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Congo Rug

Welcome to my website!

 

It's been a while now since I started making hooked rugs, but I've been an artist all my life. My second grade art teacher told my mother I had a natural talent for art, and when I heard that, I knew I would always be an artist.

 

Little did I know the different ways I would grow and learn my craft!

 

I graduated college with a degree in drawing and painting. But I immediately realized that fine arts degrees were not good job guarantees, and I found myself looking for any type of work. Over the years I've held a variety of positions that were not directly related to my artwork, but my husband and I raised our three sons and kept a roof over our heads, so there's something to be said for that.

 

I always found ways to express my artistic nature. I painted watercolors, designed counted cross stitch patterns, and started my own stencil business. I designed and sold decorative stencils for more than ten years, until the market dropped out and I was left with no orders. I had a brief respite when I was hired to do freelance design work for the Daisy Kingdom fabric company, creating stencil-based fabric patterns and home decor products. That was great fun, hard work, and I was deeply saddened when the company closed its doors seven years later.

 

So I was without focus and letting go of my stencil business when my friends at Kindred Spirits, a primitive and folk art design business, encouraged me to give rug hooking a try. I resisted at first, reluctant to jump into yet another venue, but they persisted and I gave it a try. And that's when I fell in love with rug hooking.

 

I've been at it now for over ten years. I design all of my own patterns and I sell patterns and wool that I dye. I teach at workshops, camps, guilds, and rug schools all over the country. I have also written a book, A Rughooker's Companion. It's a crazy world and I'm just a small part of it, but I have found the most wonderful way to express myself in rug making and I intend to continue to do so.

 

My style of rug hooking has evolved over the years. When I first started, I worked in wide cuts, size eight, because I was working with Alice Stebel and Sally Korte of Kindred Spirits and their style was primitive and folk art designs. I liked the challenge of creating designs in wide cuts and discovering how to manipulate the wool strips. It was fun!

 

Gradually I felt the need to do greater detail in my hooking, and bit by bit I moved to smaller cuts. I am an artist who loves realism and whimsy and detail, and eventually I found my way to three cuts. The small cuts have given me freedom to create detail and shading and delicate lines to achieve the look I love in my hooking.

 

I've come to be known for my portrait work and my rugs with a message. I like exploring portraiture and love helping other rug hookers create the portraits they want to make. And I will always have causes that mean something special to me, so there will be more message rugs in my future.

 

I can still teach other styles and how to use wide cuts. I'm an artist in my core, so I can offer what I know of non-objective art and different styles of rug hooking. I will try just about anything for a student or anyone who wants a different type of rug. And if I can't do it, I'll find someone who can!

 

So take a look around the website and see how I can help you or provide you with tools or materials for your project. Email me with questions or concerns.

 

Those of us who love rug hooking should be doing what we love, and connecting with others who share that love!

 

Happy Hooking!

Donna Hrkman