Bonnie Stahl has a passion for the early American look. The simplicity of her designs evolved from her childhood, beginning at birth, when her parents named her after Scarlet O'Hara's daughter in Gone With the Wind.
Growing up during the 1960's in rural New Jersey, Stahl lived in a 200-year-old house at the bottom of Sour Land Mountain. Making "things by her hand" satisfied a need—a need to be creative. Prior to making a second change of careers, Stahl was content to be a stay-at-home mom, supplementing her husband's income through her talent for making primitive samplers.
About the time she was completing her 500th sampler, Stahl literally stumbled over a Primitive Hooked Rug displayed on the grass at a local art show, where a woman was demonstarting Primitive Rug Hooking. Stahl took a business card and telephoned the teacher the next day. The woman would not sell her work, but invited Stahl to a rug hooking class, and that was the beginning of her hooking adventure. Stahl purchased a pattern, wool, hooking frame, wool cutter, scissors, and a primitive $2 hook.
Upon getting started, Stahl was told it would probably take 3 months to complete her first rug. It took 3 weeks. She hasn't stopped. Stahl is currently working on rug number 1040.
Stahl's style is unique in that she pulls together colors which the end result is a rug that will look "old" and in place amongst antiques, primitive reproductions, and American folk art. Stahl's work has been recognized four times by Early American Life magazine's Directory of Traditional American Crafts, which listed her among the top 200 artisians in traditional crafts in America.
Prior to her seven years of sampler making, Stahl was employed as manager of a shoe repair and leather goods shop, where she took care of repairs, alterations and retail sales (during free time she made "things" out of leather and enjoyed redecorating the shop). She now resides in Wendel, Pennsylvania where she remains blessed and content to be a stay-at-home wife and mother of two children.
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