Featured Exhibits pay tribute to the work of outstanding contemporary and historic rug hookers. Each of these extensive collections offers a wonderful opportunity to study closely the techniques, colors, designs, materials, and the in-depth story of talented artists.
We also offer classes relevant to theses exhibits so that you may gain insight directly from the artists or curators on the designs, techniques, materials, stories, and background of each collection. You will find more information on the Retreat and Workshop pages. .
American Woven Coverlets & Hooked Rugs
This Featured Exhibit combines the two fiber arts of -- 19 century American woven coverlets on loan from the National Museum of the American Coverlet (representing weavers from around the country) and -- contemporary Hooked Rugs which were hooked by different artists (from around the country).
The National Museum of the American Coverlet focuses on antique American woven coverlets. Dated coverlets in the collection range from 1771 to 1889. Changing exhibitions feature coverlets in both geometric and figured patterns, from around the country, as well as looms and textile tools.
Just like hooked rugs… certain pattern motifs were widely shared, some coverlets are anonymous and cannot be traced back to their roots (region of origin). However, in many cases, coverlets can be identified by their weave structure and their use of color and pattern. Using these clues, it is often possible to determine a coverlet’s region or state of origin, and perhaps even its maker.
Coverlet Talk -- At 1:00 p.m. each day, Melinda and Laszlo Zongor, co-founders of The National Museum of the American Coverlet, will talk about the background and history on the designs, weavers, regions, production methods, and equipment relevant to American Coverlets -- and the weavers’ connection with early hooked rugs.
Coverlet Discovery Sessions – The public is invited to bring in your American Woven Coverlets and the Zongors will share whatever information they can about them. There is a $10 fee per coverlet (limit 5 per person) which will support the National Museum of the American Coverlet. This is not an appraisal, as a non-profit institution they cannot offer valuations.
Retreat & Workshops -- we are offering a 4 day retreat and 1 day workshop (with Barbara Carroll) so that you can create your own hooked heirloom inspired by American coverlets.
Curators – Melinda & Laszlo Zongor and Barbara Carroll
Melinda and Laszlo Zongor have been living with antiques for more than 35 years, including 20 years together in the antiques trade, specializing in coverlets. Melinda has been a weaver, both independently and for a custom, “high-end” weaving house. In 1988 she curated and wrote the catalog for the Hirschl & Adler Folk (New York City) exhibition, “Warm and Wonderful: The Jacquard Coverlet.” She is author of the books Coverlets and the Spirit of America and Coverlets at the Gilchrist: American Coverlets 1771-1889. Her contributions to the newsletter for the Colonial Coverlet Guild of America include her article entitled “A National Coverlet Museum: We Need One,” written in October of 2003, prior to the establishment of The National Museum of the American Coverlet. On the Board of Directors of the Antiques Council, Melinda served as Director of Education, in charge of their annual publication of educational articles written by Council members.
Together, the Zongors have presented coverlet exhibitions, lectures, technical consults and general advice for collectors, the antiques trade, the feature film industry, print media, and a variety of groups, large and small. They have helped build several major coverlet collections.
Barbara Carroll started hooking in 1987 with her good friend Bobbie True. They traveled to Kansas City once a week to take classes from the legendary Emma Lou Lais. That was surely a great three years.
After a move to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania she found many people who liked her style of primitive rug hooking and so the grand adventure began. As time and wools evolved the adventure took on the excitement of all textured wools and using cuts # 8 and above. Since her head is a bit on the “wacky side” the rugs all have a sense of fun and whimsy to them while reflecting the personality of the rug hooker.
In addition to her great start with Emma Lou Lais she has taken classes from Jule Marie Smith, Heather Ritchie, Kathy Morton, and other neat teachers along the way. Barb teaches at The Woolley Fox Rug Camp in Ligonier, Pennsylvania as well as mini workshops in her home and travels to teach some small “MINI mini classes” from time to time.
Barb has coauthored two books with Emma Lou - Antique Colours for Primitive Rugs, and American Primitive Hooked Rugs. She has also written The Secrets of Primitive Hooked Rugs and American Folk Art Rug Hooking and wrote the rug hooking section of Warren Kimble American Folk Artist book, the introduction for Hooked Rug Storytelling: The Art of Heather Ritchie book, and has had her work featured in books published in Japan and England. Barb has written articles for Rug Hooking Magazine and the ATHA newsletter. She is a textile judge for Early American Life Magazine’s Traditional American Crafts and has been featured in articles in 2011 and 2013.
