Jeanne Benjamin: Class of 2018
Name: Jeanne Benjamin
Location: Brookfield, Massachusetts
Tell us a bit about yourself. What are some of your interests and hobbies?
Outside of anything to do with traditional rug hooking. . . I am actively researching my genealogy and that of my husband. Between us, we have 11 Mayflower ancestors, and we each descend from William the Conquerer, via the Plantagenets. We had no idea! Baking, cooking, and knitting are other interests. Oil painting I really enjoy, but rarely find time for. Maybe when I retire.
How did you get introduced to rug hooking?
In 1971, my mother worked at Lincoln House in Sturbridge, where the Mcgown pattern business was. She thought I might like to try it.
What was your first project?
I hooked, on my own. . . a half-round rug of Pearl's design with mushrooms. I added a mouse using a leaf as an umbrella, and a few other critters.
Is there one rug that stands out as being particularly memorable?
Whatever I'm currently working on.
Is there a particular style of rugs that you're most interested in hooking?
Although I love hooking realistic orientals and primitives, it really doesn't matter. Whatever type design or cut I choose, the fun lies in playing with the colour and making a challenge for myself. Sometimes it's hard, as I've hooked now for 47 years.
What's your favorite part about hooking a rug?
Choosing the wools until they have that certain glow.
What's a piece of advice you'd give to a new rug hooker?
Get a good instructor who helps you grow. Learn from her colour planning. Don't be a do-it-myselfer—especially if you are in a class.
What do you love most about Celebration?
The variety and artistic presence in the pieces that are most outstanding, at least to my eyes.
Table of Contents
Church Supper, Celebration V
Church Supper is the third in a series of folk-art rugs depicting New England scenes. Jeanne explains that each rug features "a snapshot of a time gone by, with strong borders relating to the theme of the rug." She created the series to honor... Read more.
Christmas in the Country, Celebration IX
"I like to challenge myself and not always do what appears to be the obvious," explains Jeanne Benjamin of her entry for A Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs IX. The fourth and final design in her New England series on the seasons, Christmas in the..." Read more.
Daghestan Prayer, Celebration XVIII
This rug was featured as an honorable mention in Celebration XVIII. Read more.
Chi Chi, Celebration XXI
When Jeanne Benjamin started hooking Chi Chi, she didn't expect to find extraterrestrial beings in an Oriental rug pattern. "I began in the middle of the rug with what I called the 'aliens,' as they looked like motifs from early computer.." Read more.
Anatolian, Celebration XXII
Jeanne Benjamin will teach just about any pattern, but when it comes to hooking for herself, she chooses Orientals, antique-looking primitives, or pictorials. She had printed a pattern of Anatolian for a customer but decided to hook it herself when she discovered... Read more.
Zig Zag Primitive, Celebration 26
There is nothing like adding some vintage wools to a primitive rug design. They may not be new and perfect, but their addition puts me in that primitive working mode, which is often so hard to get your mind channeled... Read more.