spots available. (Even if you have already registered, you can always add a class, meal or other activity by contacting the Biennial treasurer.) Students will learn how to hook a small profile of a child blowing up a balloon, giving you the basics of how to hook features, do simple shading, and create a whimsical snapshot portrait. The skills you learn making this small mat will help you in your future projects with portraiture, color, and shading. The project includes a kit with Donna’s 6″ x 6″ pattern, stripped wool, and instructions. You’ll be using fine cuts #3 and #4, so get ready to challenge yourself to a fun and rewarding project. Skill level: Intermediate, might be too demanding for beginners; fine cuts, realistic shading and color. Kit: $45
If you can make it to the Biennial, this will be a great class.
And the winner of the hand made glass pendant is Mary Osielski.
I am in the process of having another Giveaway on the Internet Rug Camp. This time, it is a hand made art piece that is sure to thrill any rug hooker.
Shirley, the artist who created the dichroic fused glass pendant in this week’s Giveaway has a long history of working with art glass. However, during the past two years, she has been transitioning to rug hooking partly because the textures and colors of the hand-dyed wools have intrigued her. Consequently, rug hooking is quickly becoming a new “passion” for her. This is really good as rugs don’t break, like her glass will, if you drop them on the floor!
Dichroic glass, which she used to make the little pendant, was originally used by NASA for use in the space shuttle windows. It has the unique quality of reflecting one color, while transmitting another color when viewed at a 45 degree angle.
Once the glass is cut and pieces layered together, it is fired in a kiln and heated to a temperature of about 1700 degrees to create “one of a kind” jewelry pieces. Once fired, the glass takes on that beautiful iridescence, similar to fire opals or rainbow ammolite. I guess it would be correct to say that this is one hot Giveaway! If you would like to be eligible for the drawing, just make a comment in yesterday’s post. On Sunday evening, the site’s internal computer will choose a winner who’s name will be announced on Sunday.
TODAY ON THE INTERNET RUG CAMP – Gene continues his discussion of Cheticamp rugs. If you would like to become a subscriber go to www.internetrugcamp.com/
Most of my posts are about rug hooking somewhere in North America. That is, after all, where I liver and what I know.
I have hooked all over North America and, whether I am on the East Coast, West Coast, Mid-West or in Canada, it pretty much feels the same. There are lots of enjoyable people, wonderful rugs, wonderful wool and wonderful conversation. We even manage to fit in a little food with our rug hooking.
I wonder …. Should they happen on other continents, do you suppose that rug hooking get togethers are different? As luck would have it, we just happen to have a report that will answer that question.
Hello Gene – Its Chris from Oz!
I thought I would write and share with you that we had our very first inaugural Victorian rug hooking meeting today (Saturday) at Joy Marshall’s house!
It was lots of fun with everyone sharing and showing what they were doing with the art/craft of rug hooking.
There were eight of us there, plus one young lady who came with her grandma. Three were ardent ‘hookers’ – one was new, two, maybe three enthusiastic hopeful hookers, and two more were lookers who are very crafty people but not particularly looking for another craft in their already busy lives. These two left early, that left six.
Of those four who stayed on for the afternoon, we got in some serious hooking time. Well, it seemed that way anyway, in between the chatting and getting to know one another and organizing a name for our group [any ideas], selecting a meeting time and talking about promoting the Australia Rug Guild at Melbourne craft shows.
Joy provided a beautiful pot of soup to enjoy on this wintry day and everyone brought a plate of food or cake to share. All in all it was a productive and very enjoyable day.
We thank Joy for her hospitality.
I have included some happy snaps, including one of Miriam Miller’s cheese scones, which we just had to have.
