I was so proud of the Green Mountain Rughooking Guild for choosing Jacqueline Hansen, of Scarborough, Maine, as one of this year’s Featured Artists at their Hooked in the Mountains exhibit. And it was a treat to see so many of her rugs on display together.

Marsh Birds photographed by Mary Jane Peabody

When you look at the rug of Jackye’s above, notice the areas worked in the Waldoboro (hooked then sculpted) technique – the clouds and several white sections of the birds. Jackye literally “wrote the book” on Waldoboro, and through it and her teaching, revived this traditional technique:

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Here is another rug of Jackye’s, and a close-up that will give you a little better look at the sculpted Waldoboro work, where each grape is contoured in wool:

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One point about using Waldoboro is how to select where to use it, and how to incorporate it judiciously. Look at this classic American Eagle rug, and how Jackye just used Waldoboro in the center draped section of the flag:

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One of the reasons I admire Jackye is that she had such a good effect on the resurgence of rughooking. Back in the day, the Pearl McGown school (which definitely played an important part in the rebirth of rughooking) had some pretty rigid rules. All the designs taught had to be Pearl McGown designs – virtually all fine-shaded florals. And there was definitely a right way (and of course, a wrong way) to use color and to hook them.

Jackye was a long-time McGown teacher, but after a while, she really wanted to design her own rugs, and do designs other than the approved McGown designs, like her marsh scene rug, pictured above. She was given a choice: stay in the Pearl McGown fold, and do only McGown rugs, or design your own rugs and leave the school. Jackye left, so she could expand her designs and pattern making.

And by doing that, she opened up the design of hooked rugs significantly – and was one of the pioneers of a new attitude: “It is ok, yes, even good, to do your own thing”. By Jackye (and others like her) taking this professional leap, individual creativity and self-expression came into prominence in modern rughooking.

Here is one more of my favorites of Jackye’s rugs, and again a close-up taken at a slight angle to show the sculpted areas:

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Happily, many of Jackye’s rug designs are sold by Seaside Rughooking, online  and her own website. Jackye’s book on the Waldoboro technique is available on amazon, here.

Thanks so much to Jackye for her permission to feature her rugs here. All the designs are her own, copyrighted and protected. And a tip of the hat to Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild (online at gmrhg.org) for choosing Jackye as a Featured Artist this year!