A travelling Aussie Rugmaker

NT_QLD_border_near_CamoowealRecently published on the Guild Facebook page

a post showing images of a rug being hooked by Irene Bruninghausen from Darwin.

In case you didn’t see them on Facebook I thought I’d include with this post about rug hookers encountered in my travels in the USA.

In April 2016, Irene took a rug hooking workshop with Miriam Miller in Milton, NSW and was obviously keen to keep working on her rug as she sent Miriam these images taken as she was traveling by road back to Darwin.



I asked Irene for some background on her travels and rug. Anyone who has travelled in the uninhabited vastness of outback Australia will know what a feat her journeys are!  

For those in the USA a translation; an “esky” is an insulated cooler. 

I’m so impressed with both Irene’s rug hooking and her mode of travel, I think I’ll feature her and save my travel blog for another time.

Irene said ……

I have been living in Darwin for 28 years but grew up in Sydney and for the past 8 years have been dividing my time between the two.  I commute in a station wagon. My dog was my travel companion but he died last year so the rug has taken his place in the back along with the tent, esky, mattress and whatever else – plenty of room for rug and frame so no unrolling needed.

It’s a tree! Massive river red gum in Ormiston Gorge near Alice Springs. I did a couple of sketches of it last year during an artists camping trip.

When I did the rugging course with Miriam I was totally clueless as to how long these things took to make so when it came to preparing my very first project I drew it up in about 5 minutes (approx 850mm x700) and figured it would take a few days to knock over. In fact, I have a horrible feeling that I told Miriam that I would get up early the next morning and be so advanced with it by breakfast that we could do the first rollover. HAH! Scores of hours later and am about 2/3 done. 

I am a slow tortuous hooker and many of my loops leave much to be desired I’m sure, but I do find the whole process meditative and have been enjoying it immensely.

Here’s a progress pic.


One little tip. For those who might be travelling up to Winton/ Longreach or thereabouts, the Blue Heeler pub at Kynuna (a tiny town) is a great place for a spot of rugging with whopping big tables to sprawl and clutter with no people about.

 Editor’s Note:  

WOW!  congratulations Irene – what an inspiration you will be to the many rug hookers who travel Australia in caravans. Please keep us in the loop with your progress.  Jo Franco



2 thoughts on “A travelling Aussie Rugmaker”

  1. That’s a great story. Thanks for sharing it. Irene, if you’re ever in the South East of Queensland traveling, it would be nice to meet you.

  2. A terrific rug Irene! You’ve learned your lessons well…and then pushed beyond the barriers! I echo Annette’s invitation…if you make it to SE Queenland or are traveling along the Sunshine Coast be sure to let me know…it would be great to have you visit and the Sunshine Coast Rug Craters would be delighted to meet you!
    Warm regards….and keep on hookin’!
    Judi Tompkins

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