Monday, 1 November 2010

Rag Rugs with Debbie Siniska

What a deliciously colourful way to round off the year’s textile courses! We spent the weekend under the expert tuition of Debbie Siniska making ‘Gorgeous Rag Rugs’. We chopped and snipped, prodded and poked with hooks and bodgers to fasten strips and snippets of fabric – all recycled – into lovely natural hessian to make our samplers and first experiments in this most rewarding of traditional crafts.

I have childhood memories, as I expect many of you may have, of sitting in front of the fire playing with the tufts of reworked tweeds, calicos and cottons. There was often quite a bit of grey or black flannel (former jackets, trousers and ‘costumes’ – remember them!!??) which contrasted with bright cherry reds and smokey blues.

Whilst the basic principles of these techniques are very straightforward, Debbie showed us how to master the differing ways of handling the variety of fabrics with different tools in order to achieve our designs using loops and tufts to their best advantage.

One of this year’s students Jane Anne Walton worked on a beautiful piece based on her design taken from a cranesbill. This is destined to be a seat pad. Just lovely and much admired. Jane Anne coordinates a rag rug group which meets at her house in North Norfolk monthly. Give her a ring on 01263 861369 to find out more.

Debbie will also be a guest artist on Kirsty Allsopp’s new series which begins this week, see Radio Times article etc. for more details. I’m not sure yet which programme in the series that Debbie will be showing Kirsty about rag rugs. Keep an eye open as the series should be a wonderful ‘craft’ exploration.

I’m so pleased to announce that Debbie Siniska will be returning to BAC next autumn to draw absolute beginners to this fascinating craft and to help those who have some experience to develop their designs and skills further. Look on Debbie’s website to see the lovely work she does, including commissions for restoration projects such as the ‘Bloomsbury’ rugs. Guaranteed to make you smile!

Our new 2011 course listings will soon be finalised and put on this blog, so WATCH THIS SPACE!