Her business, the Woolley Fox, offers more than 500 primitive rug hooking patterns designed by Barb and other artists along with an extensive assortment of wool and rug hooking supplies.
Grenfell Mats – Silk Stocking Mats...and more!
The Grenfell Mission was a medical mission in the remote areas of Labrador and the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. Mat hooking was generations old by the time the young English doctor, Wilfred T. Grenfell, arrived on the coast in 1892 determined to devote his life to alleviating the chronic disease, poverty and exploitation prevalent among the people of the region. Grenfell firmly believed that outright gifts of money, food and clothing would offer no long term help. This conviction led to the development in 1906 of a cottage industry known as the “Industrial” which produced a variety of distinctive handicrafts including the now well-known hooked mats.
The first mention of mat hooking appears in 1908. The mission personnel were certainly aware of the hooked mats in the people’s homes but their potential as a salable craft was overlooked. “Extremely unattractive”, “impossible” were some of the adjectives used to describe these mats. But, mat hooking had an advantage over other crafts: it was a craft that did not have to be taught, every home already had a mat frame, hooks were a simple nail with a bent tip and hooking could be done in the home. On a whim, Grenfell designed a few patterns which sparked a new direction for the Industrial. With the Industrial’s involvement came standardization, color harmony and incentive. Mat hooking rose to its peak in the late 1920s and early 1930s with the Industrial supervisor, M.A. Pressley-Smith’s discovery that silk stockings were a wonderful medium for mat hooking. The slogan “When your stockings run, let them run to Labrador” appeared in 1928 in the mission’s quarterly publication. Laddered and worn, old silk stockings from all over Canada, Great Britain and the United States arrived by the tons at the Industrial’s headquarters in St Anthony, Newfoundland to be used in making “rugs of a beautiful type.”
The mat hookers almost always took their payment in the form of clothing vouchers which were exchanged for bundles of donated used clothing and basic supplies. There were few, if any, places to spend cash and the people were accustomed to a barter based economy. Proper clothing was scarce but essential and the women often said it did not matter what was in the bundle; if a sweater was too small it could be unraveled and re-knitted into mittens; if a coat was too big the material provided a warm pair of trousers.
Colorful images of polar bears on ice floes, wild geese flying south, puffins sitting atop rocks, sprouting whales, dog teams rushing to medical emergencies, men and women at work and play as well as geometric and floral designs found a ready market in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. Grenfell mats are distinctive for their almost universally straight line horizontal hooking and for filling every hole in the brin (burlap) which can result in as many as 200 stitches per square inch.
Today only a handful of women continue to hook. After the war nylon stockings were the rage and silk stockings became a thing of the past. Donations dwindled. Nylon was considered “of no use” as the material lacked the required elasticity and took only blue dyes. And, importantly, Confederation with Canada in 1949 brought needed and welcome government relief - and a change in attitudes. Financial allowances attached a stigma to craft work. Mothers, believing only poor women hooked, did not encourage their daughters to continue the tradition.
In addition to seeing this Featured Exhibit on Grenfell Mats, we are offering 2 day workshops (with Joan Foster so that you can learn the techniques and dyeing methods) and evening Gallery Talks with a slide show by Paula Laverty. Both are unique opportunities to learn more about this treasured Canadian textile art. For more info, see our Retreat and Workshop pages.
Curator - Paula Laverty, author of
Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs XXIV– This exclusive exhibit provides an opportunity to see the award-winning hooked rugs featured in the annual publication by Rug Hooking Magazine, as the issue debuts at Rug Hooking Week. The competition is judged by a panel of experienced artists in four categories: Original, Commercial, Adaptation, and Primitive. These rugs are outstanding examples of design, color, and technique representing the current trends and interests of rug hooking artists around the world.
For more information on the Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs Competition or for entry guidelines, please visit www.rughookingmagazine.com
Special Exhibits are collections of innovative and original works done by an individual or group of artists which represent contemporary themes, concepts, ideas, techniques, and educational projects.
The Folklife rugs, oriental in design, each tell a story by their contemporary American makers.
