Dovecot Studios is closed to the public from 24 December – Read more

Ben Hymers, Penelope 2016

Artists, Weavers + Tufters

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Dovecot Studios operate in the traditional studio model of employing and training weavers. As one of the only studios in the world operating this way, Dovecot’s Apprentice Programme is unique in its teaching of the art of tapestry weaving.

Ben Hymers joined Dovecot as an apprentice in 2014, undertaking training over three years. Dovecot’s apprenticeships date back to its founding in 1912, and the sharing of skills and knowledge from master to apprentice remains key. The teaching methods remain remarkably similar, beginning with simple triangular and curved forms, before tackling more involved compositions and techniques.

An important part of Dovecot’s current apprenticeships is for the new weaver to produce a completed and self-designed apprentice piece. Hymers’ piece, Penelope, takes its name from the wife of Odysseus whose faithfulness to her husband on his long journey was maintained by her weaving, secretly unravelling, and then reweaving a burial shroud for Odysseus’ father Laertes. Because of this faithfulness the name Penelope is considered synonymous with fidelity, but it also became a term used in tapestry. This tapestry demonstrates various weaving techniques, while also highlighting Hymers’ skill for tapestry design and affinity for delving into the history of mechanics and weaving to inform his practice.

Read about Ben’s final apprentice piece inspired by a watercolour by His Royal Highness, The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay

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Gallery & Shop

Opening times:
Gallery & Shop
Mon-Sat: 10am-5pm

Tapestry Studio Viewing Balcony
Mon-Fri: 12-3pm
Sat: 10am-5pm

Closed from 24 December 2020 in line with government guidance. Please follow our website and social media for reopening information.

Café

Pinks at Dovecot

From 7 January 2021
Thur-Sat: 10am-4.30pm

Offering takeaway options only