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Rug hookers' work to be displayed
Rug Hookers met recently at Sharon Forks Branch Library to hook up their rugs. In the foreground is a rug with a University of Georgia Bulldog being done by Carolyn Folsom. Folsom used a caricature by Jack Davis for her design. - photo by EMILY SAUNDERS

Restored Brannon-Heard house opens to the public this weekend 

Rug show
10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 8 and 9, 1-5 p.m. May 10
Where: Brannon-Heard House, 111 Pilgrim Mill Road, Cumming

CUMMING - A group of area women is helping keep a classic art form alive.

The Cumming-Forsyth Rug Hookers has been meeting twice a month for a little more than 2 years to enjoy each other's company while practicing the art of rug hooking.

The practice begin in the mid-1800s, explained Elaine Zimney, one of the founders of the local group. She said early rug hookers would draw original designs on the back of burlap grain sacks and cut worn-out wool clothing into narrow strips.

By using a nail driven into a small piece of wood that could fit into the palms of their hands, the women would shape the nail into a
hook and use it to pull the assorted pieces of wool clothing through the burlap backing. Thus, creating
patterned rugs.

While the tools of the craft may be somewhat more modern, the practice remains basically unchanged today.

The public will get a chance to view the work of group members 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 8 and 9 and 1 to 5 p.m. May 10 during their first ever rug show at the Brannon-Heard House.

Zimney said 22 members will present more than 180 rugs during the show. Admission is $5 for adults, free for children under 12.

"The main difference is women buy their hooks and don't usually use old clothes," she said.

Also today, she said, most people start off by purchasing rug hooking kits with patterns drawn on the backing and color codings similar to paint-by-numbers kits. But once they get the hang of it, most practitioners will create their own original designs.

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