Posted by: laurawp | November 27, 2016

Which pattern should i do next?

Caswell Impression #9 pattern

Caswell Impression #9 pattern

It’s marvelous to have another Caswell Impression to hook… they’ve been so much fun! This one got lost, so I’ve got a month to hook it, before the second deadline; January 1, 2017. Lately, I’ve been re-purposing patterns by drawing another pattern on the back; even my own. When a pattern never sells; after a few years in the offering basket, it’s time to re-purpose it.

Louise's Iris, 16x16" pattern, by Laura Pierce

Louise’s Iris, 16×16″ pattern, by Laura Pierce

Who would want to hook a giant Iris? the translucent quality of Iris petals… what was i thinking… ha!? This pattern was developed for a class on ‘Giant Flowers’ that Barb Kennedy offered at our ATHA chapter, several years ago. Also included in the group are the popular ‘Giant Poppy’ pattern, the ‘Giant Dahlia’, the ‘Giant Cala’ patterns and others. After I re-purposed this pattern, I thought about Barb’s class; it was about shading with wide-cut. I wondered if I could hook this Iris pattern effectively…?

'Louise's Iris' shaded with coloured pencils, by Laura Pierce

‘Louise’s Iris’ shaded with coloured pencils, by Laura Pierce

It’s easy to print a small version of the pattern and colour it with pencils or crayons… to see what I can do. I think I’ll look for another pattern to re-purpose; I may be ready to hook the Iris!

Tanya, Laura, Emma & Brigitta; the team at Little River Inn Rug Camp

Tanya, Laura, Emma & Brigitta; the team at Little River Inn Rug Camp

A great team and a great little camp! Tanya Graham and Brigitta Phy are great teachers, so having them teach at Little River Inn Rug Camp is a cinch! Our backdrop is part of the Caswell Impressions Rug Show. The first show, but only 65 of the 78 rugs were available for this rug show. The second deadline is January 1, 2017. Then i’ll be looking for other venues to show these wonderful rugs!

Caswell Impressions done in the warm colours/

Caswell Impressions done in the warm colours/

I separated the rugs in colour families; cool, warm and neutral. I was wondering how I would hang all the individual rugs… and this seemed like a reasonable starting point.

The group of neutral Caswell Impressions

The group of neutral Caswell Impressions

all of the rugs are beautiful and deserve to be shown off to their best advantage. This was a great trial run; yes they go together, but more room would be good.

Tanya's class listens to Tanya's art talk...

Tanya’s class listens to Tanya’s art talk…

a few more ‘cool Caswell Impressions’ on Tanya’s class wall… to the left.

Tanya talks to her class about creating art in their rugs.

Tanya talks to her class about creating art in their rugs.

The Caswell Impressions are on the wall, but class also goes on… with a few teaching props leaning up against the same wall. Rug Hooking is a bit messy and especially at rug camp!

Tanya talks about rug design and modern art

Tanya talks about rug design and modern art

Again, Tanya’s backdrop is the Caswell Impressions cool selection. The rug show was a couple of days in the hanging, but I learned a lot about the collection. I’m looking forward to hanging the show again… with more gallery lighting and space.  I am looking for venues to show the collection; let me know if your group would like to see them!  Next summer, I’ll drive them out to Archbold, Ohio, to show them at Sauder Village Rug Hooking Week; August 15-19, 2017!  There are a lot of states between Petaluma and Sauder Village; let me know if I should stop by.

Caswell Impression #28 hooked by Mary Watson

Caswell Impression #28 hooked by Mary Watson

When I unpacked Mary Watson’s package and saw her beautiful rug; I thought… how wonderful; hanging flowers!

Caswell Impression #28 hooked by Mary Watson

Caswell Impression #28 hooked by Mary Watson

Then I realized that the rug was upside down, but her initials work both ways.

Caswell Impression #22 hooked by Lise Merchant

Caswell Impression #22 hooked by Lise Merchant

Another beautiful rug arrived that day; from the Yukon! Lise Merchant’s Caswell Impression is rich and vibrant with textures and spots of brilliant colour. As many of the Caswell designs fill their space, the designs are similar to tiles.

Caswell Impression #22 hooked by Lise Merchant

Caswell Impression #22 hooked by Lise Merchant

My mother used to say that a good design works upside down as well as right side up. Of course, in rug making, this is a good thing.

Caswell Impression #55 hooked by April Shekter

Caswell Impression #55 hooked by April Shekter

One more beautiful rug, from Portland Oregon; April’s rug is softly dramatic with cool colours. The design has a nice flow of stems and flowers; practically bending with the wind.

