Fryklos (Fearless) #2 A Self Fulfilling Prophecy?

Have you ever wondered if makers have favourite creations in their portfolios?

Whilst I can’t answer for anyone else, the answer for me is yes!

It might change from time to time, but right now my absolute favourite is also the rug I’m most proud of. Fryklos.

PHOTO: YESHEN VENEMA
PHOTO: YESHAN VENEMA

Fryktlos (Fearless)/#2/Cream was handwoven in my Bristol Studio in the summer of 2016, in preparation for Decorex International. It’s partner, (Fryklos #1/Grey) now resides in a luxury apartment near Salfords Media City, and a huge part of me is really happy to still have this rug in my life. (Yeah, pretty poor business skills there, I agree!)

So, what makes this rug stand out from all the other things I’ve woven at this point in my life?

Firstly, it’s symbolic name. I frequently use a Scandinavian rug weaving technique called Krokbragd, so I translated the names of this entire collection into Norwegian. (They were originally created for the colourCoded exhibition at Devon Guild of Craftsmen and I added cream version later the same year).

Having a piece named fearless is proving to be a self fulfilling prophecy for my practice generally. I’m certainly taking braver steps that I would’ve imagined a few years ago.

PHOTO: YESHEN VENEMA

 

PHOTO: YESHEN VENEMA

The main reason for my pride in this rug, however, is in what it accomplished technically. As anyone who weaves Krokbragd will tell you, the underside edges can often look less than satisfactory. It’s just one of the drawbacks of creating such and mixture of colour and pattern on the right side, and you basically have to accept it. With the patterns and shuttle sequencing for this piece however, I really got the edging I’d been trying to achieve for ages.

 

PHOTO:AP

 

Also, a sure sign of a good quality handwoven rug is the straightness and neatness of the selvedge. (Ok, smug selvedge photo alert, but after years of practice plus some expert guidance I’m allowing myself to feel pleased with these edges).

 

PHOTO:AP

 

Reflecting on this rug has me thinking about the attachment a maker has with the work they’ve often invested hours, weeks and sometimes months in, and the mixed bag of emotions involved in marketing and selling them-Another reason why our small businesses are so very different to typical commercial ventures and why buying hand crafted is much more than buying the end product.

Experience has taught me that at this stage I can’t predict how long it will take to sell a handwoven rug like this.

Photo: The Forge

 

Some take 2 weeks, some 2 months and others 2 years. What I can predict, however, is the mixed feeling I’ll have when this one leaves *home*. (Though I’m sure delight will supersede mourning!)

 

Photo: The Forge

 

This rug will be one of the items for sale on my new on-line shop at www.angieparkertextiles.com – Coming soon.

Launch date to be announced in next newsletter. Sign up below to be the first to know.

101 ways to commission an Angie Parker handwoven rug or textile artwork.

Ok, that’s slightly mis-leading. 101 examples would be a little arduous to read (and write).

What I’m really trying to say here is that every commission, by its very nature, is going to be different. And lets face it, that’s part of the reason you’re looking at commissioning and not buying ‘off the peg’ isn’t it? Luckily, it’s just an arrangement between myself and my clients, so we can keep it pretty simple.

Angie Parker Textiles Workshop
Angie Parker Textiles staff photo! Photo: Alice Jane Hendy

Let me run though a few pointers to show you just how simple it can be.

The first step comes from you.

Whether you discover my passion for eye-popping handwoven colour in a contemporary Craft gallery or through the power of the internet, a short enquiry email from you starts the ball rolling. I’ll get back to you to arrange a phone conversation (or more email if you prefer) to establish your thoughts on design, size, colour and budget. I’m easy to chat to and enjoy having these conversations and at this stage, I’m very happy to send you yarn samples, a quote, a time frame and a simple sketch, with absolutely no obligation.

I’ve a huge selection of wool and yarns for furnishings in stock, but if I haven’t got the exact shade you require then I can ask my supplier to custom dye the wool to match.

Typical initial conversations have included these questions:

  • “Can you weave ‘that one’ but use orange instead of yellow?” Yes I can.
  • “Can you do one ‘like that’ but longer” Yes, I weave up to 1m width but length can be what ever you wish. I can also join 2 or more rugs to create wider one, but this does impact the price.
  • “Can you do me a round one?” Afraid not (at the moment), sorry )-: (but I can recommend someone who can!)
  • “Can I weave part of it?” Yeah sure. We can arrange this.

