Jane Augenstein was born and raised in Belpre, Ohio. She learned sewing and quilting from her grandmother and has enjoyed making do and making things by hand for years. She is fascinated by old things: clothing, textiles, furniture and buildings.
In high school Augenstein favored art class. She filled sketch books with drawings, mostly of horses, in pencil and pen-and-ink.
In the 1980's Augenstein took a quilting class and found that she enjoyed making small quilts. Then, on a trip to a quilt store in Columbus, Ohio, she purchased a rug hooking booklet, wool strips, burlap, and a hook. For several years she left all on the shelf, planning some day to experiment with them. She made a small rug from silk strips but put aside rug hooking again.
After more years passed, a local shop offered classes on hooking and Augenstein signed up. She quickly realized that hooking rugs with wool was faster than silk, not to mention more visually satisfying to the eye. This time hooking made an impact and became more than just a hobby - it became Augenstein's passion.
Using both new and recycled wool in her rugs, Augenstein dyes the fabric to achieve muted colors that give the appearance of antique fabric. Although the antique rugs (when newly hooked) were vibrant in color, Augenstein strives for a subtle color tone. She believes it gives her work a softer look. She cuts the wool into strips by hand or with a cutter for a wider and uneven style of strip.
"My loops are not perfectly even and not always the same width. I believe this gives my rugs more of an antique feel and the look of 19th century rugs," noted Augenstein. "My patterns are inspired by and some are adapted from old primitive rugs. Most ideas come from my surroundings and memories from the past."
Augenstein lives with Mike, her husband of thirty-one years, in Whipple, Ohio, in a 130 year old farm house on a 40 acre plot of land. They share their plentiful space with two cows, two dogs, a horse and a cat. Augenstein works for a fabric artist sewing silk articles of clothing and accessories. Mike is
self-employed, owning a heating and air conditioning business. The couple has one daughter, Jennifer, who lives in Marietta and is planning to move to Winchester, Virginia, to study respiratory therapy.
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