Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Showcasing the work of Dana Psoinas- Rug Hooker extraordinaire

This month, the Yarra Valley Rug Makers are show-casing some wonderful rugs from a very talented Rug Hooker from the United States, who has been hooking for only six years.
Dana at Sauder Village with her rug entitled, "The Guardian"

Dana says; 
"My Grandmother was a painter and has encouraged me throughout my life. I've always been drawn to landscapes and portraits. I continued to focus on that throughout high school and college. However, instead of pursuing a career in the arts, I married and raised a family. As my family grew I continued to take classes in pastel painting etc... but I met my rug Hooking teacher Loretta Scena just when I needed her most. My children were grown and didn't need me as much. I was a little lost. Loretta and rug Hooking brought art back into my life. I fell in love with the wool immediately. There's just something magical about manipulating wool. I am so pleased to be a part of the rug Hooking community."

Dana is in the process of having some of her work documented in a book that will contain these and other of her beautiful rugs. We, of the Yarra Valley Rug makers and you, our readers are privileged to share in some of her work. I hope you like what you see. Please like and comment to encourage Dana with her rug hooking endeavours.
I asked Dana if she had any special thoughts on her rugs that she would like to share with us, as well as some of the thing she learned from hooking each rug. The following are her rugs and her comments. 

The Guardian
35: x 47”
Designed and hooked by Dana Psoinas
#2, #3, and #4 cut, hand-dyed wool, on a linen backing.
Hand-Dyed wool

The Guardian is a mystical interpretation from the fairy tale, Red Riding Hood, but unlike the fairy tale, Dana wanted Red Riding Hood and the wolf to be companions.
Dana says, “Her face was the easiest for me. Her hair the most fun. The cape was so much harder than I thought it would be. I have a red chenille blanket and I had my daughter, myself, my son’s girlfriend model for me. I love the idea of hooking a story. This rug changed and evolved as it went. As it's not real, it was a challenge and a freedom of imagination.
background colors
The birches were cool. I learned that a birch is a birch no matter where. WHY did I have to make so many in my design? Thank you Michele M for your fabulous hand-dyed wool! 
The wolf was one of the scariest things I've ever had to hook! It was my first realistic animal. I often said that it's my pattern, so I can just cut the wolf out. Perseverance again. Hook, and un-hook......try again. The feeling of it finally being finished was wonderful!"

The Shahman
26” x 32 ½“
Designed and hooked by Dana Psoinas
#2, #3, and #4 cut hand-dyed wool on a lined backing
Additional materials; sparkly wool, ribbon and silver thread

This rug was inspired by a photograph of a man from Tibet, by an unknown photographer. 
"I was drawn to his lovely wrinkly face, full of life and expression. Since I couldn't find the photographer, I moved him to North America. I've always loved American Indian art.

I wanted to add fire, water, earth and air, since to me The Shaman is the keeper of the land and protector of the people.
I learned to use different fibers to acquire the look that I wanted. I learned to let my rug evolve. I'm pretty good at keeping the big picture in my mind, but you have to listen to your heart as new ideas come to you. Don't be too rigid with your original idea."

The Green Woman- An adaptation of Loretta Scena's pattern by that name
26 ½ x 28 ¼
Hooked by Dana Psoinas
Adapted, with permission from the pattern, “Green Woman” by Loretta Scena


The Green Woman was Dana’s first portrait.
Hooking this portrait was a natural extension to her love of drawing them, which led her to paint in wool instead of using pencils and paints.
“I've enjoyed working on this rug so much”, says Dana. “Loretta Scena's Avatar patterns just open your imagination up to so many possibilities. She made me realize that I could create anything.”
The details and shading in this rug are incredible and move the eyes from one area of the rug to another, where you continue to find more and then realize there is not one but three faces present.

The Muse
18 ½” x 23 ½”
Designed and hooked by Dana Psoinas
#2, #3 and #4 cut wool on linen
Hand dyed wool, shiny ribbon, thread and one earring

 An apt name for this lovely rug, the dictionary defines muse as, 
"A person — especially a woman — who is a source of artistic inspiration." And that is exactly what this rug is about.

Dana designed this elegant pattern for a workshop on how to hook flowers. 
"I learned that it is so difficult to make a pattern that have fine shading involved! My poor teacher must have been horrified when she received my multi-colored pattern in the mail! It was the only way I could make sense of the background. Also, I learned about hair. Highlights first, then low-lights and lastly everything in between. It was a challenge to hook hair which actually looked like it was pinned up.
Creamy skin is HARD to do! Patience. Don't be afraid to reverse hook until you get it right. My favorite part of this pattern was figuring out her silk shawl, trying to give it a silky look.
The fun bit was adding an earring which belonged to my daughter and was her belly button ring from her High school days."

Dana’s rugs are certainly among the best I have seen and she has a great future in the Rug Hooking world. I am sure we will see a lot more of her. 
Thank you Dana for being so generous with the sharing of your rugs and taking the time to write  the comments on each of them represented here.
You can see more of Dana's rugs on The Welcome Mat, HERE
If this link doesn't lead to her page on the mat, you may have to sign up to become a member first. It is free and well worth it.


  1. Phyllis Lindblade11 January 2017 at 18:21

    I went with some of my students to the rug show at Sauder Village last year. After the show, I asked what rug was each person's favorite - The Guardian, that we called Red Riding Hood, won hands down. It's a great rug that I could enjoy seeing over and over and over again.

  2. I love your work. To think you have been hooking for only 5 years and turning out such awesome pieces is remarkable. Love your designs, color and hooking. It's a pleasure to look at your rugs. Looking forward to seeing many more. Wren

  3. Dana how wonderful to have your beautiful art featured here and in an upcoming book! The only thing more lovely than your rugs is your ❤.
    Kathy O'Donnell

  4. Dana, I feel grateful to call you Friend. You are an inspiration to all us "old hookers". Your thoughtful gift to me of "My Queen" will be treasured forever. Can't wait to see the book!

  5. Oh that's a very beautiful rug. I like rug about "A person - especially a woman". Can be imagined so difficult to make a smooth shading pattern like that. And I admired Dana's work. I am as a fan of Rug Hooking admitted indeed Dana's rug is one of the best. I can not wait to see your upcoming book. Keep work !!!
    On the other hand I was interested at one store in Amsterdam, firmatoele.nl. They have a Kilim rug collection that not only functions as home decor but as well as of art on the wall. Its uniqueness is the patterns in kilims vary nomadic tribe and region.

  6. I've known Dana since we were 5. She has always had a creative spirit. It is exciting to see her talent manifested in such a tactile and vibrant art. Beautiful work from a beautiful soul.

  7. Dhr Antonius Toele begon zijn zaak op de Overtoom met de verkoop van kamerbreed tapijt, gordijnstoffen en kussens en heeft zich gespecialiseerd in tapijten uit het voormalig Perziƫ. Deze worden gemaakt door nomadenstammen waar wij al decennia mee samen werken.


  8. De vintage vloerkleden komen in tal van verschillende patronen voor in ons assortiment. Sterker nog, geen kelim is hetzelfde! Zo vindt u vrijwel zeker een kelim kleed die aansluit bij de stijl van uw huidige interieur. kelims

  9. Thank you all for your lovely comments❤️

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