Caswell Impression #55 hooked by April Shekter

Caswell Impression #55 hooked by April Shekter

This Caswell pattern looks good turned 90 degrees too. Many of these rugs will make lovely pillows landing on the couch any which way!

I gave my rug hooking friends 2 deadlines; October 2, 2016 and January 1, 2017. Three quarters of the rugs have arrived and they are impressive. A familiar refrain is that the designs were fun to hook and the colours came easily from each artist’s noodles and stash. Also, the designs opened up a new avenue of expression for some of the rug artists. I’m very grateful for everyone’s participation in this project; and love getting to know each participant in a new, coloured and textured way!

I know a few more rugs are on their way; the first show will be at Little River Inn Rug Camp at the end of the month. I can’t wait to start hanging the show; even though the rugs are all as different as the rug artists that hooked them, they’re going to look great all together!

Posted by: laurawp | September 19, 2016

Caswell Progress & Pondering

Caswell Peahen in progress by Laura Pierce

Caswell Peahen in progress by Laura Pierce

I’ve finished up the Peahen and her flowers since I took this photo. Making the flowers orange seemed competitive with the mid-body feathers on the Peahen… so I decided to make the ground orange too. The Peahen’s feathers are grey or brown according to the visuals I’m working with… orange is part of the brown family of colour, I reckon. Also, I got rid of the smokey yellow, except for my signature. I had it in mind to use my ‘Green Shadow’ and now I’m convinced it was a good idea. I am wishing for a bit more black to balance things out, and have started an additional row around the edge. not sure about it, but I need to finish up before I can decide.

Caswell 'Think Pink' by Laura Pierce

Caswell ‘Think Pink’ by Laura Pierce

‘Think Pink’ was one of the early Caswell squares I did; using a orange brown spot as my starting place and outline. When I was finished hooking the piece, I felt like the orange spot was not present enough; so I used it to whip finish the piece. Since then, I’ve felt like there is too much orange spot. Since I baste my folded edge before I whip, I expect that I can change my mind and replace the whipping with a different material. But before I do, I mocked it up.

'Think Pink' Caswell by Laura Pierce with green border

‘Think Pink’ Caswell by Laura Pierce with green border

I think the change would make the orange outlining much more delicate… what do you think?

Posted by: laurawp | September 12, 2016

One more Caswell Impression

Caswell Peahen in progress by Laura Pierce

Caswell Peahen in progress by Laura Pierce

I’m very happy to be hooking one more Caswell Impression! especially the Peahen! One of my students had picked this pattern, but realized she was too busy to get it done. I’m having a lot of fun with the bright colours, even though the Peahen is quite dull compared to the Peacock. It’s our liberty as rug hooking artists, right? You can see a few ink marks in the feather area; I frequently will change a pattern as I hook it. Several of the Caswell Impressions artist have made changes to the patterns and done it their way… and I say ‘Yaye!’

Caswell Impression hooked in velvet by Robyn Schoder

Caswell Impression hooked in velvet by Robyn Schoder

I re-photographed Robyn’s velvet Caswells… in bright sunshine. I never photograph hooked rugs in bright sunshine because it shows each loop, which is distracting in regards to the image of the rug as a whole. Velvet is quite different; it’s luscious and shiny and that was not coming across in a regular photograph. I think this is a better photograph, but some rugs just need to be seen in person.

Caswell Impression hooked by Cathy Kelly

Caswell Impression hooked by Cathy Kelly

Cathy Kelly’s Caswell Impression has some shiny beads in the flower centers; they sparkle a bit in the photograph, but show better in person. I love Cathy’s colour plan; pushing the envelope a bit… yellow gold, yellow green and apricot… analogous I suppose. I am curious how this came about.

Caswell Impression hooked & sewn by Susan Feller

Caswell Impression hooked & sewn by Susan Feller

Susan Feller’s Caswell Impression is quite 3-dimensional! Puffy flowers and free wool leaves rise above the colourful stitched background. These alternative fiber manipulations look like fun! I am tempted to squish the flowers, but resist in an effort to keep each rug in pristine shape.

Caswell Impression hooked and sewn by Martha Lowry

Caswell Impression hooked and sewn by Martha Lowry

Martha Lowry showed her Caswell Impression on Facebook and garnered many, many compliments! It is 3-dimensional too with very wide loops, 2 kinds of ‘Shirring’ and twillies too. The beautiful soft colours and textures are hard to photograph; I held the rug next to my computer monitor to try and get the correct colouring. The wool flannel whipping is seamless and the round corners are stress free.

