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Traditional Proddy & Beyond Workshop


Janet Conner, Hiram, Maine 

Dates:  1 day – Friday, August 16, 2024 
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Class Fee: $130.00 / Sauder Village Member $120.00
Supply Fee:  See below - payable to teacher during class
Location: Founder’s Hall – Stage Right
Teacher’s Website: &  


The traditional and homey craft of Proddy mat making originated in Northern England/Southern Scotland, where it is thought to be an early precursor of rug hooking. Simpler and faster than hooking, this technique makes the thickest, shaggiest, softest pile; extremely plush, sturdy, and long wearing. Proddy consumes TONS of wool, so is perfect for using scraps and leftovers from your stash, even the coat weight wools that are too thick for hooking. 

In the most traditional Proddy mats, short, rectangular pieces of wool are poked through the backing (from the back- as in punch needle) to form a thick, shaggy surface on the front. But when the little rectangles are trimmed with scissors to make petal shapes, they can be used to create 3-dimensional flower blossoms—very useful to enhance and embellish hooked rugs!

Join us for a whole day of fun and exploration of Proddy techniques. Select one of Janet’s “Perfect for Proddy” projects, or design a mat of your own—in advance or during class using her simple folk art templates for tracing - so easy!  You could spend the day making a series of Proddy Blossoms, or even bring in a rug in progress which you would like to enhance with 3-D effects. Janet will contact you in advance to answer questions and plan for your wants, needs, and wishes.

A wide variety of beautiful hand dyed wools will be available for purchase in class, as well as some “bargain bundles” of as-is textures, plaids and solids. The tools we will use are handmade Proddy “sticks” and “pokies”, which you can purchase, borrow, or bring your own. Fifteen different Proddy Blossom kits will be available, blank linen in various sizes, as well as packets of novelty yarns and trims suitable for embellishment. If we need to engineer another type of flower form, we can problem-solve together on the spot!  Everything will be demonstrated with historic commentary, and each student will leave with handouts and written instructions.

Look over the Proddy section of Jane’s website, you will see multiple examples of Proddy patterns and kits. As always, in Janet’s classes, you are welcome to bring your own materials, self-drawn patterns, tools, and ideas—or challenge Janet to come up with a custom pattern just for you. The goal of our one-day experience is to leave with a great start on a new project in your desired size, color plan, and Proddy technique, thereby learning another wonderful way to use beautiful wool!

Teacher will contact students prior to class:  Yes

Level:  Basic - students must have basic rug hooking knowledge & experience. No prior Proddy knowledge or experience required.

Supply fee description:  Proddy Tools: Proddy Stick $15, & Proddy Pokies $15-20. Wools: 1/4, 1/2, 1 yd pieces of wool hand dyed at $15, $30, & $60. Bargain scrap bundles priced individually based on rarity, size, off the bolt or old clothes, $10-$25. LINEN: various sizes, price based on $35 yd, serged. PATTERNS: hand-drawn, prices ranging from $35-$100, KITS: Blossom Kits $10, & EMBELLISHMENTS: Embellishments Packets $15.

Students Need to Bring:  Basic hooking supplies: a frame, scissors, cutter, cutter blades #6 - 8, & hook. See additional optional items in description.

Janet Conner is an avid rug hooker who has been pulling loops since 1979. Graduating from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, she spent 30 years teaching Elementary Art in southern Maine, while raising a busy family. After retirement in 2005, Janet was able to work at rug hooking and fiber arts full time, launching her web-based business, which offers a line of her own patterns as well as rug hooking supplies and equipment, books, and natural dye recipe cards. She teaches fiber arts in her home state of Maine and throughout the United States plus Bermuda, Canada, and England, with a specific focus on art history and the inspiration found in both fine art and folk art. In addition to rug hooking, she also teaches punch needle, Proddy, and penny rug techniques.

Twenty-five years of studying and repairing antique rugs has influenced Janet’s love of old-fashioned methods and timeless motifs. She has contributed chapters on cleaning and repair of antique rugs to Rug Hooking Magazine’s book Finishing Hooked Rugs. She co-authored Rug Hooking Traditions with James & Mercedes Hutchinson, released with the Hutchinson Exhibit, in August of 2016.She has also written 2 books: Magnificent Hooked Rugs: Inspired by the Art of World Cultures (2020) and Masterpiece Hooked Rugs: Inspired by the Art of World Cultures (2023).

Janet’s rugs have appeared in Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs XXII, Rug Hooking Magazine, Hooked Rugs Today 2004, & 2006 and galleries throughout New England. Her greatest joy is to foster the success of her students; many of whom have made rugs in her classes that have been featured in Rug Hooking Magazine.

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