Posted by: Laura Pierce | April 14, 2023

Flying into Puget Sound to teach a class on ‘Light!’

Mt.Shasta in California, March 15, 2023, shadows in the snow illustrate the flow of the volcano.

Flying out of ‘Snoopy’ Airport… or Sonoma County Airport… makes the trip a little less difficult. It’s a small airport in Santa Rosa, just a few miles north of Petaluma. I recognize many of the landscapes as we fly north along the same route as Hwy 5. Flying into Sea-Tac was exciting as we made a big circle over Seattle to approach the runway!

Flying past downtown Seattle and starting our turn around

Lots of water in Seattle, including the lake visible beyond downtown, where the ‘Boys in the Boat’ trained! I love a window seat, and taking photos with my i-Phone… as the plane made it’s 180 degree turn, it looked like we would fly right over downtown!

Descending and turning… downtown Seattle coming up! See the orange top of the Space Needle just above the wing!

Sea-Tac is a huge airport… with trains to get you to/from your terminal. Following the crowd, it’s easy enough to find the baggage claim and your way to the curb to await your ‘chariot’! And my chariot did arrive… with Michele Wise and Janet Conner… it was so good to see them! After dinner out, along with Sara Judith, we settled in and got our classrooms ready for classes. An optional ‘hook-in’ on the first day was quite pleasant and gave us a chance to visit and reconnect with friends. Sara was busy with a single-day class on Punch Hooking.

Sunset Dumas Center
Sunset at Dumas Center, Federal Way, WA. March 16, 2023

Puget Sound Rug School meets at Dumas Bay Center with views of Puget Sound, the Cascades and the lush rain forest surroundings. It’s a stimulating and exciting rug event each spring, in this magical place, and an annual gathering for rug hooking artists through out the Pacific Northwest. It’s wonderful to be included in their enthusiasm and generosity.

Opulence II design by Emma Webber
‘Opulence II’ – design by Emma Webber, hooked by Lynn Reed

It was lovely to reconnect with Lynn Reed and Ros Noble at Puget Sound. Both of them are previous members of my local ATHA chapter, Wine Country Rug Hookers. Lynn had purchased this pattern from me that’s based on one of my mother’s rugs. Lynn really did the pattern justice; keeping in my mother’s style, but using her own colour palette!

Nice to have a photo visiting with Tanya, but hard to smile into the sunshine.

The grounds of Dumas Bay Center include walkways, benches and a broad meadow, which are enjoyed by everyone. The Dumas Bay Center building, in the background, reminds me of San Francisco’s old ‘Jack Tar Hotel’; it had similar turquoise panels and windows, was many stories high, and had a grand entrance at Van Ness and Geary! It was a modern icon of the 60’s, but is gone now.

Towering firs and pines surround the grounds at Dumas Bay Center which overlooks a quiet bay, filled with birds and water fowl.

A walkway around the grounds includes several garden features and is possibly 1/4 mile around. It offers an easy and pleasant way to get in your daily walk and commune with nature, too. It’s also a great way to stretch out after a day of pulling loops!

Back lit Star Magnolia

This magnolia tree starts blooming in March, when Puget Sound Rug School is here taking place. This particular afternoon it was catching the light on it’s soft fuzzy bud scales and the creamy, almost pink, magnolia petals. Light outlines the cascading branches against the blue panels creating an abstract composition of light and movement.

A class on ‘Light’… we had a lively class at Puget Sound… with 18 different projects. Light can be illustrated with light colour, such as white and pastels, as needed… the light of a candle, a light line across the water, sunshine on buildings, a pearl earring or a silver cup. Reflections are an important indicator of light… such as that little light in your eye… a reflection of light on the surface of your eye. Reflections on water, a shiny table or in a mirror create a sense of light! Shadows and silhouettes indicate light, but they’re dark and can only be seen along with light.

‘Beauty Buick’ designed and hooked by Laura Pierce

After 3 years hiatus from teaching, I felt a little rusty. I decided to start off with a review of all of our projects together, one at a time. This way, everyone could get the benefit of each other’s projects. There were some fun prim pieces, some complicated pieces, some adaptations, some combinations, and some ‘finish it up’ projects! All with light and lessons to learn.

Ritchie easy grip hooks
Ritchie hooks I like: 5mm, 6mm & 8mm; easy grip handles.

Flying to Rug Events restricts what you can bring… of course. Janet Conner flew with 2 huge suitcases… not I. Her classroom looked spectacular when she was done fixing it up! Meanwhile, one checked bag, one carry-on and one personal item is enough for me! I brought a small project to hook on during the first day hook-in; it didn’t take up much room. I selected some wool that seemed appropriate for the projects, along with a few hooks and patterns. I carried on some rugs to show various techniques and brought my mother’s rug book, ‘Evolving Design’. I asked my students to bring noodles to spare, as I like to have those extra bits of colour. A bit of colour can be just the right nudge needed to make things right. Thanks again for sharing those bits!

‘Evolving Design’ by Emma Webber

My mother, Emma Webber, started hooking and braiding rugs when she was pregnant with her last child… me! Many years later, when she was ‘coasting down her 90’s’, we put together a few books. ‘Evolving Design’ is the second of her 2 rug books. We self-published them through and used Emma’s photographs for many of the rugs. She was not a photographer, but she did start to document her rugs in the 70’s. Emma loved to sell her rugs, and those that sold were repeated, but since Emma used the supplies she had on hand, every rug was unique.

You’ll see Emma’s versions of Opulence I, II and III in her book. Opulence I was inspired by a class on Geometric Rugs by Katie Rainwater, sponsored by our Wine Country Rug Hookers guild. Emma drew out her design on graph paper, as I remember. After Opulence sold, Emma had to hook another… Opulence II! Yes, I have more of Emma’s books… and also my ‘Caswell Impressions’ book. Both are listed on my website: Also available are the Ritchie hooks in the 3 sizes, illustrated above; contact me.

As usual, a wonderful long weekend at Puget Sound Rug School! They are taking registrations for 2024… try it, you’ll like it!


  1. Thanks Laura for this. You “took me” back to a favorite rug school of mine. The coordinators, Michelle and Sara, have selected a spot for creativity, camaraderie and lessons.

    • Hi Susan,
      yes… a great school… to attend and to teach at! Sara and Michele listen and fine-tune to make it the best rug school experience. It’s appreciated!

  2. Hi Laura!
    What a fantastic sharing! I wish I had heard about this school!!! My husband could have brought me up and come back after me. Where was it published? None of my group had mentioned it either, unless I just didn’t hear or pay attention, which is definitely possible🙄
    It was an informative writing! Maybe next year?

    • Hi Toni,
      yes, it’s close to you and a very good time! It does fill up early, so i recommend that you check it out and sign up sooner than later. there’s a link at the bottom of my post. hope it works out for you.

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