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Teachers and design houses often carry rug hooking supplies, but here are a few of the best suppliers:
- Harry M. Fraser Company: Manufacturers of cloth cutting/slitting machines and complete rug hooking and rug braiding supplies, including hooks, patterns, wool remnants, rug backing, fabric dyes, books & manuals - and also - our own Pittsburgh Rug Hooking Frame.
- The Dorr Mill Store: The Dorr Mill Store is justifiably proud of the quality and beauty of its craft department. They are truly a national center for wools for traditional hand hooking, braiding and quilting. The Dorr Woolen Co. manufactures the only complete line of 100% wool for the time honored crafts of traditional hand hooking, braiding, and quilting. Also produced are white and natural for those who wish to dye their own particular shades. They stock thousands of yards of woolen textures and solids available at great prices and wonderful quality as well as all necessary accessories - including hooks and cutters - and the latest patterns from noted designers.
- Joan Moshimer's Rug Hooker Studio | W. Cushing & Company: Hooked Rug Patterns by Joan Moshimer, Pearl McGown, Edyth C. O'Neill and others van be found here. This company also offers wool, dyes, rug backings, hooks, cutters and other supplies. Cushing's Perfection Acid Dye Color Card and Cushing's Perfection Direct Dye Color Card are featured on the website as well.
- Dyes | PRO Chemical & Dye Company: Source of the washfast acid dyes used in most of my hooked pieces, Pro Chemical & Dye Company has a full-time color expert on staff to answer your questions about dyeing. They've expanded their line to include more blended dyes which can be used "straight up" in the dyepot, saving time trying to find the perfect color.
- Dye Books: This subject is linked to our "Book" section below. I learned how to dye using Pro Chem Washfast Acid Dyes and tend to "color think" in those dyes. Since they're cheaper than other dyes, I also tend to use them in my dye workshops and recommend them to students. Listed below are some of the best dye books using Pro Chem Dyes: Prisms 1, 2 & 3, by Claire de Roos and Nancy MacLennan; Jewel Tones, by Carolyn Clemens; Primary Fusion, by Ingrid Hieronimus.
- Rug Hooks: There are several beautiful hand-made hooks on the market, but if you're going to hook larger cuts of wool, you'll need a hook with a fat shank that can open the backing so that pulling the loop up won't stress your wrist (and lead to carpal tunnel). The Hartman Hooks are harpoon-like but well balanced and nicely finished. You can order them from Cindy Hartman at Hartman Hooks - by mail at P. O. Box 938, Hudson, OH 44230; by phone at 330-653-9730; by email at email@example.com.
- Cutters: Rigby Cutters are the best of the table-mounted, lower (if you consider $130 low) priced cutting machines - a precision instrument that has been made for many, many years. Blades can be interchanged depending on the cut you are using in your hooked piece. Contact Rigby Cutters by mail at Route 302, P. O. Box 158, Bridgton, ME 04009, or by phone at 207-647-5679.
Townsend Cutters are also table-mounted but have the wonderful feature of drop-in cutter blades. This is a significant investment in terms of cutters but is receiving great reviews for ease of cutting. Available from Searsport Rug Hooking.
- Sun Woodworks: 4041 Pollock Road, Harrison, Arkansas 72601. Rug hooking frame stands and accessories. Solid red oak furniture quality with three-coat lacquer finish. Contact Mel Pollock, Phone: 870-743-3569
Resources - Rug Hooking Websites, Articles & Information
This sections lists rug hooking magazines, informative articles, guilds, galleries and other comprehensive resources to guide you in the craft and art of hooked rugs.
- Rug Hooking Magazine: This is the premier publication for the craft of rug hooking - full of excellent articles, photographs and lists of suppliers. Rug Hooking is the only full-color, internationally read magazine devoted exclusively to the subject of hand-hooked rugs. Ever since Rug Hooking's inception, its content and design have been refined to bring the readers what they want: striking color photographs of gorgeous rugs and illustrated stories that inspire both novices and advanced rug hookers to find helpful information. An editorial board composed of leading authorities in the field assists readers with advice. Freelance writers from around the world also contribute to the magazine. Available at many chain bookstores or call 1-800-233-9005 for subscription information.