I have received quite a few Caswell Impressions and will be showing them at Little River Inn Rug Camp at the end of October. Even though the rug camp is full, you are certainly welcome to come by and see the Rug Show. We don’t fill up all the rooms at the Inn, so you can come up for a day and stay the night. www.LittleRiverInn.com

Posted by: laurawp | July 18, 2016

Polly Clark & her brightly coloured rugs!

'Crewel' design by Jane Flynn, hooked by Polly Clark

‘Crewel’ design by Jane Flynn, hooked by Polly Clark

Polly Clark showed this rug at the Western Teachers’ Workshop Rug Show the 1st year I attended, 2003. I had already met Polly before Teachers’ Workshop, and enjoyed reconnecting with her and seeing her exciting rugs!

'Wild Cherries' hooked by Polly Clark

‘Wild Cherries’ hooked by Polly Clark

Colour is one of the important ingredients of rug hooking and Polly played with it well. She would go out on a limb with bright pink and make it work beautifully! I’ve seen the ‘Wild Cherries’ pattern before, but don’t remember the scrolls around the edge… and I love her simple and effective treatment of them.

Polly Clark at our WCRH FAPO Rug Show in March 2004

Polly Clark at our WCRH FAPO Rug Show in March 2004

Our ATHA Chapter, Wine Country Rug Hookers, had a rug show and hook-in and invited a few extra rug artists to join us; including Polly.

A few of Polly Clark's rugs at the WTW 2016 rug show

A few of Polly Clark’s rugs at the WTW 2016 rug show

Polly’s niece, Jennifer Dotson, was our Rug Show Chair this year and was able to bring several of Polly’s rugs for our show.

'Run' adapted from Robin Price design, hooked by Polly Clark

‘Run’ adapted from Robin Price design, hooked by Polly Clark

It was great to see Polly’s version of this pattern, taught in a previous year by Robin Price. Polly added the second horse and it definitely adds fun to the ‘Run’!

'Lily O'Keefe' design by Charco, hooked by Polly Clark

‘Lily O’Keefe’ design by Charco, hooked by Polly Clark

Here’s another workshop piece, hooked by Polly in her wonderful colourful way!

'Jennifer' hooked by Polly Clark

‘Jennifer’ hooked by Polly Clark

Polly and I worked together on her portrait of Jennifer. It was a pleasure working with this talented artist!

'Swan' hooked by Polly Clark

‘Swan’ hooked by Polly Clark

These are only a few of Polly’s rugs. She always brought interest, excitement and colour to her Rug Art!

Posted by: laurawp | July 1, 2016

Western Ways

Zooming by the view of Mt.Shasta from Hwy5

Zooming by the view of Mt.Shasta from Hwy5

Mt.Shasta is sort of like Mt.Fuji for us northern Californians… a spiritual mountain, glorious with it’s snow topped peak. We stop in the town of Mt.Shasta for great coffees and lunch on our way to Oregon; this time for Western Teachers’ Workshop.

Uphill on Hwy5

Uphill on Hwy5

The more we travel up and down this highway, the more these mountains become familiar landmarks of our trip. another hill further up the hwy has a barn roof visible from the road with an American Eagle painted over the entire roof. Before Yreka, on the north side of the hwy, there is a large metal cow howling a warning, or is she howling at the moon? Several years ago, she gained a metal calf beside her, howling too.

'Little Quaint' design by Jane Flynn, hooked in progress by Cheryl Salzberg

‘Little Quaint’ design by Jane Flynn, hooked in progress by Cheryl Salzberg

Once we arrive at Riley Hall in Eugene, we settle in for a week of teaching practice and inspiration. A Tuesday class, ‘Textured Geometrics’, presented by Cheryl Salzberg was a fun exercise in trying various fibers in our hooking; lace, ribbons, slinky materials, etc. Cheryl also shared a fun textured wool that was white with black specks on one side and black with white specks on the other. it is used to good effect in the ‘Little Quaint’!

Roxanne Ross and Pat Wilson at the Rug Show

Roxanne Ross and Pat Wilson at the Rug Show

Each year, we have a rug show at Western Teachers’ Workshop, on Thursday. Roxanne and Jennifer Dotson organized and put up the Rug Show with the Junior class. It is always a great show of our teaching projects and our own original designs.

8 'Victory Flower' rugs and 2 William Morris Crow pillows.

