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Mar '10


Yesterday, I sent a package to Waldoboro, Maine.  That really caught my attention.  It’s not that I am surprised anyone would live there, it is just that the town is so closely identified with rug hooking history that I equate it as one of our fiber art “holy” places.


Because so many early Waldoboro rug hookers tended to “sculpt” or “hove” the design elements of their rugs, this 3-D technique eventually began to be referred to as Waldoboro Style.  It is a simple, yet time-consuming process that I have outlined in both The Rug Hooker’s Bible and Prodded Hooking for a Three Dimensional Effect.


One fills in an element by starting on the outside, hooking that row with normal sized loops, skipping no holes.  (This shot shows both an in-process and finished flower center.) Once hooked, scissors are inserted in the loop, at a right angle to the backing, so that the loop can be cut.  The next row is hooked and cut in the same way, only this time; the loops are a stair step higher than the previous row.  In this way, the entire shape is filled, with no holes being skipped.   A “haircut” takes off the rough edges, leaving a 3-D representation of whatever is being hooked.

Addressing a post to a Waldoboro address made me go dig out an unfinished  Waldoboro project.


This was started a few years ago when I went to spend a week hooking with Jacqueline Hanson.  I had enjoyed watched her working on the prototype at the Santa Rosa ATHA Biennial and thought it would be a good kit of hers to order for that class.   (Maybe I need to go back and take another class so I will get it finished!)


All I have really done so far on the project is work on the various sections intended for sculpting.  I really like the way the finished version of this process looks … I just don’t like doing Waldoboro day after day.  Perhaps doing one grape a day would be a reasonable approach to easing back into this project.


3 comments to “Waldoboro”

  1. Julia Bourque Says:

    Hello Gene, I think that this is another neat demonstration of yet another aspect of rug hooking. Thanks for sharing. JB

  2. Red Robin Says:

    This is a beautiful technique. Just learned about it in my class. I have property near Waldoboro in Maine and was so surprised to find this connection. I’ve always passed the rug hooking shop in Searsport, ME, but never stopped. I definitely will this year and maybe a side trip to Waldoboro. Thanks for sharing this technique. Robin

  3. Gene Shepherd Says:

    Dear Robin – Glad we could help make the connection. There are a variety of sources for more information on Waldoboro – RH Magazine still has copies of J.Hanson’s book on the subject. Gene