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Exploring Infinite Possibilities: Peg Irish

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By: Anne-Marie Littenburg

Breaking Waves, 23" x 24½", as-is yarn on hand-dyed wool backing. Designed and hooked by Peg Irish, Waquoit, Massachusetts, 1992.

"I wonder if she would let me buy that?” is the first comment I ever heard in reference to the hooked rug art of Peg Irish. The comment came from my husband, Ben, as we toured an exhibit the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild presented at Round Barn, Shelburne Museum in Vermont some years ago.

At that time, I did not personally know Peg, but her work stood out to Ben and me as beautiful and highly original. Many accomplished rug hookers also teach and therefore send students out into the world whose efforts often bear strong resemblance to that of their mentors’. Peg, however, has focused her rug hooking career on pursuing her own vision. She does not have an extensive history as a formal teacher, and that might explain why her works of singular beauty are also unique. She may not even be aware of how deeply her work has influenced others (and I include myself in that category of rug hookers who have been deeply influenced by her).

This article is from the June/July/August 2014 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.

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