Wool Fusion- Craft and commercial design join forces.

 

For UK Wool Week 2017, I was delighted to have the opportunity to create an axminster stair carpet with Brintons Carpets.

The carpet was commissioned for Wool Fusion, a showcase of UK products which best represents the beauty and versatility of British wool. This is the second year I’ve been involved in this Campaign for Wool initiative, spearheaded by HRH The Prince of Wales’ and this year curated by Arabella McNie.

A unanimous decision to use design elements from my handwoven Fryklos rug came out of a productive initial meeting with the Brintons team.

Fryklos Handwoven Krokbargd Rug. Photo by Yeshen Venema

 

I handwove the original Fryktlos rug on my Glimakra floor loom in my Bristol studio. The traditional Scandinavian rug weaving technique, Krokbragd, was used.

I gleaned as much information as I could about the processes, scope and limitations of using custom Axeminster QuickWeave and am thankful to Jodie Hatton for generously importing so much of her experience and knowledge. We didn’t have long to turn this project around so the Quickweave option was fantastic as we could meet the deadline and adapt the design to fit the process accordingly.

There were certain restrictions as a result of working to such a tight schedule, especially with the colour palette available. However, it didn’t do me any harm to reign in my typical gaudy colour clashes and am quite proud that I’ve designed something without a burst of acid yellow.

It was also a refreshing experience for me to be so disciplined when drawing up the designs as I usually prefer to design at the loom rather than a desk.

 

Initial sketches on graph paper were quickly converted onto the software by Jodie with a small selection of the designs then sent off for sampling on the Quickweave looms.

I wanted to ensure that the carpet design retained the niche qualities of my handwoven rugs, and by using a pattern that made each step of the staircase slightly different, I think we succeeded in this.

A selection of sketches were woven into samples which helped to inform the final decision.

 

Making the decision about which sample to proceed with was always going to be tricky as both colour ways worked really well. Fortunately, the Wool Fusion branding helped to sway things as one of the palettes coincidentally lent itself to the theme!

The finished carpet was installed at Wool Fusion by Arabella McNie and the team and the event was open to the public for Wool Week from the 7th-14th October. Feedback from the event has been excellent and the carpet design was really well received by visitors.

 

 

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Bridgette Kelly and Campaign for Wool for facilitating this collaborative opportunity, and especially all the Brintons team for making the whole process a joy. A video telling the story of this project has been produced by the talented film makers at Cube Video, and I look forward to sharing the final edit here soon.

 

To see more images of the Frytklos Stair Carpet check out my Instagram 

Links:

Brintons Carpets

Campaign for Wool

Cube Video

Yeshen Venema Photography