- National Guild of the Pearl McGown Rug Hookcrafters: If you aren't new to the craft of rug hooking, you may have already heard of us, but if you are a new rug hooker, or just enjoy crafts, then come take a look at what Traditional Rug hooking is all about.
On this site you will find links to the stores that sell supplies for rug hooking, and everything you will need for fine and primitive crafting. You will also find links to the McGown guilds and schools around the world. This site also contains an excellent history of Pearl McGown, who was born February 27, 1891 - and chronicles her contributions to this field.
- Association of Traditional Hooking Artists - ATHA: ATHA was formed in 1979 for the promotion of rug hooking, educational activities and the exchange of ideas and information among members.
ATHA has regions in the continent of North America (Canada and the United States), and one designated as "International". There are members in England, Australia and Japan.
ATHA also publishes a Newsletter issued six time annually. The Newsletters provide information on the national and local level, articles on the "How To" of rug hooking, as well as advertisements from various suppliers, designers, teachers, rug camps, etc.
If you are interested in membership, please contact Joan Cahill, Membership Chairperson - by mail at 600 1/2 Maple Street, Endicott, NY 13760; by phone at 607-748-7588; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh: A nonprofit, member supported organization that promotes appreciation of fiber art and fosters its development and continuation.
Formerly the Embroiderer's Guild, the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh has been affiliated withthe Pittsburgh Center for the Arts since 1963. The Guild has evolved with the contemporary craft movement into an organization committed to the preservation, development and continued evolution of the broad range of fiber art.
The Fiberarts Guild provides a support community for artists and others interested in themedium. An annual series of lectures and workshops fosters individual artistic growth and brings together people who seek to advance the field of fiber art and enrich the culture of our region. Regularly scheduled critique sessions provide opportunities for individual creative development.
- O'Bannon Oriental Carpets: Pittsburgh's finest source of traditionally crafted rugs will be featuring the works of Sandra Brown in a special exhibition in March of 2005. We'll have more about this upcoming exhibit soon, but for now, if you enjoy folk art, you can explore the artistry of woven textiles at O'Bannon Oriental Carpets and learn how the craftswomen of Turkey, using hand-spun wool and brightly colored vegetable dyes create one-of-a-kind, handmade carpets in the time honored folk tradition.
- Craftsmen's Guild of Pittsburgh: The mission of the Craftsmen's Guild of Pittsburgh is to promote fine crafts in the western Pennsylvania region. The Craftsmen's Guild of Pittsburgh, a non-profit organization, sponsors exhibitions, workshops, social events and scholarships. The Guild also sponsors "A Fair in the Park", held annually the weekend after Labor Day.
The Craftsmen's Guild of Pittsburgh, which has about 150 members, along with other local guilds, is a member guild of the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in Shadyside. Many of our members are on the faculty of the Center for the Arts school.
Craftsmen's Guild members work in a wide variety of media, including clay, fiber, glass, leather, metal, stone, wood and mixed media. They produce both functional and nonfunctional work with an emphasis on artistic expression.
The Guild provides networking opportunities for artists and members often reach out to one another in a consultation or mentoring service.
Books & Bibliography - Our Reviewed Favorites
Please find here a list of books that we have reviewed that we feel will be most helpful, informative and inspiring in supporting your journey into the world of rug hooking and hooked rugs.
Contemporary Rug Hooking:
- The Rug Hook Book: Techniques, Projects And Patterns For This Easy, Traditional Craft, by Thom Boswell:
This book's most outstanding feature is the section of colorful patterns for making one's own hooked rugs. Each pattern's charted grid has a list of colors, a list of materials, and instructions for working the design. Also, a gallery of exemplary hooked rugs by artists offers inspiration. Beginners may need a more detailed work such as Joan Moshimer's The Complete Book of Rug Hooking. Recommended for public library collections.
- A Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs: XI, by Rug Hooking Magazine and Stackpole Publishing: These publications include the best of the best of rugs submitted for jurying and are a good indication of what styles are currently grabbing the rug hooker's attention.
Color and Color Theory:
- Glorious Colour, by Kaffe Fassett: A knitter who in recent years began dabbling in rug hooking, Kaffe's sense of color and what inspires his designs is fascinating.
- Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green, by Michael Wilcox: A challenging look at how we make color and an especially informative discussion of color bias.
- The Best of Colored Pencil 4, by the Colored Pencil Society of America: Especially for the rug hooker who wants excellent examples of shadow and highlight, these colored pencil books are a treasure trove.
