Ocean City Today

Celebrating 25 years of rug crafting with classes, exhibit

Maryland Shores Rug Hooking School returns to Ocean City, April 8-13
By Kara Hallissey | Apr 05, 2018
Millie Joyce, a 90-year-old from New Jersey, completes a piece during the Maryland Shores Rug Hooking School last year at the Dunes Manor Hotel on 28th Street.

(April 6, 2018) Within five weeks of registration opening, the Maryland Shores Rug Hooking School classes sold out. The event kicks off Sunday, at the Dunes Manor Hotel on 28th Street and Baltimore Avenue for the 25th year.

More than 90 rug crafters, from beginners to experts, will participate in a number of classes between Sunday, April 8, and next Friday, April 13, led by seven certified teachers, said Pam Johnson, director of the school.

“We still have a waiting list because the ladies love coming here and it fills up every year,” Johnson said. “We have a couple new people who have never hooked before and we are excited to get them started. The hotel is beautiful – it is all oceanfront. The first-class teachers are fantastic.”

For those not familiar with the art form of rug hooking, a hand hook is used to pull loops of fabric through different types of backing such as cotton, wool or a burlap sack. The material can be dyed any color, cut thinner for more detail or take on a primitive pattern, Johnson said.

Seven teachers, all Pearl K. McGown Rug Hooking School certified, will be on hand to help dye patterns, teach different styles of rug hooking and assist attendees with making intricate designs such as flowers or animals.

“Our teachers are trained in a wide variety of styles,” Johnson said. “Each student has their own patterns. They could be working on faces, animals and shades. Our teachers are trained to teach any type of rug hooking.”

A highlight of the event will be a rug show exhibit on Thursday, April 12 from noon to 7 p.m. at the hotel featuring completed pieces made by rug crafters throughout the year. The show is open to the public and admission is free.

“The women bring new pieces they finished this year and it is always a surprise,” Johnson said. “Last year, there were 161 pieces.

“We always have a lot of fun,” she continued. “We are also having an anniversary cake during tea time from 3-4 p.m. on Thursday.”

Working at Dunes Manor Hotel with Janice Russell first introduced Johnson to rug hooking 19 years ago and she has been certified for a decade. Rug hooking started hundreds of years ago when people would use seed sacks and old clothing, she said.

“We lost Janice this year,” Johnson said. “Her daughter is bringing a couple pieces for the show.”

Classes will begin at 9 a.m. each day with a break at noon for lunch. Afternoon classes run from 1-3 p.m. with tea rounding out each day at 3 p.m. Students will eat dinner at the hotel each night at 6 p.m.

After dinner, students also have the option to take four mini classes throughout the week including three hooking classes and a dye class.

“It is the 25th anniversary,” Johnson said. “Two ladies have been here every single year from Kansas and Massachusetts. Four husbands are tagging along and when the ladies are in classes they go golfing or fishing.”

Locally, the Delmarva Rug Crafters meet on the second and third Wednesday of each month at the Ocean City Senior Center on 41st Street at 10 a.m. if anyone is interested in learning the art.

For more information, contact Johnson at 410-251-2888 or email lpt219@comcast.net.

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