Workshops 2015

Workshops were scheduled as half day events.  Descriptions and background information, below, is arranged alphabetically by instructor’s name.  Delegates could select a total of three workshop choices from the sessions: Monday am and pm; Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.  All kit fees were collected by the instructor in class.

Gail Becker, Felted Owl Sachet
Gail Becker, Felted Owl Sachet

 Gail Becker (USA)
Felted Owl Sachet   
Learn to flat-needle felt a lovely scented hanging sachet (3″ x 5″). This class will include safety guidelines, demonstrations of needle felting onto a flat surface, and a step-by-step tutorial that will allow students to follow along with the instructor. Students will also make a handle using hand-made wet-felted wool beads and glass beads. Hand-sewing the edge will allow students to leave with a finished sachet. Other finishing techniques will be discussed.

Kit cost $20 includes a barbed felting needle, foam rubber pad, wool, roving to complete several birds, reusable templates, choice of potpourri (lavender or sweet dreams), and hand-made wet-felted wool beads and glass beads to make the handles. Students do not need to bring any tools.

Gail is a certified McGown instructor. She has taught dry needle felting at guild workshops at Little River Inn Rug Camp and Hooker Hill Rug Retreats both in California. 

Wendy Halsall, Emily Carr totem
Wendy Halsall, Emily Carr totem

Wendy Halsall, (Canada)
Back to Nature, naturally  Hook a small 8″ x 5″ picture of a decaying totem pole that Emily Carr painted in Haida Gawaii in 1912. The challenge to the rug hooker is to capture the look of old weathered wood. We will discuss how Emily Carr painted her skies and trees and additional wool will be available if desired. We will also discuss dyeing methods for the wool, how to hook in shadows and wood cracks. Kit cost: $20 includes pre-cut wool #3 cut and suitable backing.

Wendy has been rug hooking since 1981 and enjoys all aspect of this art. She has attended and taught in many rug camps, workshops and rug retreats over the years. In 2003, she completed a BA in First Nation Studies and is a certified McGown instructor.

Peg Irish, Seaside Postcard, BirdsiView
Peg Irish, Seaside Postcard, BirdsiView

Peg Irish (USA)
Seaside Postcards  Create two 4″ x 6″ postcards that incorporates rocks and seashells as embellishments. This workshop will use elements of nature as the springboard for each piece. Participants will “beachcomb” for rocks and seashells right in the classroom and create a seaside design using these pieces. A variety of yarns will be provided to hook the ocean and shore. Cut wool will be used for the sky. Students will learn hints for successful gluing, simple designing, and finishing that works well with embellishments.   Kit costs $12 and includes: Verel backing (approx. 12′ X 15″), variety of yarns for ocean and shore, cut wool fabric for sky, rocks and seashells, stiff felt with adhesive to back finished hooking. Students will need a fine hook, hoop or frame, and small scissors.  Includes a follow-up session Wednesday afternoon to attach rocks and shells.

Peg began teaching rug hooking in 1989 and has taught at ATHA chapters around New England, at the Green Mountain Rug Hooking School and at the ATHA Biennial in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is a founding member of TIGHR, past Editor and recipient of the Founder’s Cup.

Sara Judith, Punch and Hook
Sara Judith, Punch and Hook

Sara Judith (Canada)
Punch Hooking Nature’s Designs  Learn basic punch hooking techniques to hook a 3″ x 5″ postcard of nature on Canada’s West Coast. Designs will be adapted from nature, eg. spirals from ferns, lines from trees, shapes from beach rocks, texture from bark. Participants are encouraged to bring a favorite rock or beach pebble or feather they have picked up in their explorations of the West Coast. The abstract will be emphasized. Design elements and principles as well as focal point and formatting will be discussed. Basic punch hooking techniques will be introduced including the use of different textured yarn and heights of loops. Combining punch hooking with traditional rug hooking, exploring advantages and disadvantages of the two techniques and expanding possibilities using punch hooking will be discussed. 

SUPPLIES PROVIDED BY INSTRUCTOR: art supplies (paper and pencils, colored pencils,watercolors for creating designs. Tools and equipment for transferring designs (transfer pens, tracing paper). Hoops and frames (note: those for punch hooking can be different than those for traditional hooking) for use in class, available for purchase for $20-$25. SUPPLIES TO BE BROUGHT by student OR PURCHASED FROM INSTRUCTOR: Monkscloth backing $5.00; Sufficient tapestry yarn to complete 3″ x 5″ design. Oxford punch hook #14 with instructions, gauge and boxed $35.00; unboxed $28.00.