Sending greeting from the first inaugural Vic rug hookers group in Oz. Chris
Dear Chris – Thanks for the great report. I know I speak for all the IRgC when I say congratulations having such a successful 1st Saturday Hook-In. However, I have got to go on record as saying, your Saturday event sounded and looked pretty much like my 1st Saturday hooking event in Anaheim! We also had what you had:
Experienced Rug Hookers
New Rug Hookers
Lots of Talking
Show and Tell
Lots of Fun
Lots of Plans for the Next Event
Lots of Eating (I actually promised, at my event, to make Miriam’s scones the next time we meet. Recipe: 1 cup self rising flour, 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese, just enough milk to hold that together, drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake in a hot oven. Eat when hot, with real butter – they will change your life and have you saying G’Day to everyone you meet.)
However, I am a tad bit surprised. Were there no kangaroos? No Kola Bears? (In Anaheim, at least, we had 19 parakeets – all of which can trace their lineage back to Australia.) Even so, while all your rugs had an exotic Aussie flavor, your group’s flavor reminds me of home. In fact, I felt right at home reading your report and looking at those wonderful snaps. Thanks so much for including us. After all, we are all a part of the same big rug hooking family – we just meet in different locations! GRS
I also got a second note from Joy about this same event.
Yesterday we made history when 8 Victorians met together for our inaugural First Saturday Rug Hooking Get Together. I think Chris is sending you a fuller report on this and some photos, as hostess I was busy with welcoming folk and making sure everyone had what they needed. In short we began with a show and tell, who we were and how we came to be interested in hooking rugs.
After lunch we answered questions and helped two ladies, new to hooking, to get started while the three ‘veterans’ enjoyed sitting around the table, hooking and chatting.
I have finished the Bideford Parsonage rug that I started with you in Strathalbyn and have included a photo of mine.
This photo, however, is the original one from the scullery floor in Bideford Parsonage where LM Montgomery boarded as a young teacher.
Joy – Thanks so much for the update on the day and your lovely rug. It turned our very nice indeed. With all the Anne of Green Gables fans we have on this site, I wouldn’t be surprised if some more Bideford Parsonage rugs show up down the road. GRS
PS to all IRgCampers: As you are so good about identifying things –
Can anyone identify the breed of this stray dog that went through the yard during the 1st Saturday Anaheim Hook In?
While I suppose it probably looks like all I do to prep for a 1st Saturday is open my doors, the truth of the matter is something quite different. There is always a lot of cleaning to do, putting away to do, setting up to do and, usually, I even scrub the floor. (Lots of experience here as I did grow up in the restaurant business and had to scrub floors every morning before school.)
It is all worth it as I particularly enjoy days when the studio is full of people who enjoy hooking and being together. In fact, I am sort of on an enjoyable event roll. There were people here on Thursday (1st Thursday), this past Saturday (1st Saturday) and the OCC ATHA group will roll in next Saturday for their regular May meeting in the garden. (Of course, the previous Saturday I was in Fallbrook for their event.) Since I tidied up for Thursday, Saturday was easier to prep for than usual. If I can keep clean all week, next Saturday should be a piece of cake.
It is always fun when people arrive with finished projects. The whole group vicariously shares in the sense of accomplishment. Even though I often show rugs like this, in progress, there is nothing that takes the place of a piece that is completely done. I particularly liked the effect of the neutral cat’s paw background utilized in this rug – all made with different pale dip dyes.
Here is another good looking rug that we have been able to watch being made from start to finish. Both of these artists are fairly new to the art form. Don’t they both have a great sense of color?
Speaking of color – one of the common threads at every gathering is that search for color. Whether it is picking through their stash, their neighbor’s stash or my stash, everyone is always on the lookout for the right color.
It often is a two person job.
Since Cambria is quickly approaching, this Saturday also gave me the opportunity to do some color consulting before getting to camp.
To that end I did some experimenting with soft colors in hopes that the student I was dyeing for would like them in a rather odd background. Although this palate is sort of outside my normal “box” I ended up really liking the way these pieces looked together. As it turned out, the student did too. Fortunately, I wrote down everything I did when making this batch.
