Sandy Ducharme: Class of 2023

Name: Sandy Ducharme
Location:Cabot, Vermont

Tell us a bit about yourself. What are some of your interests and hobbies?
I have been a fiber artist for decades. I began working with fiber arts as a child, and have enjoyed knitting, crocheting, sewing, and quilting as a young woman. I combined my love of painting (acrylics and watercolor) with fiber arts to create Vermont Floor Cloths (hand-painted canvas rugs), which I opened in 1990. Approximately 20 years ago, I was introduced to the art of rug hooking. I opened Vermont Rug Hooking Studio in 2020.

How did you get introduced to rug hooking?
My sister-in-law invited me to join her small rug hooking group. At first, I resisted, stating that I did not need another hobby. After hooking my first project, I started dyeing my own wool and creating patterns. My second hooking project, Nature's Harmony, was in Celebration in 2005.

What was your first project?
My very first project was a small pattern I purchased from a local rug hooking shop—a simple primitive design using five colors of wool. I was amazed by the possibilities of creating realistic-looking roses from a primitive pattern.

Is there one rug that stands out as being particularly memorable?
I have enjoyed creating all of my rugs, however, Richard’s Rug—The Four Seasons of Vermont is a special rug. I created this rug to celebrate my husband’s 60th birthday. He takes great  pride in the stone walls and Adirondack furniture he has built. We also owned a plant nursery for several years. This rug includes all of his treasures, especially his love for nature and animals and the four seasons of Vermont.

Is there a particular style of rugs that you're most interested in hooking?
My inspiration comes from nature. I enjoy hooking animals, birds, and realistic landscapes and flowers. I love watching my work come to life as I hook each loop! I find it rewarding to mix textured wools with other dyed wools to create the detail I see in each project. I enjoy sharing my experience with others and have been teaching fine shading for the past 10 years.

What's your favorite part about hooking a rug?
This is a tough question! I enjoy thinking about my next project, sketching out those thoughts into a pattern, selecting the wool, and dyeing the colors I need.Once I start the new project, I feel very peaceful and enjoy the hooking of each loop!

What's a piece of advice you'd give to a new rug hooker?
Don’t feel intimidated about starting: just start and experiment! There are lots of teachers, workshops, and rug hooking  groups to keep you motivated and learning. We all started at the beginning!

What do you love most about Celebration?
Celebration is a wonderful way to share creativity and talent with others. I find it inspirational seeing rugs from around the world!  It is a way to document and keep this wonderful art alive!

The Greys

The Greys

The Greys, 30” x 22”, #2-, 3-, and 4-cut hand-dyed and overdyed textured wool, in 63 values of gray, on linen.
Designed and hooked by Sandy Ducharme, Marshfield, Vermont, 2022.

I started this rug by dyeing 24 different values of grey value wool and overdyed textured wool. As it progressed, I felt I did not have enough depth in the greys and dyed another 24 different values. As I started the trees, mountains, and sky, I found I needed yet more greys! Thus the 63 values of grey.

Eurasian Blue Tit “Reflections”

Eurasian Blue Tit “Reflections”

Eurasian Blue Tit “Reflections,” 20” x 24”, textured wools, hand-dyed wools, and hand-painted wools on linen. Designed and hooked by Sandy Ducharme, Marshfield, Vermont, 2020.

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard, 18" x 18", #2–4-cut wool on linen. Adapted from a photograph from Marwell Wildlife and designed and hooked by Sandy Ducharme, Marshfield, Vermont, 2018.


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