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Laura Pierce Retreat 
Faces, Places & Animals, too!

Laura Pierce

Laura Pierce
Petaluma, California

Faces, Places & Animals, too!

4 Day Retreat:  Tuesday – Friday, August 15 – 18, 2017
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
$350.00 / Sauder Village Members $330.00  
Heritage Inn –Gathering Room B



Learn about hooking the landscape of a face, a place or an animal; with highlights and shadows, advancing (warm) and receding (cool) colors, and layering motifs to create depth and dimension.  Projects for this class can be simply a portrait, an animal or a landscape… or a combination of all three!  We can use your photos and ideas to create a special rug; along with a variety of rug hooking techniques to bring your pattern to life!  It may mean learning new ways to solve the challenges, but the result will be a unique and personal rug.  Students can design their own patterns, bring a pattern already started or have Laura design a rug for them.  This class is open; to any size of cut and to realism, folk art and anything in between.  Join this class and make a memorable rug!

Laura has hooked portraits and landscapes designed from photographs --- mostly her own photos and those in the family album to create ‘Hooked Rug Portraits’ and ‘Memory Rugs’ as in her Sloan Family Miniatures rug.


Laura enjoys using colors and textures to make old black and white photos come to life, one example is her Latta Family in Fox Hollow.

Sometimes she likes a folk art approach to rug design.  Laura’s Caswell Couple is based on a square of the Caswell Carpet combined with Laura and Kirby’s wedding photos.  She wore (proddy) flowers in her hair and Kirby had a big red (plaid) mustache and mutton chops!  ‘Outline & Fill’ made this a fun hook!

Laura’s ‘Scrap Landscape’ rug, Mt. Tam & Belvedere, is from a photo she took while on a sailing trip out of Sausalito.  It’s hooked mostly in #8 cuts as that’s her favorite cut and it’s mostly hooked with left over sorted scrap noodles!  


Laura recently finished Benziger Vineyard View; a big rug for her.  Breaking it up into sections enabled her to enjoy the visit. She used to work at the Benziger Family Vineyards in the tasting room, and enjoyed walking through the vineyard on her lunch hour!  To the right is the ‘insectory’ where certain plants beckon beneficial insects to the vineyard.  It is early spring in this view; the fields are a luscious green, the fruit trees are blossoming, but the grape vines are still dormant.    

Thomas the family cat; designed for and hooked in a class with Elizabeth Black in 2003.  Laura took this first lesson in hooking animals and instead of hooking a background, made Thomas into a doll.

Laura had fun designing & hooking her own plaid in #3 cut in the Scotty McGruff rug; first the warp and then the weft. She redesigned the Scotty dog and made him proud.  A black dog in #8 cut textures and dark colors.

The faithful doxies wait on the landing to see who is coming; hooked mostly in #8 cut with fine-cut as needed.  Rufus & Milo features another black dog hooked in dark textures and a colorful spot.



LEVEL:  Intermediate – students must have basic rug hooking knowledge and experience. This retreat will focus on the techniques and topics listed by the instructor, students are not required to have knowledge or experience in those specific areas. 

STUDENTS NEED TO BRING:  Basic hooking supplies: a frame, scissors, cutter, cutter blades, and a hook. Laura will contact students and mail any desired wool and patterns in advance of class, as she will only be able to bring a small amount of supplies with her.  Students are encouraged to bring a selection of their own stash along with a bag of noodles or shop for additional supplies from the many vendors.


Laura is a fourth generation rug hooker, growing up with rugs made by her mother.  She took up the hook in 1996 and started teaching in 2003. Accredited and experienced, Laura looks forward to helping her students with any project they desire. She loves a class with variety; be it the rug projects and/or the experience levels of her students.  Everyone has something to offer and Laura encourages sharing in her classes.  She is known for teaching Portraits, Animals, Landscapes and Reflections in an impressionistic style, but loves geometrics, abstracts and scrap rugs, too!  Laura often designs custom patterns for her students, based on photographs, illustrations or ideas.  Alternately, she is happy to work with her students and guide them through the process of designing their own pattern.

Primarily a wide-cut artist, Laura also uses fine cuts; often mixing various cut sizes to get the effect she wants.   She has a broad appreciation for the Art, Folk Art and Craft of Rug Hooking; from shading with values to ‘outline & fill’, from balance and design to special stitches and textures.  Laura’s rugs have been selected for Celebrations several times; Emmy the little girl blowing bubbles, is her most famous.  Many of her portrait rugs are featured in Anne-Marie Littenberg’s book; Hooked Rug Portraits.  Laura has written several articles for Rug Hooking Magazine and ATHA, plus she blogs about her rug hooking experiences at ‘Laura’s Loop’.  Laura stays busy teaching at Rug Camps, Rug Schools, and for various Rug Hooking groups in the United States and Canada. She shows her rugs at the local County Fairs, at Rug Shows and at Art Galleries.


SPECIALTIES: Portraits, Wide-Cut Impressionism, Landscapes, Reflections, Scrap Rugging, Rug Design and using color to create shading.