Apprentice Ben's Penelope is cut from the loom

In a ceremony at Dovecot today, Ben Hymers’ Apprentice tapestry piece Penelope was cut from the loom.

Apprentice Weaver Hymers explains the story of Penelope: “Queen of Ithaca, Penelope is expected to take a new spouse but shuns her suitors. Cunningly, she announces she will choose a husband when her weaving is finished. By night she unpicks what she has painstakingly produced previously, patience personified Penelope waits faithfully for twenty years.”

Unpicking what you have woven is still known today as a ‘Penelope stitch’. Penelope therefore becomes a fitting subject for an Apprentice piece, where unpicking, discovery, patience and practice take precedent. This tapestry showcases several newly learnt techniques with guidance from Master Weaver Naomi Robertson, employed within a heraldically composed design for aesthetic and structural purposes, including; double weave, Sumac, half-pass, herring-bone, twill and slit weaving.


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