Chateau Dumas, Course and board from £1680
Taught by Lynne Curran
Lynne Curran lives in a 900-year- old house on the sacred mountain of La
Verna, somewhere between Florence and Arezzo. She moved from Edinburgh in 2006, where she studied in the 70’s and where she first developed her distinctive figurative style of ‘painting in miniature with threads’. Her imagery is sifted through sketchbooks which are part-scrapbook and part-diary, reflecting everyday subjects...dancing and singing, gardening, cats and chickens. With echoes of Coptic and Medieval tapestries, she has remained faithful to her unique vision and that passion has been appreciated by collectors all over the world, including Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art, The V&A and more recently, The Uffizi Gallery’s self-portrait collection in the Vasari corridor.
Using linen, silk, cottons and fine wool for their tactile qualities as well as their depth of colour in order to create anything you really like. Tapestry is a simple process, however there is a very clear set of rules to begin with in order to have a really good technique. After a good grounding, Lynne will encourage you to play and experiment with the effects you get from different types of yarn, in order to reveal your own weaving style or ‘handwriting’.
Students will begin making a sample piece, first making shapes, then adding ways of shading and pattern to use within the spaces. After that comes outlining and controlling lines and ‘floating wefts’ as they travel in all directions. Next comes texture, relief, 3D, uneven warping and irregular shaped pieces - there is potential for sculptural, functional or wearable pieces.
At this point you will start breaking the rules - like using a curved weft known as ‘coptic’ or ‘eccentric’. Curran will share with you a ‘safety net’ of how to avoid things going wrong. Weaving by hand (with a wooden bobbin), on a simple vertical frame (no heddles or peddles) makes it easy to place weft threads at angles to the warp and follow the sweeps and curves of the drawing. Keeping notes, scraps and scribbles is all part of the designing process, as is looking at historical pieces to see why some things work better than others.
Students will each aim to come up with a tapestry design or ‘cartoon’ that lends itself to the tapestry process as well as reflecting your personality and interests. This way, the final making stage is a creative and enjoyable experience, retaining plenty of freedom to improvise.
Places are limited and this allows for total beginners to work alongside those with experience. Materials you will need to provide: sketchpad/notebook, drawing materials and colours, scissors, needle & thread.
Chateau Dumas, Chateau d'Auty, Nr Toulouse, 82220 Auty