Local artists display hooked rugs

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Judith McLean of Waynesboro stands in front of the William Morris Lion hooked rug she created. PROVIDED PHOTO

HAGERSTOWN, MD–Visitors will sense Judith McLean’s love of color and design when they glimpse her hooked rugs – part of an exhibit at Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown.

Rug hooking is based on the process of using a small metal hook to draw loops of long, narrow strips of colored wool as well as other materials through a linen or cotton backing.

McLean, of Waynesboro, is a member of With Hands and Hearts Antietam Fiber Artists guild. Her work, along with other members of the 40-member guild, including Twila Flohr of Waynesboro, and her daughter, Abigail Dupont of Phoenix, Maryland, are on display through Feb. 28. WHAHAFA will host a rug hooking demonstration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the museum, 401 Museum Drive.

WHAHAFA, founded in September 2008, has members – new to the craft and veterans with more than 20 years experience – from four states who share ideas and techniques during their meetings at Beaver Creek Christian Church, east of Hagerstown.

McLean, who also quilts, is a retired minister and retired mental health and pastoral counselor. She was introduced to the craft after someone she met at a YMCA swim class invited her to a meeting of a home rug hooking group.

“I usually design my own rugs,” added McLean, who also writes for Rug Hooking magazine. “In the January/February 2023 edition I have an article on medieval rugs, ‘Middle Age Marvels: Celebrating Medieval Tapestries with Modern Interpretations.’ I talk about the history of medieval tapestry. I adapted two of my rugs from medieval tapestries.”

McLean encourages area residents to visit the museum. “The display is very well done … intriguing. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback and some new members.”

Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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