Current Events

Starting the New Year with an abbreviated Calendar and a   list of rug group locations around Australia.

NSW: March 2nd and 3rd Milton Show – the Narrawilly Proggy Rugmakers will demonstrate rug hooking and exhibit their rugs at the Show.
NSW: April Friday 6thNarrawilly Proggy Ruggers will host the Braidwood Art group at Miriam’s Rug Room.

ACT:  7 June to 29 JulyDrill Hall Gallery, Canberra – ‘In Transit‘ works will include textiles and ceramics by artist Gail Nichols.

NSW: June 20 – 24, International Exhibition Centre Sydney, Darling Harbour – Australian Rugmakers Guild will be at the Craft & Quilt Fair (Wednesday – Sunday)

August: USA – debut of “Re-imagined”

October: UK – TIGHR Conference, Reeth

QUEENSLAND:

The Red Earth Ruggers meet in Kingaroy, South Burnett Region, on the second Monday of the month.
They are taking a break through the summer to avoid the heat and will start up again in March. This group is interested in all forms of rugmaking and also knitting and crochet.

For more information about the group and it’s activities, email Judith Brook judylbrook@gmail.com Judith displays her work for sale in a space she shares with a printmaker friend in the Blackbutt Gallery in the town of Blackbutt.  Judith’s originally from New Zealand – connection seen her in her wallhanging.

The Sunshine Coast RugCrafters are a group drawn from, as the name suggests, the Sunshine Coast Landsborough/Beerwah area. They meet at the Beerwah Library 2.30 – 5.30pm the second Friday and third Thursday of each month. Often exhibiting their work at the library. 
For more information please contact judi.tompkins@bigpond.com (note that the Friday venue in March will change so be sure Judi has your email address so you can be notified about changes.)
This creative group of rugmakers draws visits from guild members in outback QLD and also the Brisbane area. You can see more of their work on Judi’s website which is also the home of the “Re-imagined” Challenge with a Difference.

Mt. Glorius Cynthia Nicklin a solitary rug maker and rughooking teacher, says: “I live in isolation, but
get down to civilisation regularly from my mountain home. I’ve demonstrated rugmaking at the local museum, agricultural shows, craft groups, etc. My main interest is in recycling, the reuse of thrown-out fabrics and wools. All my rugs illustrate this, as my rugs are meant for floors.” You can contact Cynthia on scraphappy@samtel.com.au

Brisbane (Metro area) There isn’t a rug group in the metropolitan area, however members like Sally Randal and Claudia Forster-Purchase are interested in meeting other rug hookers and do sometimes travel north to the Sunshine Coast or South to Mt. Tamborine.
Post codes for Brisbane members are 4127, 4032 & 4055. Email addresses can be shared if you or a friend are interested in getting together in Brisbane or car-pooling to an event.
Before selling her house in Landsborough Judi Tompkins held “Shed Days” and rug hookers came from far and wide to visit. Here is Sally presenting Judi with a hooked piece to commemorate those days. Judi says when the new house is finished it will have a Studio and there’ll be more “Studio Days”.

South of Brisbane – Mt Tamborine (Gold Coast hinterland )
Is where you’ll find Bec Andersen, who creates designer rugs on commission using an electric hand tufting gun with wool she hand-dyes with natural dyes.
Bec gives workshops in all traditional rugmaking techniques, including Punch Needle, as well as hosting the Happy Hookers rug making group for those who already know how to rug hook.
She is also involved with large installations and community textile projects. An extremely busy textile artist – you’ll find all of her activities on the Calendar on her website. Contact Email: info@becandersen.com Phone: 0438 147 352

OUTBACK QUEENSLAND: Gail Smith probably the most “remote” member of the Australian Rugmakers Guild, lives in Mitchell due West of Beerwah and occasionally makes the 6.5 hr drive down the Warrego Hwy to visit the Sunshine Coast RugCrafters in Beerwah – on this day she was showing the yarn she’d spun -wonderful texture and colour. Want to know a little more about the State of Queensland? follow this link and take a virtual trip

NEW SOUTH WALES:  Bellingen: mid North Coast (halfway between Sydney & Brisbane) is where an enthusiastic group of rug hookers met at Maxine’s house on the 1st Friday of each month.
It was through this group we heard of Ann Nickle’s search for the elusive grey army blankets. Anne needed only a small amount of a pale grey army type blanket for 5 circles to complete this 12ft x 8ft rug. For information about the current meeting place and time for this group in Bellingen email Maxine at baznmax@bigpond.com or Ann at ann.nickle@bigpond.com

Jilliby: Central Coast Region – between Sydney & Newcastle. New Guild Member, Clare Thornley of www.feltfine.com.au teaches punch needle rug hooking and sells Amy Oxford punch needles. She’s willing to travel up to Newcastle/Hunter Valley or down to the Upper North Shore to give workshops or organize a group. Here is an image of a rug made by Clare’s 8 year old son as a Christmas present for his teacher. Contact Clare through her website or email feltfine.au@gmail.com   

Miro cushion hooked by Helen Orr Sydney New South Wales, Australia
Hooked by Martha Birch, New South Wales, Australia

Sydney: In Glebe a group of two, Helen Orr and rug hooking friend Martha, meet to encourage and inspire each other. They are hoping to be joined by a couple of new members this year. While Helen no longer gives formal workshops, both she and Martha would welcome rug hookers to their regular meetings and be happy to show new rug hookers, over the course of a few meetings, how to hook and advise on where to source materials. For meeting time and dates email Helen at orrstrat@bigpond.net.au

Milton : South Coast Region  Miriam Miller’s Rug Room at Narrawilly Farm is the home of the Narrawilly Proggy Ruggers who have been meeting since 1994. The group meets the first and third Fridays each month, and as Miriam says, “it is always on, regardless if it is New Year’s day or Good Friday – so, rug makers or visitors do not have to ring up” but ……… if you do want to contact Miriam to make an appointment for a private workshop, or purchase frames and tools you can find her full contact details on her website where you can also purchase a copy of her book “Proggy & Hooky Rugs” in which Miriam shares her knowledge of rug and frame making and generously provides rug patterns which can be copied.  Miriam stays in contact with Guild members, visitors to Narrawilly and rug makers she meets in her travels by emailing a newsletter called “Connecting Us” – archived on the Guild website.