While most of those in attendance are from S. CA, we often have visitors to the 1st Saturday events. This week, Carla J. was down from Northern CA to visit her sister. Since she makes it down every few months, I think we need to reclassify her as a semi-regular – certainly not a visitor. With only a little left to do in the upper right hand side, this rug will, no doubt, be finished the next time she comes.
The last loops went into this effective Green Man design at Saturday’s Hook-In.
Mid-day, I went into the house and discovered that a package from Dianne Tobias had been delievered. Since I knew what it had to be, I quickly took it outside for a dramatic reveal.
Using wool that I had dyed, Diane turned my hooked Winter Bird into a finished tea cozy. Imagine the “oohs” and ahhhhs” when I took this out of the box!
For those of you who think I am too lazy to do this myself, you are only partly right. In actuality, the two of us are cooperating on some tea cozy kits. Her braiding will not only look much more professional than mine would – we need a perfect visual to go with her directions. Therefore, I was more than willing to let her use my little hooked piece to make this. As details on this project progress, I will keep you informed.
That wool, by the way, was all made with Wool of the Month colors. This is a shot of just 5 months worth of wool.
After everyone left, I put away the tables and chairs so that the studio got back to normal. For those of you who remember that I have been dealing with an excess of looms (just 3 in the downstairs studio) I am happy to report that Saturday evening closed with me loading one of those looms into my truck. On Sunday morning, we headed North to meet some friends for church and then dropped off that loom at their house.
I still have one loom too many in the downstairs studio BUT, in a couple more weeks, another one (back middle) will be going to a very deserving home. I don’t know what I will do with all the extra space … but am looking forward to finding out!
TOMORROW: A one day road trip to a hooking event on another continent.
Barbara just wrote in with a very foundational question:
Gene, What should I do about burlap that has broken down? Is there a good way to fix it? People from my Rug Guild have given me more than one suggestion.
As I happened to have Barbara’s phone number, I called her to get a little more information. Here is what I found out -
* Her pattern is an older one that was folded for some time before she bought it about 10 years ago. It is a half round design that she intends to use it by the side of her bed.
*The break involves just a couple of threads in one spot. She has already tried to “re-weave” the broken threads with a piece of burlap thread/string from the edge of the pattern.
Barbara – I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble with your old burlap pattern … although it does not surprise me. Unfortunately, it is a common story. While I know that some of my readers are dedicated burlap users, it does not negate the fact that burlap, by its very nature, eventually comes apart when hit by stress, light or time. Consequently, burlap patterns should be store in such a way as to alleviate as much stress as possible.
That means, don’t fold and stack them for long periods of time. That also means, if I am out at an event where old folded patterns are being sold, I don’t buy old folded burlap patterns unless I intend on copying the design onto a new piece of backing. (This only applies to very old unique patterns out of copyright – never copy a pattern currently being offered by a designer.)
Rolling is the best way to consolidate a burlap pattern for a prolonged period of time.
If, as you say, only 1 or 2 threads are broken, you can fix it by weaving a new thread in to run along side the broken one. If I found a broken thread in something that I had woven, I would fix it this way by hand weaving/sewing a new thread that took up residence, in the same ditch/row, for 2 inches on either side of the broken thread. Although there is no broken thread in this photo, you can get the idea with this photo. That would be an adequate way to reinforce the spot can keep hooking.
HOWEVER, if the broken section is more extensive, you will probably need to make a replacement patch of backing. Should the break be 1.5 inches long … or a 1.5 inch round hole in the backing, you would need a much bigger patch – at least 1.5-2″ all round plus the hole. i.e. a 1.5 hole would need a 4.5″ or bigger backing patch. After cutting that size, you would need to zig zag around the edge of the patch to secure the edge. It would be tacked to the underneath side of the original rug so that it was permanently affixed to that spot, then that section would need to be hooked or re-hooked through the double portion of backing.