Sara is McGown certified and an Oxford accredited punch hooking instructor. She has taught extensively across Canada and the USA.

Lori LaBerge, Plein Air, Red Tree
Lori LaBerge, Plein Air, Red Tree

Lori LaBerge (USA) 
Plein Air Hooking  Learn to develop a composition for hooking plein air. Included will be discussion on differences between working in studio and outdoors, composition, simplifying a scene, mass, light and shadow. Outside exploration (weather permitting) to discuss site selection for artwork; learning how nature is unlimited. Each student will be able to sketch their own design and learn to choose a design that will best translate to a rug hooked piece. Kit cost: $10. Includes sketch pad, pencil, sharpener, eraser. Viewfinders will be available for use and may be purchased if desired. Worksheets and handouts provided by instructor.  No hooking tools necessary, this is a design session.

Lori is the founder of Plein Air Hooking Artists, a website dedicated to showing plein air works by hooking artists along with sharing experiences. She has a minor degree in Art History focusing on Impressionism through Modern era.

Diane Learmonth,
Diane Learmonth, Playing Hooky NW Style

Diane Learmonth (USA)
Playing Hooky Northwest Style Learn to free-form hook and make an impressionistic mini “swamp” (10″ square) using wool, yarn, beach stones, sticks to make a beach, swap or river scene. This is a great way to use up those worms. Kit cost: $20 includes 16″ square linen backing and all the wool/yarn/strips of wool with a mixture of different cuts/ all the stuff needed to make a scene. Students need to bring a hook and hoop or frame.

Diane began rug hooking in 1998. She is a certified McGown instructor, studied rug hooking with over 30 teachers and has taught rug hooking all over the country from Vermont to Hawaii.

Jennifer Manuell, Belle' Bijoux
Jennifer Manuell, Belle’ Bijoux

Jennifer Manuell (
Belle Bijoux  Create a distinctive bespoke hooked necklace. A fun class involving exploration, imagination, innovation and creativity featuring hooking combined with beadwork, embellishments and handwork. In this class, we will work on creating a simple necklace and practice some of the various techniques used in making hooked jewelry. There will also be samples of more complex necklaces, barrettes, belts, headbands, etc. to inspire future projects and show some of the possibilities for these techniques. Kit cost: $20 includes all supplies and prepared pattern to fit up to a 14″ frame**, interesting yarns ribbons, etc, felt balls, beads, hardware, special needles etc to make a simple necklace. Additional supplies, patterns and shapes for future projects will be available for purchase in class.  **Student needs to bring frame, hook and scissors.

Jennifer began rug hooking in 1999 and is a fourth-generation rug hooker. She has taught classes all over Ontario as well as in Nova Scotia, the United States and England. She enjoys coming up with new twists on a traditional technique.

Kris McDermet, 9 Braid Pin
Kris McDermet, 9 Braid Pin

Kris McDermet (USA)
9 Loop Braided Center  Learn the basic skills for hooking a braided rug. In this class, you will make a 9-loop braided-butted center. This can be used as a center for an all butted braided rug or as a decorative braided flower or snowflake set into rug hooking. When added to hooking, the 9 Loop Center creates interesting contrasts of texture and design between the two art forms of braiding and hooking. It can be embellished with sparkle, buttons, proddy or beads on the front to make an interesting pin. Students will make two 9 Loop Centers during the class. Kit cost: $20 includes darning needle, directions with colored photos, template for wool for two 9-loop centers, lacing thread, hand-sewing needle and thread. Students will need to bring small, sharp scissors.

Kris began braiding and rug hooking in the late 1970’s. She has taught courses in both braid- ing and hooking in Vermont and throughout the country for the last 30 years. Her greatest interest is in combining the two art/craft forms to make interesting shapes for the wall or floor. She is a co-author of the book Combining Rug Hooking & Braiding: Basics, Borders & Beyond (Schiffer, 2011).