Cobargo: in the South East of the State,

Dawn Hollins and Bermagui & District U3A Rug Hookers with Bruce McAslan President, Berma gui Surf Club. Photographer Ben Smyth Bega District News

an historic village on Princes Highway, 20 minutes from Bermagui on the “Sapphire Coast” is where you’ll find Dawn Hollins whose group, the Bermagui & District U3A Rug Hooking Group, as beginning rugmakers hooked 7 large panels. The panels are now installed on the wall of the Surf Club.

The group meets once a month. For  information about rug hooking in this area email Dawn on pigeontree@live.com

Braidwood:

Designed & hooked by Maggie Hickey, NSW, Australia. A tribute to Australian Modernist Grace Crowley.
Bobs Creek Culvert designed & hooked by Gail Nichols NSW Australia

Heading West on the Kings Highway toward Canberra from Batemans Bay, South of Milton, takes you through Braidwood in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. Textile artists Gail Nichols and Maggie Hickey who are also rugmakers, live in this area and have hosted visits by the Narrawilly Proggy Rugmakers. Works by both artists have been featured in the Guild Blog. You can see more of Gail’s hooked tapestries at Gail Nichols Textiles

Australian Capital Territory:
Canberra: For information about rughooking workshops and the Canberra rug making group contact Maggie Whyte, Vice President & Secretary of the Australian Rugmakers Guild. Email – maggieandfish@hotmail.com
Maggie is also a member of the Narrawilly Proggy Rugmakers, a felter and is associated with the Canberra Spinners and Weavers.

VICTORIA:     The Yarra Valley Rugmakers meet once a month. Since they live about an hour’s drive apart, and about an hour in different directions from the city of Melbourne, the group takes turns meeting at each other’s homes. The meeting place, date and time, is always shown on their Blog

Contact can be made through the blog or email Anne a.schafer@bigpond.com  in Warrandyte  or
Chris,  Jerryandchris@startmail.com who lives in Loch.

Kyabram : Anne Churches is another rugmaker living in country Victoria, Kyabram, Anne not only weaves and sells rugs which she has designed, she is also a traditional rag rug maker. You can see examples of her rugs on her website. Anne has developed her own method of making rugs with the Finnish Rya Knot technique which she shares on her website she can also be contacted there regarding workshops.

Wangaratta, Victoria, is the home of Bobby George who has been an avid “solitary” rughooker, attempting to create interest in rughooking in her part of the country.   For information about rughooking you can contact Bobby by email beeg3675@gmail.com
This image was taken of Bobby at the ARG Rug Exhibition, Strathnairn, ACT 2016 and the finished piece was shown at a demonstration Bobby gave at a Stitch Festival in 2017.

TASMANIA: Deloraine: Art as Mania, a gallery at 20-22 Emu Bay Road, Deloraine is the Happy Hookers new meeting place. Contact Laura (owner). A gallery space for emerging artists and craftspeople, Art as Mania also sells craft and art supplies and is a stockist for Latch Hook rug making supplies. Follow Art as Mania events and activities on the Gallery FaceBook page.
Images of rugs made by the rug hooking group are posted in their Facebook group Happy2Hook2 by administrator Joanne Wild. These Happy Hookers are latch hookers who create their own designs – they don’t use your grandmother’s typical latch hook designs!
Joanne can provide information about other rug groups in Tasmania.
On the left is Alyson-Jean Keats with her purple/red magic carpet; click here to see a video of the magic, magic carpet.

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Strathalbyn – The Strath Matters also have a new meeting place for 2018 – the Red Hen Studio at the Stationmasters Gallery, 20 South Terrace,
Meeting days are the first and third Fridays of the month. Only 45 minutes from Adelaide makes it easy for some who live in the metro area to come up and join the group. 
The groups leader is Judith Stephens, Guild President. Judith gives workshops and designs rugs, takes part in the SALA trail and Craft Fair and organizes rug hooking events for her group.
You can follow all their events and see images of work on the groups Blog.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: WannerooThe Wanneroo Rugmakers meet every Saturday from 10.00am to 1.00pm at the Library in Wanneroo 26k north of the city of Perth.
This community group was formed in 2010 and have worked together on rug hooking projects now part of the City’s art collection.
Looking back, the group considers their entry, a finalist in the Eco category and included in the “Showcase” Mandurah Wearable Art 2014, their most challenging work.

This multi-cultural, intergenerational group is open to all, there’s no formal registration. The core group, 10 creative members share their ideas on various craft techniques as well as the rug hooked projects.   Jo Franco, Guild Editor/Membership Chair, is the Group facilitator and has given rug hooking lessons to local seniors and school children. The group has held “hands-on” demonstrations at many local area events and Perth Craft Fairs.

Albany resident Kira Mead has been featured in many Australian Rugmakers Guild Blogs, also in Rug Hooking Magazine published in the USA.

Kira Mead with one of her vibrant rugs. Picture: Lata Photography

When Kira was “discovered” she didn’t realise she was using a rugmaking technique. In “About” on her website you’ll find out how she came to be the The Accidental Rugmaker. Since joining the Guild Kira has also become our in-house videographer – see ”Judi’s Folly” and “Bagatelle” Robin Inkpens (also from WA) locker-hooked bag.