THE PROBLEM with a backing that is starting to go in one place is that it may be ready to go other places. Often, fragile rugs like this get a completely new backing put under them – particularly if it is a special heirloom that needs to be preserved. Bad spots are re-hooked through the new backing and the whole thing has to be tacked even in places where no re-hooking needs to take place. It is, of course, a lot of work. Even with all this work, I usually don’t recommend old refurbished rugs like this go in a high traffic area.
IN YOUR CASE SINCE
- the break is only in one spot
- and since it is your first rug
- and, as you said, you want to get it done in your life time and don’t care that it is preserved for posterity
- and since it will go in a low traffic area
I would probably darn the break as mentioned, hook the rug and put it on the floor, on a nice non-slip waffle pad and
- Promise to never buy another old pattern like this that has been stored folded for decades.
In fact … let’s all raise our hands and make this promise: I will never try to hook a ratty old pattern like this again.
TODAY ON THE INTERNET RUG CAMP – Gene continues working on the Problem Persian. Go to www.internetrugcamp.com if you would like to become a subscriber.
Two other projects were shown at the 1st Saturday Hook-In that were made on behalf of local groups.
Several months ago, when the Wool Gathers ATHA Group in Fallbrook, CA found out about the Patterns: Coast to Coast collection, they asked fellow member, Evelyn Cramer, if one of her original works of art could be used as a design for their submission to the pattern project. Although Evelyn gave her permission, she passed away 3 months later before being able to see her pattern in print.
Of course, those of you who have that set of the reproducible patterns collection can easily thumb through it to find the line drawing based on her original paper collage called “Evelyn’s Gift.” While most of the patterns do not come with numbered sections, they are all clearly drawn and ready to be blown up to any size that the purchaser wants.
While I knew about that pattern being in the book (I bought one of the first ones, of course) I did not know that the Wool Gathers ATHA followed up on the submission by hooking a version as a group project.
On Saturday, Ann Harris brought the finished project by so we could all see it. Isn’t it charming? Happily, if you go to the Long Beach Biennial, you can see it too as the group is donating the rug to the auction in memory of Evelyn.
Carla Fortney also brought by her finished version of her original design “Avalon,” inspired by hand painted California ceramic tiles. It too has had some group participation although Carla did all of the color planning and virtually all of the hooking while her group cheered her on. It is also destined for the Biennial Auction in Long Beach. As I think a full shot like this does not show enough detail and since she left it in my studio for me to shoot … and since her work holds up under the microscope, I thought you might enjoy savoring the subtle colorations she put together for this stunning rug.
It looks to me like most of this rug is hooked with a #4 cut.
This pattern is also featured in the “Coast to Coast Collection,” which sells for $38 plus $5.50 for S & H. All proceeds from sales go, of course, to the 2013 ATHA Biennial in Long Beach California. As we have a few sets left -
You may want to go the ATHA site and order yours today! After all, ATHA is one big group project and purchase of the set supports the Biennial even if you can’t attend.
With great visuals like these -
You couldn’t go wrong.
In fact, for this particular design with so many components, you can either make the one big rug or put the individual tiles together in other groupings that better suit your needs.
Today on the Internet Rug Camp – Gene shows more special hooked projects. If you would like to become a subscriber to the IRgC, you can subscribe ($36 per year) at www.internetrugcamp.com/
First Saturdays always seem to descend on the studio like a whirlwind. Of course, since my house had been full of grandchildren all week, what is another 17-22 rug hookers on a Saturday?
As usual, we had a broad range of styles represented at the hook in. Of special interest to me is the fact that we keep attracting new rug hookers to our group.
For example, this new artist has only been hooking for a short time. She found us (IRgC) on the Internet – came and is now working on this, her 4th piece. I’d say she is off to a really good start. Of course, with a background in both weaving and quilting, it is not exactly as though she is new to the fiber arts.
This artist, who’s work we have been watching progress, is also pretty new to the art form. I love her innate sense of color as evidenced in her wool selections.
We even had one brand new attendee who drove 1.5 hours one way to get to Anaheim.
Of course, most of our attendees have been hooking for several years. They come from all over Southern California for our monthly gatherings. I really like the way this artist is doing her “Green Man.”
