10 Rug Hookers to watch in 2016

When I see the work of the following hookers I am left thinking either, “Wow…I have never seen that before” or  “Wow….I love those colours” or “Wow..how did she do that?” or “Wow…what does the rug mean?”. So, that was my criteria..did it wow me and if so, then YES.. I want to see more in the New Year.

In alphabetical order,

1) Joanna Close

Halifax, NS, Canada

When I first saw Joanna’s piece titled “Kitchen”, I thought if I waited long enough I would see a woman come through the door  and start working at the stove. The details and the shadows are very well done and I can’t really see the loops so it made me wonder if Joanna was using a  fine cut and also what material she was using.

 This piece is currently included in an exhibition at the Textile Museum of Canada until February of 2016. “Kitchen” is part of a series called Documenting the Farm and can also be seen in January 2016 at The Owens Art Gallery in Sackville New Brunswick.


2) Linda Rae Couglin

Warren, New Jersey, USA

In “Above Water”,  I see a woman feeling overwhelmed and trying to keep it all together…I think it is something we can all relate to and Linda captures this feeling so well. I love the hair…the bucket and how Linda choose to hook the water.

 Linda has done a series of rugs portraying woman  and she includes words and symbols as she wants women to always have their own voice.


3) Liz Alpert Fay

New England, USA

In “White Knight”, when I first saw this image.. I didn’t think it was hooked. But, yes..it is a hooked piece  using cotton fabric, vintage pearl buttons, pompoms.  I am left wondering how the knight’s arms are being held in that position..and why does he have a gash in his mid-section…technically it is well-done and emotionally…it connects.

Liz is scheduled to be in a  few shows in 2016, one is Hooked in the Mountains: Rug Show and Fiber Art Exhibition in Vermont October 19-23, 2016.


4) Deanne Fitzpatrick

Amherst, NS, Canada

When I see Deanne’s ” Alone with a beer”  it says this woman is taking a break..she has worked hard all day and now it is time for her to unwind….and she isn’t going to feel guilty about it and she doesn’t care what others think…and… good for her.

Deanne is always someone to watch..she is creating beauty everyday and inspiring others to do the same. She is continuously  producing rugs, writing books or giving workshops. I have watched Deanne through the years..her Newfoundland rugs, her women rugs, and her landscapes.

Deanne was named one of the  Rug Artists of 2016 by the Hooked Rug Museum of North America.


5) Lori LaBerge

North Carolina, USA

  In “Nesting” it is the colours that grabbed my attention. The mustard against the brown..it works so well. I took a peek on Lori’s website and she had this to say about this piece. “It was created from outdoor notes taken while viewing a hornet’s nest.  I noted the temperature, lighting, colors, values, weather and surroundings. It was a beautiful sunny day, with the sun shining brightly on the nest itself and creating a sparkle of colors on the tree bark and background foliage.”

Lori is preparing for a show titled “Landscapes–Four Ways” at the TRAC Gallery in Spruce Pine, NC, June 18-July 16.


6) Rachelle Leblanc

St. Albert, AB, Canada

In “La Vie en Rose”  I see Rachelle using her signature muted colours and I  think it is amazing the way she has used essentially the same colours for the background as for the two dresses..only a couple of lines  used as separation..and it works. I see very few hooked faces that I like but Rachelle’s hooked faces are spot on.

 Rachelle was invited to participate in the Florence Biennial in 2017.


7) Karen Miller

Ottawa, ON, Canada

In “Suspension” I am reminded that the possibilities for rug hooking are endless. Anything can be pulled through any material to create an image. It is exciting to see this in Karen’s piece.

 Karen has also done a very good job at capturing Newfoundland and has recently had a show at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre in Newfoundland.


8) Michelle Sirois-Silver

Vancouver, BC, Canada

With “Recovery Method 3”,  it is the colours that first strike me. The light diagonal stripe, the shadow line on the right..the three white circles on the bottom where I can’t make out the loops. My eye is drawn from one element to the next.  Michelle uses waste hosiery in her work and it gives a  very nice effect.

 Michelle has a series of workshops she is offering in 2016.


9) Altoon Sultan

Vermont, USA

In “Blue Ribbon” Altoon’s loops are perfect..the shades of blue are perfect.. and the finishing..this is a challenging piece to finish and Altoon executes it so well.

 Altoon has a blog at    http://altoonsultan.blogspot.ca/  where she writes about her daily life in Vermont with her art work and her musings on the arts.


10) Rosemary Wilson


This rug makes me wonder how the lone donkey.. or horse, gets along with the sheep. The muted colours make the piece feel so quiet ..Rosemary has captured this peaceful farm scene so well.

I came across Rosemary’s rugs on a facebook group. Her daughter says she has quite a collection and was sharing a few with the group. I was able to find Rosemary on Pinterest and I did suggest to her daughter to maybe try and get a show together of her Mom’s rugs so we can see the whole story..fingers crossed this will happen in 2016.



  1. Mary Jane

    A wonderful selection!

  2. Laura Kenney Rugs

    A lot of great hookers doing wonderful work!

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