Attending the MA with the ambition to design and create rugs has been at the forefront of all creative endeavours. It felt necessary to complete the MA with an accomplished full scale hand woven rug and so early experimentation towards a more conceptual woven structure for the exhibition did not feel right. After sleepless night, I knew that I had to return to my own personal goal and return to the loom to weave a rug measure 1m x 1.5m. These dimensions were indicated by my comfortable arm span and working to the next level of my current skillset. Using a 1m x 3m length warp on the countermarch floor loom has been a huge learning curve and success given that I am largely self tought within the last year.
The design was divided into three sections measuring 50cm in length each. This allowed the weaving process to be measured accurately and also broke down the sitting times of weaving, working on one section at a time. Spanning across approximately 10 days, the rug slowly grew (achieving 15-20cm per hour on a good weaving session).
A cardboard template was used to mark the curve onto the warp which proved to be very useful. This allowed the curve to be as fluid as possible. I chose to link the change of colour in weft so as to not leave any 'holes' in the weave structure. This created a very neat transition and smooth finish.
The template also highlighted areas of the original drawing that had tonal differences and where the ink strokes are visible. This locations were captured in the weave using hand dyed yarn to give some added textural interest. Upon reflection, I could have been a lot more free in my application of hand dyed yarn so as to create even more textural interest across the whole swathe. This would be easier to do in future as confidence grows and I can envisage final outcomes better whilst the rug is still on the loom.
Overall the outcome was successful and the weave finish is particularly neat. The ends have been tied in and the fringes cut to 17cm, in proportion with the rug size. The rug will be included in the exhibition display to celebrate the making process and the skills I have learnt this year.