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May '13

Donna Hrkman

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.

Today’s Giveaway:

And the winner of the hand made glass pendant is Mary Osielski.

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