Miriam, Jacqueline, Maggie, Anne and Janet are travelling from Australia to take over Maelor for a joint residency together, their aim to make a rug for Maelor. Planning to go to a conference by the International Guild of Handhooking Rugmakers, they will coincide this during their time on the residency.
Proggy & hooky rugmaking has deep roots in north-east England where Miriam Miller was born. Miriam’s father, in 1976, helped her reconnect with age-old crafting skills at which her grandmother excelled.
Along with friend, Jacqueline Thomson, Miriam launched Narrawilly Proggy Ruggers in 1994, the first group of its kind in Australia.
Today, rugmaking groups are active across Australia. Miriam has been a catalyst for their proliferation & success. In 2008, the Australian Guild of Rugmakers was established, & she was appointed as Guild President.
Teaching, networking, mentoring, exhibiting & advising rugmakers, locally and internationally, continues to inspire Miriam. Her work is exhibited widely, & her skills celebrated in her book, Proggy & Hooky Rugs.
Jacqueline Thomson is a spinner and rugmaker based in Milton, NSW. Her work uses a variety of fibers including wool, alpaca and cotton. She designs her own patterns, and hand dyes fabric and fleece for spinning and rugmaking.
Jacqui was instrumental in establishing, in 1974, the Murramarang Spinners &Weavers Inc which continues to this day. She also helped launch Narrawilly Proggy Ruggers in 1994, the first group of its kind in Australia.
Promoting, advising and encouraging hooky and proggy rugmakers at every opportunity, locally and internationally, is her passion. She’s taught rugmaking in Australia, Africa and Japan. Jacqui’s rugs have been exhibited widely.
From childhood, Maggie Whyte has always loved working with textiles.
In 2001 she met and was inspired by Miriam Miller, such that rug making has become the main focus of my art practice.
Each rug is a personal journey that can reflect her memories of events and ideas important to her.
As a rug maker, making art that is beautiful, colourful and practical connects her to the traditional roots of rug making.
The use of scrap material and fibres also serves to highlight the waste of our throw away society and in its own small way helps to reduce our impact on the natural world around us.
Veronica Meeting Maggie and Miriam in Bateman’s Bay, New South Wales, Australia