While I’ve been waiting for the “hooking bug” to attack me again, I’ve been enjoying the work of others even more than usual.  What a treat when I received an email from my friend Jean who has just returned from attending the Green Mountain School at Montpelier Vermont. (That excursion is on my bucket list.)

I admire many people in the Rug Hooking community, but two of my absolute favourites were teaching this year at Green Mountain. …..Donna Hrkman and Jon Ciemiewitz.

I have never seen a rug hooked by Donna Hrkman that didn’t take my breath away.


Her attention to detail and colour is wonderful, and  her subject matter is always arresting. What memories are being recalled as this veteran clutches the flag?IMG_3789

Donna’s two steam punk pieces both have the same general topic with very different outcomes and emphases. The neutral colour palette of the lower one highlights the mechanical aspects, while the vibrant colours of the other, make it almost a game to search for them within the work.


….and aren’t those lace cuffs exquisite?


This is not one of her works that I have seen before, and for some reason, I can’t make it larger.

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This powerful portrait should inspire me in my own neutral palette.

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This Aldzheimer’s piece has a profound effect on me every time I see it. Having watched the suffering of both my mother and mother-in-law due to this awful condition, I tear up every time I see it. The touching and sensitive way she has depicted the various cognitive abilities leaving the mind is simply genius….leaving the soul noble.

I couldn’t believe it when Jean told me Jon Ciemiewitz was also teaching at Green Mountain… lucky could she be! I have always heard such wonderful reports of him as a teacher, and who could not fall in love with his work.

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His use of light in that  rhino piece makes it almost photographic.


….and here is the man himself

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….and here is lucky Jean with him.

Jean also included photos of some  beautiful antique  rugs which are on display at a gallery in Shelburne Vermont..IMG_3998

….can’t you just imagine the hooker mixing those two browns because there wasn’t enough of either one.IMG_3996IMG_4002IMG_4001IMG_3999


I am amazed at how the reds have remained so vivid in this rug.IMG_4010

….such Christmas joy and chaos.

Thanks Jean for the pictures and the inspiration they have given me. After they arrived, I went and dyed a batch of wool, and I think I’m ready to get back to work in earnest.

…And thanks too to all who stop by and read my musings.

4 thoughts on “Inspiration

  1. I heard it was wonderful. I adore Jon and have been fortunate to have had him as a teacher in Truro Nova Scotia – love him. My friend Jeni Nunnally another superb rug hooker was there as well. How I would have adored taking a class with Rachelle Le Blanc – whose work is utterly outstanding. Gosh how tremendous it would have been for me to have been there – if only to meet you all and see these outstanding rugs . All so creative. Donnas Altheimers rug also affects me deeply every time I see it and you can feel what the old soldier is thinking – wonderful. Thanks for a great share Elizabeth

  2. Elizabeth both these people are wonderful rug hookers and good teachers. In two days you would be able to do a person you recognize with Donna. She is quietly amazing.
    You should move them from your bucket list to……. soon. Jon will come to Ontario. Hire him he will come to your group. He has been her many times.
    Thanks for showing the new Steam Punk pieces.

  3. Love your post today. If you ever get the chance to take a class with Jon C. go for it, run!! He is beyond wonderful and the kindest, nicest person I’ve ever met. I simply adore him. And Donna Hrkman, I sure wish she’d come close to Pennsylvania, I’d love to take a class with her. Her rugs are just amazing. Thanks for sharing. Cindy

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