8 ‘Victory Flower’ rugs and 2 William Morris Crow pillows.

Some of the patterns we teach are so much fun, they come back and make a splash at the rug show. Victory Flower is 20×20″ and fun to personalize and hook! You can order it from Honey Bee Hive, our new McGown certification sponsor.

'Orb Rose' design by HBH, hooked by Suzi Jones

‘Orb Rose’ design by HBH, hooked by Suzi Jones

Suzi’s rendition of this new pattern from Honey Bee Hive is so striking! I love graphics and the black and white backgrounds really set off the design!  I wonder what other colour plans we could do with this design.

'High, Wide and Handsome' design by HBH and hooked by Lynn Roth

‘High, Wide and Handsome’ design by HBH and hooked by Lynn Roth

Lynn always wows us with her colour sense and this piece is even more amazing… extra wide strips fill the petals and high and low medium strip make up the flower center. A beautifully crocheted edge finishes this rug perfectly!

'Wide-cut Rose' design by HBH hooked by Polly Clark

‘Wide-cut Rose’ design by HBH hooked by Polly Clark

Central in the Rug Show this year, was a tribute to the late Polly Clark; mentor and friend to all. Polly hooked her cheerfulness into all of her rugs; with a bit of pink!
I’ll show more of her rugs next time.

Posted by: laurawp | June 12, 2016

A jaunt to the Cambria Rug Show!

Old Prickly Pear at San Juan Bautista in Central California.

Old Prickly Pear at San Juan Bautista in Central California.

My husband, Kirby, and I decided to take off for a few days road trip and go see friends and the rug show at Cambria Pines Rug Camp. I’ve driven and ridden the trip several times down Hwy 101 to Paso Robles, then out to the coast to Cambria. We generally stop at San Juan Bautista for a picnic; it’s a dusty old California Mission town and something to see! An orchard fenced in with a brick and plaster fence has various fruit trees and includes a couple of old prickly pears. Look but don’t touch!

Big Sur view of cliffs and a bridge.

Big Sur view of cliffs and a bridge.

Since we were not in a hurry and enjoying the road trip; we decided to drive down Hwy 1 and see Big Sur. We were lucky with high fog and beautiful views.

Distant view of a 2 arch bridge in Big Sur.

Distant view of a 2 arch bridge in Big Sur.

It is a beautiful drive with plenty of pull offs so you can join all the other folks taking selfies and photographs. We met a young couple that were watching for whales. I’ll be back when I get a long lens for my camera. we’ll stay at one of the parks or possible a hotel; there were a few along the drive. A few people live up the hills, though not seen from the road; their mailboxes marked their presence.

'Enigma' rug hooked by Peg Richardson, 1992, adapted from newspaper illustration

‘Enigma’ rug hooked by Peg Richardson, 1992, adapted from newspaper illustration

It was great seeing friends and teachers at Cambria. The rug show included several original Elizabeth Black rugs, which Gene Shepherd had for sale. Most of them were quickly sold as soon as the rug show opened. I noticed another rug for sale by Peg Richardson. There was no price, but I was quite struck by the rug and decided to find out. It was a price I could afford and my musical husband thinks I bought it for him.

Rug information tag on the back side of our new rug.

Rug information tag on the back side of our new rug.

Peg Richardson hooked the rug beautifully, in a #3 cut. The tiny outlines in textures add a sparkle and fine graphics. Peg is no longer alive, I found out, but she left us this information on her rug tag. I felt like buying the rug honored her and her fine workmanship. Now I’m looking for a good place to put it.

Posted by: laurawp | May 8, 2016

Teaching at Puget Sound Rug School

Old Broad Leaf Maple over looking Puget Sound

Old Broad Leaf Maple over looking Puget Sound

This big beautiful tree was part of the view from my classroom at Puget Sound Rug School, this past March. The location and spirit of this new rug school is phenomenal! It’s the new kid on the block… a rug school, not a rug camp. The difference is that each of the 3 teachers offers a subject which the whole class works on with their individual projects. A rug camp indicates open classes and a more casual atmosphere where campers socialize as much as learn. Oh, there is socializing at PSRS, but more after class than in class.

Black Pine and Gazebo at Puget Sound Rug School

Black Pine and Gazebo at Puget Sound Rug School

A path around the grounds at the Dumas Bay Retreat Center in Federal Way, Washington, invites you to come outside and enjoy the elements! Lots of moisture in the Pacific Northwest and this Californian enjoyed it!