Sometimes, I’m able to visit clients in their homes with example rugs & samples to help work through the design options, though I can’t promise that this will always be possible. Photographs are the next best thing so I’ll probably ask you to send over a few shots of your home if you’d like guidance about colours and designs.

Photo: Yeshen Venema

When you’re ready to proceed, I’ll then draw you up a more detailed sketch and give you a clear time frame in return for 50% of the total price.

I can even weave a sample (30x30cm) for a small additional fee.

I then set about weaving your bespoke piece of floor art in my Bristol studio.

I can email photo’s to you if you’d like to see your rugs progress, or you might just choose to have a surprise when it’s complete.

Once off the loom I then finish the piece by hand and stitch on a discreet label before carefully packing.

Delivery is then arranged, usually with my favourite specialist art handlers, upon final payment.

FRYKTLOS (FEARLESS).
PHOTOGRAPHER: YESHEN VENEMA

If, for any reason you’re not entirely over the moon with your rug let me know right away. I always build up a good relationships with my clients, so they know they can contact me with any concerns, safe in the knowledge that I will do my utmost to rectify. (Disclaimer-I’ve not actually had an unhappy client yet, so I’m thinking on my feet with this one).

Finally, each commission is a special to me as I’ve been assured my rugs are to my customers. This really is a mutually beneficial way of doing things.

You get a bespoke, quality handcrafted piece of floor art which brings a burst of uplifting colour (or monochrome design) to your home. An expertly woven heirloom that lifts your spirits and brightens your day in the way that only handmade items do.

And me? Well, your investment means that I can continue to grow my business, fulfilling the dream I had at college over 20 years ago, and much more.

And you thought you were ‘just’ commissioning a rug!

If you like what you’ve read but aren’t ready to commission a piece, why not follow me on Instagram or Twitter so that you’d don’t have to worry about remembering my name in five years when you’re leaving work and your collegues want to get something special for you? Better still, sign up for my quarterly news here.

*I’m working on a more comprehensive FAQ’s page which will be coming to my website soon.

What do recycled plastic bottles have to do with handwoven rugs?

Who wouldn’t love to see less plastic bottles going to waste?

I know that I’d love to see this unnecessary strain on our troubled planet eradicated in my lifetime. A first step towards this is to stop buying plastic bottles. A second is to support this initiative by Sadiq Khan to have more water fountains to re-fill reusable bottles. However, none of this is going to happen over night, and we are stuck with an abundance of plastic bottles to recycle.

So what does this have to do with handwoven rugs? Well, it turns out that an innovative yarn, PET (polyethylene terephthalate), is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, and also has the look and feel of wool. How brilliant is that!

Not only does it have the look and feel of wool, but it’s also waterproof, hardwearing and in a nutshell, a perfect choice of yarn for a handwoven rug for modern living.

Over the past 12 months I’ve been busy working on ways to give more people the opportunity to have an Angie Parker Textiles colour bursting rug in their living space, and outsourcing my designs to be handwoven oversea’s is an ideal way to achieve this. (I only hand weave around 10-12 rugs each year and quite a few people have expressed an interest in a more accessible product from me). Choosing a yarn to fit the bill led me to PET, and the rest is history…..or rather, the future, as I’m expecting my first consignment of limited edition rugs in the next few weeks!

Now for the exciting creative part. Which of my bespoke rug designs did I choose to launch this new strand of my weaving practice?

Well, it simply had to be a typical riot of clashing colour and pattern didn’t it?  And although the original is currently bringing a burst of uplifting colour to the living space of a lovely London couple, I’ve used elements of my first Bodacious rug to start the ball rolling.

I designed a second Bodacious earlier this year (using the Krokbragd rug weaving technique once again), with added pops of glitter and an asymmetrical pattern to create a clear distinction between the originals, which are handwoven by myself in my Bristol studio, and the limited edition designs which are handwoven by skilled weavers in India.

Here are a few shots of the original and I look forward to sharing the new rugs with you in the next few weeks. I also hope to get them on sale before mid December if anyone is looking to gift some vibrant handwoven colour this Chr**m%s. (I don’t mention that word in November!).

 

The bespoke handwoven rugs created in my Bristol studio for exhibitions and to commission will remain at the heart of my practice.

 

Inspired by the street art in my South Bristol neighbourhood, the new rugs will be bursting with uplifting colour.

 

With over 20 years experience of designing in Krokbragd, this traditional Scandinavian rug technique was the perfect choice.

Subscribers to my newsletter will be offered early bird discounts, so if this is of interest to you sign up at the bottom of the homepage on my website.

You can see archive shots and the progress of new rugs on my Instagram page here.