- Prisms I, II & III, by Nancy MacLennan and Claire de Roos: 44 Stearns Avenue, Johnson City, NY 13790.
- Jewel Tones, by Carolyn Clemens: 156 Wedgewood Drive, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2B 3G4.
- Primary Fusion, by Ingrid Hieronimus: RR#2, Petersburg, Ontario, Canada N0B 2H0.
- American Hooked and Sewn Rugs: Folk Art Underfoot, by Joel and Kate Kopp: A lovely compendium of antique rugs, mostly in color, full of inspiration.
- Hooked Rug Treasury and Hooked Rugs: History and the Continuing Tradition, by Jessie A. Turbayne: Written by a collector and restorer of hooked rugs, these books are a comprehensive history of rug hooking with lots of full-color photographs.
Florals & Fruit:
- Painting the Allure of Nature, by Susan D. Bourdet: Her technique is remarkable and instruction on how to build color in a picture invaluable. Take note of the subtle graded backgrounds in her paintings as well.
- The Best of Flower Painting and The Best of Flower Painting 2, Edited by Kathryn Kipp: Rug hookers could take a lesson from painters on how to interpret and color plan floral rugs. Lots of inspiration here!
- Contemporary Botanical Artists: The Shirley Sherwood Collection, by Shirley Sherwood: A broad collection of the finest botanical art in the world - full of information and beautiful color plates.
Pictorials & Other Books:
- Artist's Photo Reference: Landscapes, by Gary Greene and Artist's Photo Reference: Water & Skies, by Bart Rulon: Very often a pictorial's success in rug hooking depends on getting a good photo as a visual aid. These books provide hundreds of photos to consult as we work through a good pictorial.
- The Power of Limits: Proportional Harmonies in Nature, Art & Architecture, by Gyorgi Doczi: One of the delights of life is the discovery and rediscovery of patterns of order and beauty in nature and this book explores them extensively, from flowers to seed pods to fish scales to architecture.
& On a Personal Note:
- In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development, by Carol Gilligan: A seminal work that began with the Harvard studies on why young girls start performing more poorly in school by age 11, and ends with the discussion of how women lose their "voice" in an attempt to fit into a patriarchal society. Brilliant, especially the part about how men and women make moral decisions differently.
- The Birth of Pleasure: A New Map of Love, by Carol Gilligan: Another revelatory book by this noted psychologist, this time on the process of dissociation we go through, inherently as women - "not knowing what we know" - in order to have relationships.
- The Return of the Mother, by Andrew Harvey: A noted translator of the Rumi poems, Harvey has deep insight into the consequences to society, nature and history in general when the Sacred Feminine is absent.
- The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, by Sue Monk Kidd: Kidd re-examined her entire spiritual life, questioning all that she had been taught about the place of women in God's creation and shares her revelations in this absorbing book.
Miscellanea & Addenda
This sections lists things we might have otherwise forgotten or websites we like that didn't fit into any of the other above categories.
- Hands All Around: As many who've taken my workshops know, I picked up the autoharp 8 years ago during a difficult period of my life and often play for students at some point in the workshop. Music is another path into the non-linear, right-brain creative part of us, and we are never too old to explore these new interests. To wit, a group I sing and play children's songs with, "Hands All Around", recently released a CD of original music entitled "So Much Fun to Pretend" which is full of delightful, funny and fun songs for kids, including a lullaby sung by yours truly. You can visit the website to find out more and even order the CD there - a perfect gift for little people!
- Woodturnings by Edric Florence: Truly a great craftsman, Edric's website is a joy to explore and design-wise was a major inspiration for my own new website here. Edric does custom work as well, so for anything turned from wood - perhaps a handle for your favorite rug hooking tool - please look him up!
About the image for the logo on this page: Jewel Stretch Tumbling Blocks - 46" x 32" - hand dyed wool on burlap - hooked rug by Sandra Brown. A traditional quilt geometric, this hooked rug was begun with only two colors - the red and teal. All the others were added one by one to allow the entire piece to develop organically as a study in color. Each hue was dipped into its complement, not black, to achieve the darkened effect on the end. See Dye Workshops for information on dyeing with complements, and Geometric Workshop for information on designing this and other kinds of geometric rugs.