Mossy rocks lay across the grass on the south side of the walk

Mossy rocks lay across the grass on the south side of the walk

The moss reminded me of my younger days in Terrace, BC. There the moss in the forest is 4 or 5 inches deep; you can imagine Titania and her little fairy elves laying in their soft mossy beds.

View from the classroom

View from the classroom

I took a few photos on the last day of class; this one shows the view from my classroom. You could see a ferry in the distance scooting back and forth from the mainland to the island directly across from water; which is actually a shipping channel with freighters traveling by. Tacoma is just south of Federal Way and has a big port where the freighters come and go. Puget Sound Rug School is easy to get to as it’s not far from SeaTac Airport. I drove up with my friend Gail Becker. She taught there the year before and knew the way.

Michele Wise and Laura Pierce at Puget Sound Rug School 2016

Michele Wise and Laura Pierce at Puget Sound Rug School 2016 – photo by Ruth Scott

It was great fun having Michele in my class; she worked on 2 projects along with running her store in an alcove off the classroom. Next door was our dining and meeting room, where we had our meals, a daily shared happy hour, student sale, and slide show presentation. After dinner each night, we had a rug show by class. It’s always interesting to have the rug artist available for questions, comments and stories of the rugs they are showing. The other 2016 teachers were Diane Learmonth with Rugs like Georgia O’Keefe and Susan Feller with Elements and Principles of Design.

Rose's Dad

Rose’s Dad – photo by Ruth Scott

I certainly enjoyed teaching Portraits from beginning to end. I always work with students ahead of time, via emails; some more than others. In this class, several students came with photographs to be made into patterns. It was fun sharing the whole process, from selecting a photo, to scanning it, tracing it, enlarging it and finally putting it on backing. Then we hook the portrait; a daunting subject, but exciting to see the faces come to life! Of course, I hope my method gives each student the basics of portraiture and that after class, they feel comfortable hooking more portraits on their own.

Julie's Dad

Julie’s Dad – photo by Ruth Scott

Doing a portrait is like a visit. These 3 dads have passed away, but are certainly not forgotten; we enjoyed the stories their daughters shared. Now, I’m inspired to do a portrait of my dad!

Bev's Dad

Bev’s Dad – photo by Ruth Scott

We all get involved with each other’s portraits in a class like this. We had 3 dads, a mom, a brother, a daughter, a grandmother, a friend, 3 ‘selfies’, 2 husbands, a cubist nomad and a sheep!

Next year, the line-up is: Donna Hrkman with Steampunk & Portraits, Brigitta Phy with Wonderscapes, and Molly Colegrove with Turning your Rugs from Ordinary to Extraordinary! Puget Sound Rug School

Posted by: laurawp | March 5, 2016

Caswell potato chips

Caswell Impression #16; Birds in nests

Caswell Impression #16; Birds in nests

this is the first Caswell Impression square that I hooked… and i was determined to use a recycled brown plaid as the background. but it was funky… didn’t have the body of the beautiful wool… so I decided to ‘run out’ of it… ha! the Dorr Antique Black was a great substitute!

Caswell Impression #13

Caswell Impression #13

Letting the wool at hand guide me; i used a bright swatch i bought from Robin Price several years ago; she was selling off Gloria Grey’s stash. Part of the idea of hooking these Caswell Impressions is to give myself permission to go with the flow; use wool at hand and let it be the guide to the whole colour plan. I know my mother was inspired by her stash… wool and colours giving birth to inspiration. so far it’s a very fun adventure!

Caswell Impression #15

Caswell Impression #15

the lead wool in this one is the outlining; a spot I dyed over yellow textured wool. I love the graphics of these Caswell Squares… and outline and fill emphasizes the graphic quality. Zeurah fills her squares… so many lessons to be learned.  I couldn’t see what the bottom motifs were; I thought they might be seed pods.  when I looked on the Metropolitan Museum website:  http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/13576    I found out that they were flowers.  I pulled out what i had hooked in and put in the lovely pink little flowers… more in keeping with the whole square.

Caswell Impression #17 pattern

Caswell Impression #17 pattern

There are 77 squares including the Strawberry Basket panel in the Caswell Carpet. I’ve drawn up 40 of the patterns so far. I’ve decided to ask my friends for help completing all the squares. They are addictive… ha… you can’t just do one. I’m working on the Strawberry Basket panel and thinking about my next square… with the little rooster…

yes… once you get started, it’s hard to stop.  like a good book,  1 chapter after another… ha!

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