The rug show at Sauder Village was absolutely wonderful. There were between 300 and 800 rugs there! I’ve limited myself to just showing you a few of the highlights. Well, the highlights for me 🙂
I thought this was a wonderful piece of art. An original design by Donna Brunner from Alberta Canada. These are jack pines in her yard and she wanted to capture the sun setting behind them. She also did something unusual by stuffing the trunks and adding dimension to the piece. (Trapunto in quilting, but a lot harder in rug hooking!)
This rug was right next to my rug. I loved all the details in it. Its done by Janice Ricker, and obviously, its her own family’s lobster company!
This next exhibit was so fun. All the rugs were hooked by Nancy Stower and Anne Bond, and they are re-creations of original art by Vickie Sawyer.
There was a special exhibit of braided rugs. I don’t ever plan to get into braided rugs (but you never know!) This very special exhibit of these pictorial braided rugs by a woman who did them in the 1930’s blew my mind. Just amazing artwork.
Here’s a little article about the artist, Jessie C. Kinsley.
And this exhibit! Brought tears to my eyes. I was able to listen to a lecture/slide show by the woman who started this cooperative. These Maya women are very poor, and in general, women are not encouraged to go to school or work. One of the stories told about a young woman whose husband made three or four dollars A DAY driving a taxi. After she learned to hook rugs, she was able to add on a little room to their house and purchase a fridge. They don’t use the traditional wool that most rug hookers use. They use t-shirts that they purchase from a thrift store! (The founder explained that places like Goodwill, after they can’t sell things in thrift stores here, and after they can’t sell them in their warehouses wholesale, they send the leftovers to impoverished countries. Isn’t it amazing that the women can still hook such vibrant rugs from the dregs of our society.)
The story behind this rug was very touching. A young woman’s husband was diagnosed with liver cancer, with only 4-6 months to live. One day, about six weeks after the diagnosis, she was crying and said to her husband, “what am I going to do without you?” And he replied, “Don’t worry. I’ll always be with you. I’ll be on the bottom star of the Big Dipper.” The young woman was so worried that she would never remember that. And that night she dreamed of a rug. And that’s how this rug came to be!
This tiger might have been my favorite rug in the show. It was done by Judy Carter, who has done other wonderful animal rugs. But I heard her explain that many people said they could never do what she did, because she used such small cuts (in rug hooking, small cuts are #3 and #4, which means they are 3/32″ and 4/32″.) So she did this whole rug in #8 cuts (which is 8/32″ or 1/4″ if you do the math.) The shading in it is just beautiful.
If you are interested in learning more about rug hooking, you might purchase the magazine Rug Hooking, or buy the Celebrations book for this year Celebration of Hand Hooked Rugs 28 (I can’t find it on Amazon, it’ll probably be there in a few weeks.) Or you can go to YouTube and watch some of Gene Shepherd’s videos for free!