Sheila Mitchell, Stellar's Jay Toolcase
Sheila Mitchell, Stellar’s Jay Toolcase

Sheila Mitchell(Canada)
Stellar’s Jay Hooking Toolcase
 Students will hook a small motif of a Stellar’s Jay on a linen inset in a fabric frame which is the backing for a bag to hold hooking tools. Instruction will focus on the hooking of the bird motif using pre-cut (#3) wool provided. Beading stitch on the border and tufting on the crown of the jay will be some of the techniques taught. The background can be hooked in the colours of students choice from a selection of wool for sale. During class, participants will receive tips on how to assemble their hook bag along with detailed written instruction for assembly. Kit cost: $20 includes fabric surround with linen inset and design pre-printed. Dyed wool strips (#3 cut) for hooking the central motif. Glass bead for the eye. Lining with sewn pocket will also be provided along with instructions for hooking the tool case design and how to assemble the fabric folder. Students need to bring frame, hook and scissors.

Sheila began rug hooking in the 1970’s while visiting Nova Scotia. She received her McGown certification in 2009 and has taught in Western Canada and Oregon, focusing on ‘Birds & Backgrounds’. Her work has appeared in Rug Hooking Magazine and Celebrations.

Doris Norman, William Morris Acanthus
Doris Norman, William Morris Acanthus

Doris Norman (Canada)
William Morris Inspired Nature  A continuous thread throughout William Morris’ work is indigenous flora. Local English plants such as violet, fritillaries and willows are woven into intricate designs. In this workshop, students will learn to shade acanthus leaves. Morris appears to have used no more than five or less values of a color in his woven and painted designs. Shading, he insisted, “must be used sparingly for clarity rather than to try to make an object look round”. Students will create a work of beauty inspired by this remarkable man’s designs. The instructor will share her knowledge through use of resources, short lecture and demonstration. Kit cost: $20 includes applicable pre-cut swatches, linen pattern, and hand-outs. Students must bring preferred hook, scissors, and hook or frame to grip a 11″ x 13″ backing.

Doris is an accredited Nova Scotia and McGown instructor. Her work has been featured in Canadian Living Magazine, Rug Hooking Magazine, and is included in the New Brunswick Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s Permanent Collection.

Brigitta Phy, Wonderscapes
Brigitta Phy, Wonderscapes

Briggita Phy (USA)
Wonderscapes The concept of this class is to take a photograph of a landscape and transform it into a stylized landscape perfect for the art of rug hooking. Participants will create an original pattern capturing the place but transforming the scene into a “wonderlandscape” for the application of color, pattern and texture.  Kit cost: $10 includes a folder with tracing paper, white paper and examples of concepts covered in class.  Students are asked to bring three to five personal photographs of landscapes, printed on regular paper, size 8″ x 10.  No hooking will be done in this session.

Brigitta is a McGown certified instructor and has been hooking and teaching for 17 years. Her rugs have been featured in Celebrations and Rug Hooking Magazine.

Lynn Powell, Zentangles (c)
Lynn Powell, Zentangles (c)

Lynne Powell (USA)
Zentangles  Students will be introduced to Zentangles, how they are created and the purpose of them. Learn how to design a 3″ x 5″ or 6″ x 6″ mat with Zentangle, the use of Zentangle motifs in rugs and artistic skills. Zentangles help build in color planning and composition of rug hooking designs. Kit cost: $20 includes monk’s cloth backing, 1 – 6 value swatch with pre-cut strips, Pigma Micron pen, a pencil, hand-out. Students will need to bring hook, hoop and small scissors.

Lynne has been rug hooking for 22 years and is a McGown certified instructor . Her work has been published in Celebrations.

Lynn Roth, Geometrics with Ombre
Lynn Roth, Geometrics with Ombre

Lynn Roth (Canada)
Go Wild with Ombre Geometrics  In this class, students will learn how to read, cut and hook ombre fabrics into circles, squares, triangles and hexagons to fill large patterns. It will include discussion of suitable patterns with examples and placement of fabrics according to intensity. Kit cost: $20 includes all materials needed. Students need to bring hook, hoop and small scissors.

Lynn is McGown certified. She teaches at Prairie Harvest Rug School and at the Western McGown Teacher’s Workshop in Eugene, Oregon.