The design inspiration came from Turkish rugs in the Azeri style. The Azeri style rugs were a project inspired by George Jevremovic of Philadelphia in the mid-1980’s. The project invited the makers from southeastern Turkey to approach their work personally, drawing inspiration from their environment and incorporating small images of themselves, friends, family, animals, plants, buildings and objects of relevance or motifs from the past. The results were unique and reflected the makers; in comparison to mass produced rugs which were more generic in style. George’s 1992 book, Azeri Folklife Carpets, also addressed the absence of records of the makers’ and their rugs.
Everyone has a story to tell. It may be a special event, a series of events or a lifetime of memories. This contemporary collection commemorates and documents those special times in the American maker’s life along with the family, friends, pets, and places which were significant to them. Each rug incorporates various techniques, surprising elements, colors and magnificent borders in the style of the classic oriental carpets.
As the project in Turkey encouraged the rug makers to personalize their work and then documented these works in a book; this collection was inspired by this project and reminds us to personalize and document our own work.
In addition to seeing this Exhibit, we are offering a Retreat and Gallery Talk with Norma Batastini; a unique opportunity to learn more about this collection, the techniques, and the stories behind the art. For more info, see our Retreat and Workshop pages.
Curator: Norma Batastini
Norma Batastini began hooking in 1995 with a group of friends and was soon offering classes at a local cultural center. In 2003 she began teaching workshops throughout the country; the same year she received her McGown accreditation. Her classes are usually open to all styles but she enjoys developing themed classes for guild presentations and private workshops. Norma’s recent emphasis includes mola designs and Rufus Porter landscapes. Her business, Heart in Hand Rug Hooking, offers patterns, wool and supplies.
Norma is a member of ATHA, Alice Beatty and Green Mountain chapters, as well as the National Guild of Pearl McGown Hookrafters. Currently she is the Director of Rugs by the Sea, held in Cape May, NJ each September and the past Director of Northern McGown Teachers’ Workshop, 2007-2013.Her work has been exhibited in many national and local shows. Two rugs were selected for Celebrations and Norma was a Celebration judge in 2007. She has written several articles for Rug Hooking Magazine including topics on: Hooking Totes, Mola Designs and Log Cabin.
These collections represent groups of artists or guilds which have taken on projects with a common goal, parameters, and a deadline. The project might focus on a design, theme, color, technique, or workshop.
Tree-ific Triptychs - 9 rug hooking artists from across the fiber world
|Main Exhibit: Categories...|
is invited to submit rugs in the Main
Rug Registration Note: If the design of your piece is an adaptation, reference this in the "interesting information" about your rug on the Rug Exhibition Registration form and register the piece in the category best fitting for the design. Adaptations are not to be included in the "original" category.
Main Exhibit: Challenges...
Move – change position or location.
Annual “Theme Challenge” Exhibit
Each year we select a special theme for our “Theme Challenge” Exhibit. Everyone is welcome to participate in this challenge (as in our main exhibit, you are not required to be a retreat student). This challenge is open to patterns of your choosing or original designs to go along with our theme, it is not required that you hook one specific pattern or design.
This is an opportunity for all of our dyers out there to exhibit their beautiful hand-dyed wool. We often admire the dyed wool in rugs, but wonder what it looked like before it was cut and hooked. Here is a chance to exhibit your hand-dyed wool and help others to learn more about the art of dyeing.
The event director reserves the right to refuse any entry not appropriate for this exhibit and to photograph entries for publication or advertising.
Pre-Registering Your Rugs for the Exhibit...
|Shipping / Checking-In / Picking-Up Your Rugs for the Exhibit...|
Click here for more information on
shipping your rugs!
|The exhibit hall is a secured facility and Village grounds are patrolled after hours. While Sauder Village takes every precaution to protect all pieces brought in for the exhibit, we know you will understand that we cannot accept liability for them. Rug owners are required to carry the appropriate insurance on their hooked pieces.|
|Admission to Exhibit...|
Sauder Village is honored to host this exciting annual rug hooking event, and appreciates your support and participation. All admission fees help directly support the celebration of this beautiful art form.
In appreciation for entering hooked pieces for the exhibit, you will be provided with complimentary admission into both the Exhibit and the Historic Village for the week. This is a non-transferable ticket and can be used only by the named recipient. Please enter through Founder's Hall.
|Whether you spend all week or just a day or two, make plans to stay in our beautiful Sauder Heritage Inn or Campground. Confirmed Retreat and Workshop participants are given priority lodging from a block of rooms and campsites. Instructions for making a reservation from this block will be forwarded with class confirmations.|