Ocean City Today

Hooked on rugs

Now in its 16th year, annual convention promises to be a stitch for multitudes of practitioners and artists who explore rug-making
By Kara Hallissey | Mar 30, 2017
 Capri Boyle Jones from Navarre, Florida, shows off her calla lilies work during the rug show exhibit last year.

(March 31, 2017) Growing in popularity the last 24 years, the Maryland Shores Rug Hooking School is returning to the Dunes Manor Hotel on 28th Street and Baltimore Avenue this Sunday for a weeklong series of classes.

More than 90 rug crafters, from beginners to experts, will participate in seven classes between Sunday and next Friday, said Pam Johnson, director of the school.

Because of a few cancellations last week, five openings are available and Johnson is looking to fill those spots. Call the Dunes Manor Hotel at 410-289-1100 to sign up. The cost is $200 for the school with additional costs for dues, commuter fees, hotel and food packages.

“It is something different and you do not see a lot of it in our area,” Johnson said. “It’s growing and gives people a different art form to try. There is a local guild if people are interested in trying it out.”

For those unfamiliar with 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 to help participants learn how to make intricate designs such as flowers or animals.

“It is a fantastic group of people,” Johnson said. “The camaraderie is fantastic and anyone who is interested in the creative process, it’s another form of fiber art for them to try.”

There will be a rug show exhibit on Thursday, April 6 from noon-7 p.m. at the hotel featuring completed pieces made by rug hookers throughout the year. The show is open to the public and admission is free.

“There will be a wide variety with quite a few Orientals, primitive and fine shaded pieces,” Johnson said.

Johnson became involved with rug hooking while working at Dunes Manor Hotel with Janice Russell 18 years ago and she has been certified for nine. Rug hooking was started hundreds of years ago when people would take seed sacks and old clothing to hook, she said.

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 3 p.m., visitors can walk through the ballroom to see what they are working on,” Johnson said.

In addition, students will have the option to take mini classes at night as well.

“Next year, is our 25th anniversary and it’s going to be a big one,” Johnson said.

Locally, the Maryland Shores Rug Hooking School meets twice a month at the Ocean City Senior Center on 41st Street at 10 a.m. if anyone is interested in learning the art, she added.

“Stop in and talk with us or try it,” Johnson said. “We are always open and happy to have more people come.”

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

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