Here is a bold fish that will make quite an impact when it is done.
Having seen the proto-type for this rug (in Jackye Hansen’s Maine living room) I am quite pleased to see it being hooked in S. CA. This artist is busy getting all the flat spots hooked so she can get started on all the Waldoboro motifs that decorate the border.
Simple yet bold – I look forward to seeing this rug finished.
We did color planning so this artist could get started on Saturday.
We started Saturday with a skirt that got lost against the grey background. After changing the outline of the skirt and folds to red, with a dark line hooked next to it, the grey background worked just fine. We also gave Mrs. Rabbit some snazzy blue shoes.
Trudy, who really had to go outside her box on this one, now likes her piece very much. I think we can all agree that it “pops!”
Of course, it will pop even more when she whips the edge with the yarn her sister (IRgC CJ) spun for her. That is what I call fancy yarn.
There were several other pieces being worked on but this sectional gives a pretty good cross section of the work being done on any given Saturday.
We are an open group, ready to welcome one and all. Just as long as you can hook, encourage, provide artistic inspiration or have a coat long enough to spin into yarn, you are welcome on 1 Saturday in Anaheim.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we are hopeful of having a little extra color at our house for the holiday weekend. Even our white flowers have the prospects of making quite a holiday splash.
Of course, our color is not limited to our yard. I just received manuscript version #2 of my new book which means that most of my free time over the weekend will be spent doing another edit. Fortunately, there is color on every page. On a weekend when many people are dyeing eggs … I will be pondering the dyeing of wool.
That is not to say that we won’t have plenty of Easter eggs – we will.
However, instead of putting them out on fake green grass, I am more likely to arrange mine on brightly colored wool yarn. Red is not really a very traditional Easter basket grass color but, since I was just dyeing red wool, that looks particularly festive to me. Then again, if you are celebrating Passover this week, perhaps this could stand in for the Red Sea in a table decoration?
As far as my family is concerned, this is the kind of Easter egg that really floats their boat.
We, too, have Easter chicks – it’s just that most of the ones we can see at this moment are either completely white, like this one is, of a very pale yellow. As I don’t have any completely white parakeets, this is welcome news.
However, when it comes right down to it, we will depend on two things to provide good color – my wife’s garden
And my dye pots. In fact, to celebrate this holiday season, I will be giving away these three bunches of festive hand dyed wool on the Internet Rug Camp. If you would like a chance to win them in this Giveaway, become a member of the IRgCamp, then make a comment on today’s post. It will automatically register you for the drawing. I will pick a winner on Sunday night at 8 PM and make the announcement on Monday’s post.
Each of these 3 pieces is made from a long, bolt wide, 1/8 yard piece of wool – each about 4 by 54 inches long – 3/8 total.
To all of you who are observing either the Easter or Passover season, please know that Marsha and I send you our very best wishes for a wonderful celebration that is colored with love, joy and hope.
To subscribe to the Internet Rug Camp ($36 for 12 months) go to www.internetrugcamp.com/
If you see this all the time, kindly disregard this photo. However, for me, the site of snow on a leaf was something I have not seen in about 20 years. Consequently, I was quite happy, both times it snowed, while I was in Siloam Springs, Arkansas for last week’s rug hooking workshop. Such a natural occurrence allowed us to talk about the “natural” way to clean hooked rugs by just placing them face down in a pile of freshly fallen snow for a few hours. Although we got snow, I don’t think we got enough to actually do that!
If you live with snow all the time, perhaps you will prefer looking at some of the finished (and almost finished projects) that attendees brought in for our rug show on Saturday. I will show a few today and a few more in tomorrow’s post.
We had a little bit of everything
From a shaded crewel piece in a finer cut, to very wide cut primitives -
Even a fine thread needle punch.
If you would like to see more of the work on display at the Siloam Springs Rug Workshop, become a subscriber to Gene’s Internet Rug Camp. Go to www.internetrugcamp.com/