About the demonstration:
Come and join us at The Fabled Thread studio for a demonstration from Lu Mason on how she is using the traditional techinque of making rag rugs combined with her incredible imagery and narratives. Lu will be here to discuss both her rag rug works and also her wider work, the inspiration behind.
We, at The Fabled Thread, are hugely inspired by Lu's work and this will be a wonderful opportunity to delve more into the craft.
About your tutor:
I started making rag rugs in the early 1980’s, when I first moved to Yorkshire. I was inspired by the rag rugs I saw here: in peoples’ houses, and in museums. The North of England has a fine tradition of making rag rugs, encouraged by the fact that it was the centre of the wool industry. The style of rug was mainly the clippy mat, where all the ends of the woollen “rags” are sticking up, and the strips of cloth are poked through the hessian backing.
My inspiration also came from my American family: my great uncle made over 200 rugs, having been given the task to make a rug as occupational therapy after the 2nd world war. He made rugs in the American style, where you pull up strips of the woollen cloth through the hessian, leaving a looped pile. I have made both styles of rug, and will demonstrate both methods; I prefer to make the American style rug, because it lends itself more to imagery, words and patterns.
I also work in cut paper: making mobiles which hang from the ceiling, and also making stencils for spray paint. There is definitely cross over for me in working with paper and making a rug: in both disciplines it’s the shapes and colours that are important, and the balance between foreground and background.
I have a small studio space, full of bags of cloth and frames, hessian and hooking tools. I source my “rags” from car boot sales and charity shops, looking for colours and textures, and a cloth that doesn’t fray. I enjoy recycling cloth, and often use recycled hessian coffee sacks for the backing. More recently I have been using “waste” cashmere, strips of cloth produced by the cashmere mills which would otherwise go to landfill.
Find out more about Lu here.