Central to Dovecot’s reason for existence, is to support the continuation of traditional tapestry weaving skills. Since its inception in 1912, respect for skills and learning has been a constant, with Master Weavers passing down skills from one generation to another.
This legacy continues today, with the recruitment of another new Apprentice to Dovecot this year. Elaine Wilson, follows in the footsteps of Ben Hymers, who recently completed his Apprenticeship and became a Junior Weaver. His display of apprenticeship works can be viewed at Dovecot on the Viewing Balcony in an exhibition titled Ben Hymers | Magical Transformations.
Since starting at Dovecot, Elaine has already learnt the basic techniques of weaving, plain weaving, triangles, curves and other shapes. With close mentoring from Master Weaver and Studio Manager Naomi Robertson, Elaine has developed various ways of transitioning from one colour to another, utilising both hatching and colour blending techniques. She is now exploring various weaving techniques including double weave, knots, half passing and hand tufting in tapestry.
In the New Year, Elaine will embark upon learning the skill of interpreting a design, which is integral to the approach that Dovecot takes when collaborating with artists and designers. Naomi will guide her in looking at different warp sets and weights, as well as considering how when weaving tapestry straight on, how this might look when the design is rotated or woven on its side. Finally, Elaine will experiment with weaving lettering, trying different styles from a formal font through to handwriting.