Sunday, November 15, 2009


This was the week of the Cynthia Norwood three day workshop sponsored by the Mason-Dixon Chapter of ATHA. It was held at the Howard County Center for the Arts in Ellicott City. When I got up Thursday morning and it was raining and foggy I thought that this is a day that under normal circumstances I would not try to go "over the mountain" (South Mountain, that is) but this was a special morning! Sooooo, I took my nerves in hand and off I went. How glad I was that I braved it.

This was a class of 17, most very experienced rug makers. There were three fairly new hookers in the class however, they proved to be very talented as you will see in the pictures that follow. Because of the experience of the class members, Cynthia was able to talk about some things that she normally does not have time to discuss, with a less experienced group. Also, her color plans for this group were spectacular! There were only two small pieces brought for hooking, all of the rest were large rugs with one rug being 72 x 108.
This first picture is Cynthia showing how this particular piece of material can be used.
Joanne and Ellie hard at work - notice the piles of wool.

Just look at the piles of wool to be used in the rugs being hooked by three people. When I said big rugs - I meant big rugs!

Across the room from the last picture also piles of wool for hooking. A discussion going on among the hookers.

Here is Cynthia demonstration the Euro-Steam Iron. This is the iron I call the "majic" iron. When used to steam a rug the rug looks all new and beautiful. Takes out all of the wrinkles and spots hooked to tight and makes a lovely smooth rug. You can also iron clothes with it but who does that these days?
And now for the rug show . . . . . . . .

This is a small portion of a rug hooked by Cynthia that will appear in the ATHA magazine in the next few months. It is part of an article showing this rug hooked by three different hookers and how their skills differ.

Another view of the same rug. I took this picture because I loved the fish in the stream and also while it doesn't show in the picture there was a small amount of silver embellishment in the water. So unlike Cynthia!

This rug is a long runner and impossible to get the whole thing in one picture. It was hooked by Ivi C. This is a truly beautiful rug. The colors are breath taking.

A close up of the leaves and the border that incorporated all of the colors used in the rug. The border really made a difference for this rug.

A close-up of Mr Squirrel eating his nut. Ivi did a wonderful job on hooking him.
This rug sparked an in-depth conversation with Cynthia and all students participating. It is hooked with a #6 cut - so what category does this rug fall into for show purposes? Is it "primitive" or "traditional" is it "folk art" is it "original" is it a "commercial design" is if an "adaptation." What categories do the juried shows in your area recognize? All very interesting thoughts. And last but not least, by any means, keeping in mind that all judging is arbitrary and is judged by the "eye" of the beholder!

This is the beginning of a log cabin type rug using only left overs. It is being hooked by one of the lesser experience hookers - each row a different wool strip and it is quite effective. This is a large piece.

This is a truly beautiful rug. The face is wonderful and is being hooked by a very experienced hooker.

Can you believe - this is a first rug! The perspective on the pumpkins in this rug is wonderful. They really look round. The leaves are all hooked with spot dyed material - each leaf a different spot dye with different shades of purple for veins. Imagine what beautiful rugs this young lady will hook with some experience under her belt!

A closeup of the pumpkin - truly well done.

This last picture is of the rug that I started in the class. I did not get as much done as I had hoped but I was to busy listening to what Cynthia had to say. This rug will have lots of paisley in it as well as many plaids and textured pieces. Can you believe that it will also have some purple areas to go with the reds. I can hardly wait to get hooking on it.
Those of you who know me, know that I have been hooking for many years. I maintain that it doesn't matter how long you have been hooking there is always something new to learn. In the early days of my hooking I had the advantage of taking workshops and attending camps with some of the best teachers that Mrs. McGown had to offer. As I have been told many times I was in the right place at the right time. Just very lucky I think. However, I have never worked with a teacher more sharing of her knowledge and more talented than Cynthia Norwood. I understand that she will be in our area again next November and I certainly suggest that if you can get in her class you do so - BUT be sure to leave room for me!
Until we meet again keep the hooks moving and the mind open to new ideas - be sure to try new things in you rugs - you will be surprised at the beauty that you can create.


Kathy (woolfind) said...

Wow Doris, such beautiful work! Loved looking at it all. I am so glad that I got to see Ivi's rug in person. It truly is a great piece! Looking forward to seeing more of the rug you are doing. That beginner piece is awesome, wow! I would love to take another class by Cynthia. She was great.

Doris said...

Kathy - IU wish everyone could have seen the rugs in this class - truly a superb hooking group. I loved it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Doris, Sounds like you had a wonderful time!! Your rug is gorgeous, I love the pattern. Miss you at the hook-ins, hope you and Eloise are doing fine. Hope some day I will be able to be her student, I have heard from everyone who has ever taken her class that she is a wonderful teacher. See you soon..

weaverpat said...

All I can say is WOW! What beautiful rugs! What a great experience to be able to take a class with such an inspiring instructor.
I can't wait to see your rug!