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Release Date: 02/12/13
Contacts: Lesley A. Elser    

Trails Center Presents Temporary Exhibit, "Step on It: Braided Rugs by Norma Sturges:" Opening Reception March 1; Program, Demonstrations, and Workshop March 2

The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center (NHTIC) will present a temporary exhibit, “Step on it: Braided Rugs by Norma Sturges.” The exhibit will feature extraordinary rugs by Casper fiber artist and author Norma Sturges.

  Norma Sturges, holding her rug, My Valentine.
Norma Sturges, holding 
her rug, My Valentine.

Heather Roses, by Norma Sturges.
Heather Roses, 
by Norma Sturges.

 My Signature Rug, by Norma Sturges.
My Signature Rug,
by Norma Sturges.
The exhibit runs March through April, and the opening reception is March 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. Hors d'oeuvres will be provided by the National Historic Trails Center Foundation. The reception will feature Casper’s string musicians, “Ana, Rachel and Friends.” The reception is free and open to the public.

On March 2, the Trails Center will present a program, demonstrations and a braided rug workshop. The following is a schedule of events:

  • 10-10:45 a.m.: Braided Rugs 101: Creating Your Own American Folk Art 
    Beverly Sullivan, rug braiding instructor from Fort Collins, Colo., will present a 45-minute introduction to the art of braiding rugs. She will focus on the tools, terms, fabrics and procedures used to create unique, colorful folk art for the family. Free and open to the public.
  • 11 a.m.-12 p.m.: Rug Braiding Demonstrations 
    Members of the Rocky Mountain Rug Braiders Guild, based in Denver, will provide hands-on braiding demonstrations. Free and open to the public.
  • 11 a.m.-12 p.m.: Rug Braiding for Kids! 
    Sue Blakey, a fiber artist from Thermopolis, will teach children how to create beautiful, colorful braids. The program is recommended for children ages 10 and up. Free and open to the public.
  • 1-5 p.m.: Workshop: Braid Your Own Rug 
    Instructors from the Rocky Mountain Rug Braiders Guild will teach students how to create their own braided rug, and the essentials of braiding. Students will receive kits with everything they need to create a coaster, hot pad or chair pad. Students will also receive a copy of “The Braided Rug Book: Creating Your Own American Folk Art,” by Norma Sturges. Pre-registration required, and space is limited. Cost is $40. To register for the workshop, or for more information, call (307) 261-7780.

Norma Sturges, a nationally recognized fiber artist, has been braiding rugs for over 60 years. Sturges is the author of the indispensable guide to rug braiding, “The Braided Rug Book: Creating Your Own American Folk Art.” In 1995, she formed the Rocky Mountain Rug Braiders Guild in Denver.

“A braided rug is a satisfying, personal, artistic expression, and may well turn out to become an heirloom, passed down from generation to generation,” said Sturges, in “The Braided Rug Book.” “Above all, a braided rug is an object of beauty, with the unmistakable warmth, richness of texture, and depth of color that only pure wool, braided with care, can deliver.”

“Grandmothers, as you know, are persistent women. People of all ages are enjoying the revival of this wonderful craft,” Sturges said. “I am a great-grandmother, determined to see that we braid the stories of our generations together into rugs that we continue to treasure.”

The exhibit is supported by the National Historic Trails Center Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Rug Braiders Guild, and the Wyoming Fiber Trails Project, an on-line resource that promotes the fiber arts. For more information on the Wyoming Fiber Trails Project, visit

For more information, contact Alex Rose at the NHTIC, (307) 261-7780.

The NHTIC is a part of the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). The areas of the NLCS are specifically designed to conserve, protect and restore the exceptional scientific, natural, cultural, ecological, historical, and recreation values of these treasured landscapes.

The NHTIC is a public-private partnership between the BLM and the National Historic Trails Center Foundation. The facility is located at 1501 N. Poplar Street, Casper, Wyo. The Center is currently operating on winter hours, and is open Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

NHTIC   1501 North Poplar Street      Casper, WY 82601  

Last updated: 02-12-2013