Jen Manuell


Take a ride on the Marrakech Express!

Imagine the freedom of hooking on a blank canvas, with just an idea in your mind and without a whole bunch of lines to restrict you or limit new ideas as the work progresses. Freestyle.

Taking inspiration from Moroccan Boucherouite rugs, we will incorporate simple tribal motifs into free-form geometric designs that can be intentionally asymmetrical and perfectly imperfect. Use a quick paper sketch to guide your work at the start and enjoy watching the design evolve as you work from one end of your rug across to the other. Working without a traditional ‘pattern’ and truly improvising as you go.

Designs can be as simple or as complex as you want…and either way we will have lots of fun playing!  It’s a great opportunity to play with colours and use up lots of leftover bits – it doesn’t matter if you ‘run out’ (and I find it’s more interesting to have an unplanned or random colour change!)

Like their woven counterparts, we will work in straight lines, hooking on the grain.  Progress will be swift on the Marrakech Express!

8 cut or larger recommended.

JLM red boucherouite

Jen Manuell is an award-winning fourth generation rug hooker, first taught by her Aunt (the late Jean Armstrong). Jen started hooking in 1999 and has taught for more than a decade. She has travelled all over Canada, the United States, and England, sharing her fresh and distinctive ideas under her Fish Eye Rugs banner. Jen recently taught two classes at the Textile Museum of Canada.

Jen is largely self-taught and an enthusiastic experimenter, with a  passion for coming up with new twists on traditional techniques. Her work has been included in many exhibits over the years, in both Canada and various states south of the border. In 2012, she received the prestigious Ontario Hooking Craft Guild (OHCG) Best in Show Rowan Award for her piece entitled Jumbo, a particularly impressive room-sized rug she designed and hooked. Jen’s work has been featured in several publications, and most recently in Simply Modern, by Deanne Fitzpatrick.

In early 2016, Jen left her professional career behind and started pursuing her dream of making a living making things.  She is the owner, operator, artistic force and maker behind Fish Eye Sisters, creating a line of unique home goods featuring her hand-dyed wools.