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Keith Kemmer Retreat 
Everything Old is New Again
(FULL-Sold Out)

Please call 800-590-9755 or 419-446-2541 ext. 3076 to be added to the waiting list.

Keith Kemmer

Keith Kemmer
Waterford, Michigan

“Everything Old is New Again”

3 Day Retreat:  Tuesday – Thursday, August 15 – 17, 2017
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
$300.00 / Sauder Village Members $280.00  
Heritage Inn – Heritage Room
floral leaf border hooked rug by Keith Kemmer


What does it take to create a primitive rug? Is it the technique, the pattern, the wools, the size of cut, or the colors? Yes, to all of these options - or any combination of these. For the past 15 plus years, Keith’s been on a mission to recreate the look of the old rugs. He will share what he’s learned and continues to learn from the artists of the past.

Students will select an appropriate "primitive" pattern for this retreat, options will be discussed prior to class. In class, Keith will focus on the color plan for you rug, using texture, as-is, and over-dyed wools. But he'll also discuss different hooking styles and techniques to help recreate the look of the old rugs. The majority of cuts used in this class will be # 8 and up, but Keith finds there is really no limit when it comes to giving your rug that “early” appearance. Yep, we can use a narrow # 4 cut to wide torn strips. Various materials for hooking will also be discussed and what they add to a primitive look. You may bring any wools, which you hope to use in your rug. Keith will also have plenty of wool, so there will be lots of options for creating a rug that "wows".

Plan to learn and try some new techniques in this retreat and see how they can impact the overall primitive look. Everything from "raggedy" to "higgley-piggley" to halo and puddled styles. We'll discuss how a specific primitive pattern can help you know how to hook it. Should you hook it rough and random, or is it more traditional and formal. We'll all have fun learning something new to make our rug look old.






LEVEL:  Basic – students must have basic rug hooking knowledge and experience.

STUDENTS NEED TO BRING:  Basic hooking supplies: a frame, scissors, cutter, cutter blades (your choice), & hook. Optional: bring any wool you might like to use in your rug.

Keith started making rugs back in the 70’s with store bought punch needle rug kits. It wasn’t until the mid- 90’s when he found his way to the more traditional style of rug hooking. As his knowledge of the craft grew, he realized the early primitive rugs were the ones he loved and wanted to emulate. Over the years he has pushed himself to achieve a primitive hooking style by attending workshops with many of the top teachers, including Barbara Carroll – whom he is honored to call a good friend. Keith designs patterns available through Spruce Ridge Studios and worked with Barbara Carroll on her coverlet pattern collection. Recently he has been teaching locally in the southeast Michigan area and selling his rugs through word of mouth and a shop in Ligonier, PA. His work has appeared in Designs for Primitive Rug Hookers by Jenny Rupp and Lisa Yeago and Pictorial Hooked Rugs by Jane Halliwell Green.

Keith has a BFA in graphic design and works as an Art Director creating marketing materials for national clients. He took up weaving in the late ‘80s and continues to weave. His focus for the past 20 years or so has been with fiber arts, including hooking, weaving, knitting and even spinning. He attributes his interest in fiber to his grandfather – a tailor in Chicago during the first half of the last century.


SPECIALTIES:  Primitive & early hooked rugs.