Gene Shepherd: Class of 2018
Name: Gene Shepherd
Location: Anaheim, California
Tell us a bit about yourself. What are some of your interests and hobbies?
I am a retired Pastor. Been interested in fiber arts most of my life, beginning as a weaver at age 19. I “found” rug hooking in 1998. Started collecting antiques at the age of 12. Serious blogger/writer about fiber arts.
How did you get introduced to rug hooking?
As a young teenager, I watched my local antique dealer, Miss Betty Weigle, hook rugs. Although I was not attracted to the art form at the time, I did remember that experience when I was 45 and a bit bored with weaving. That memory prompted me to get a piece of burlap, crochet hook, my wife’s quilt frame and some garage sale wool so I could hook my first rug. It was only after I was done hooking and seeking help from a yarn shop about how to finish the edge, that I discovered the technique was called rug hooking.
What was your first project?
#1 Sheep - Made with 1/2 - 1 inch wide hand cut wool found wool.
Is there one rug that stands out as being particularly memorable?
Miss Weigle, a geometric design which was named for the lady who first showed me the art form as a teen.
Is there a particular style of rugs that you're most interested in hooking?
Fancy wide cut rugs, both hooked and prodded.
What's your favorite part about hooking a rug?
Creating the design and specialty wool needed to make it.
What's a piece of advice you'd give to a new rug hooker?
Choose only designs and colors based on things you particularly like, regardless if they “go” in your room!
What do you love most about Celebration?
The possibility of being in Celebration is a “goal” that inspires my students to push themselves to a greater level of excellence.
Table of Contents
Fog, Celebration XII
"Shortly after I started dyeing my own wool, I ended up with a large pile of light-colored wool that 'did not turn our right.' As I, dejectedly, surveyed it, I thought to..." Read more.
Russian Birch, Celebration XIV
"Russian Birch was created as a commission piece. While my client did state that she liked the birch tree paintings of Gustav Klimt, I associated birch trees with my many visits to..." Read more.
Miss Weigle, Celebration XV
"Needing some geometric designs for a class I was scheduled to teach, I created Miss Weigle in about 15 mins. one day while doodling on graph paper. I have..." Read more.
Big Momma, Celebration XX
"This rug is an adaptation of a nearly 14’ long runner made by my friends, Marny Cardin (the designer) and Kate Smith (the rug hooker). When I saw the..." Read more.
Carnival Paws, Celebration 27
"I’ve had a fascination with the cat’s paw motif for many years. After hooking them in many sizes and ways, I decided that I wanted to explore the design in a prodded..." Read more.
Pomegrande, Celebration 29
"One day, after realizing that I had never hooked a piece of fruit, I designed this pattern to give myself a new challenge. Given the fact that I wanted the fruit to really stand out, I kept the design simple, adding only three spots of leaves to..." Read more.