Evelyn Lawrence and Kathy Wright put together a terrific special exhibit for Sauder this year. It was a real treat to get to see it in person and purchase the self-published full-color 80 page book that they wrote on the subject. It is called Rug Hooking Traditions with Magdalena Briner Eby published 2011 by Traditions by Wright & Co., 588 Flanagan Station Road, Winchester, KY 40391; (859) 745-5740; $24.95. I highly recommend contacting Kathy Wright to purchase a copy of your own.
The exhibit and book feature the rugs of Magdalena Briner Eby (ca. 1832-1915; Perry County, PA). She hooked American folk art rugs throughout her lifetime and her work is now found in some of the most distinguished private collections.
Lawrence became interested in Briner's rugs when she noticed seeing one of her designs in Joel and Kate Kopp's book, American Hooked and Sewn Rugs: Folk Art Underfoot (my favorite hooked rug book). Lawrence became "obsessed" with finding more Briner rugs, and searched books, catalogues, auction sales, and private collections. Every time she found another rug, she worked on her own to reproduce it, even playing around with natural dyeing techniques to achieve the same colors of wools.
The exhibit and the book show both the old rug and Lawrence's reproduction. It was so thrilling to see them side-by-side. The rug known as the "Great-Granddaughter's Rug" (left) received the 2011 Sauder Award for best exemplifying the mission of Sauder Village. This rug was also reproduced in paint on a wooden board and mounted on the Ranger Station on the Tuscarora State Forest trail near the area where the Eby family owned property and Jacob and Magdalena were newlyweds. It represents the first ever Trail Rug (after the fashion of the Quilt Trails).
Barbara Carroll offers the patterns of Magdalena's designs as Lawrence finds them. You can find all of them at her website by clicking HERE.