Gene Shepherd, Prodded Flowers
Gene Shepherd, Prodded Flowers

Gene Shepherd (USA)
Proddy Cluster Flowers  Learn how to bring prodded cluster flowers into your rug design. Kit cost: $34 includes all materials need for this project. Students will need a rug hook, sharp pair of scissors, and a sharpie for drawing lines.

Gene started rug hooking in 1998. He describes himself as a “self-taught fiber artist who hooks by ear”. He teaches hooking and dyeing classes regularly in California and throughout the US and Canada. His work has appeared in Rug Hooking Magazine and Celebrations. He is the author of The Rug Hooker’s Bible, Prodded Hooking for a Three-Dimensional Effect, and Prepared to Dye all published by Stackpole Books.

Michelle Sirois-Silver (Canada)
Collaboration When you think of collaborating with another person, what comes to mind? How do we make space for someone else’s creative vision? What are the implications? In this collaborative workshop, participants will work in groups of two and use the collage making process to generate a dialogue of ideas between one another.

Working with simple techniques (collage, monoprint, drawing, and/or stitch) and materials (paper, pencil, paint, and thread), each participant will make four 4 x 6″ collages which she will then exchange with her partner. The partner will apply a second and final layer to the work. Cross nationality, racial, and cultural partnerships will be encouraged. Time and space permitting the works will be exhibited for non-workshop participants. Kit cost: $5.00 includes all required materials.  Students do no need to bring any tools.

In 1996, Michelle began working with the hand-hooked surface and has since created several bodies of hand-hooked work including Earth Water, Love Decay Repair, and the current Recovery Method series. Her work reflects her philosophy about art and craft and the seamless integration of traditional and contemporary design, techniques, practice, and attitudes. Michelle uses strong color play and hand stitch as mark-making in her own work. She follows a path that challenges her to think about the hand-hooked surface in new ways.

Judith Stephens, Jo Franco Eco Basket
Judith Stephens, Jo Franco Eco Basket

Judith Stephens+Jo Franco(Australia)
Judith & Jo Bio for TIGHR 2015
EcoBasket  Create a small 3D embellishment (5″ basket or bowl) for a hooked rug using eucalyptus tree-dyed fabric. This workshop will highlight a different rugmaking technique: Toothbrush rug hooking or Naalbinding and addresses creative ideas for additions and embellishments to hooked rugs. Kit cost: $25 includes: tools, fabric and instructions. Students do not need to bring tools.

Judith is the current Chair of the Australian Rugmakers Guild. Jo is a certified McGown instructor and former Editor for TIGHR. She has published articles in Rug Hooking Magazine and Australian Textile magazines.  Both have served on the Board of TIGHR and are recipients of the Founder’s Cup.

Laura Wiles, Hooking a Plaid
Laura Wiles, Hooking a Plaid

Laurie Wiles (Canada)
Playing with Plaids  Plaids can be used in rug hooking designs as a background or border or to highlight elements in your design. Learn how to use colors to create a 3″ x 5″ plaid to incorporate into your rug design. Using graph paper and colored crayons or pencils, participants will create a color chart to guide them through their project. Students will learn the technique to hook a personal plaid. Kit cost: $25 includes linen backing, graph paper, large wool selection to choose colors from; project will use 4-7 pieces depending on design and size. Instructor will supply crayons and color pencils for charting.  Students need to bring frame or hoop, hook and scissors.

Laurie received her McGown certification in 2004 and has taught classes in Canada, the United State and Mexico. Her work has been shown in several galleries and shows across Canada and the United States. She designs bright and lively works of art incorporating traditional rug hooking in more modern ideas and images. Several articles have been written for Rug Hooking Magazine and the ATHA newsletter.

Michele Wise, Floral Appliqué
Michele Wise, Floral Appliqué

Michele Wise (USA)
Floral Needle Book in wool appliqué  In this class, students will learn various appliqué stitches and how to sew and assemble their own needle book. Students will learn three ways to prepare the appliqué pieces to finish a 3″ x 5″ needle book. Kit cost: $10 includes various pieces of wool, freezer paper, threads and needle, ribbon, fusible interfacing, handouts illustrating the pattern and techniques. Students do not need to bring tools.

Michele is a McGown certified instructor and is the Director of the Puget Sound Rug School as well as the Director of the Western McGown Teacher’s Workshop.