Decorah Rug School

About the Decorah Rug School

In June, 2013, Luther College hosted -- since 1970 -- the Decorah Rug School. During an open house, which included the display of more than 60 hand-hooked rugs, an elderly gentleman, obviously a friend, entered the exhibit area exclaiming, "Are these for sale?"

Dorothy Huse, director of the Decorah Rug School, tsk-ed in response, "Oh, would you sell your children?"

Huse estimates that it takes 18 hours to complete a square foot of hooked rug -- but that doesn't make them too precious to walk on: they get better with use, she and program assistent Joan Reckwerdt agree.

Some say that craft was brought over to America on a Viking ship, with the pile turned inside for warmth, but this hasn't been substantiated.

Regardless, this style of rug hails from Europe, where a family would keep a rug right side down for six days of the week, then flip it over to the "good" side on Sundays.

Huse and Reckwerdt describe the 65 camp attendees, some of whom have been attending the rug school for decades, as "a special sisterhood" and "a healthy fellowship."

"This is an uplifting program," Huse says. "Especially when we haven't seen each other in a year, we come together and share all our joys and sorrows."

-- from Luther Alumni Magazine Fall 2013

Our Teachers

All of our teachers are well versed in all kinds of rug hooking:

  • tapestry
  • primative
  • wide cuts
  • or anything else you want to try

They are all McGown trained and are members of the McGown Nat'l Guild and the ATHA Guild. They teach in their own communities and across the states. They all provide students with beautifully dyed wool.

Students will be assigned their teachers on a first come basis. Students may setup one large or two small pieces during the week. There may be a small planning fee for each pattern.


Dorothy Huse

Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Director - Decorah Rug School

Joan Reckwerdt

Bend, Oregon
After many years of teaching, Joan is our Assistant Director


Carol Kassera

Aledo, Texas
Carol specializes in pictorials, animals, faces, fine shading and oriental. Carol is owner of Prairie Craft House.

Kathy Morton

Rochester, Minnesota
Kathy is a retired art teacher who loves wide cuts. Kathy is the owner and designer of Oak Ridge Cottage Rugs.

Marianne Storm

Stanley, Wisconsin
Marianne specializes in wide cut with the use of new and recycled wool. Marianne is owner of The Woolen Shop.

Patty Piek-Groth

Patty has hooked for over 30 years with strength in fine shading of flowers, sscrolls, fruit, leaves, etc. Patty is also skilled with wider cuts.