Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Magic Carpet Ride


Well, it was actually a braided rug.

I had an absolute blast of a week at the John C Campbell Folk School learning all about the art of braided rugs.

I wanted to have an adventure this summer and this seemed like
a fine place for one.  It's in a beautiful location that's drivable
from here (southwestern North Carolina, about 10 hours from my home in Tampa) and the range of classes that's offered is absolutely staggering (click here for a list of classes).
And I thought a braided rug would be fun to make, a completely new skill for me, and something that would look great in my wood-floored, Craftsman-style bungalow.

It all started here, with a box of 2" wool strips:

  Our wonderful instructor had brought some samples of her beautiful work along for inspiration

rugs by Diane Ellis

  Looks easy, right?

We had these wooden "ducks" to provide tension for the braiding portion of the process.

In the old days they would have used a nail on the wall, or inserted the strips in the drawer of a heavy dresser.

The wool strips were threaded through these metal holders to keep them folded.

Ideally, when you braid you don't want any folds, creases, or raw edges to be visible.  Plus you want even tension so the braid comes out even.

After making several feet of braid, it was time to lace it together to form the rug.

As you can see, my braid is a long way from perfect!  Lots of folds are visible, although it got better as I went along.

The difficult part of the lacing process is getting the rug to lay flat, even when going around the curves.

Here is my rug just after being completed!

The class consisted of 7 other ladies plus our wonderful and dedicated instructor.  We all got along marvelously and it was just a wonderful experience.

The campus of the Folk School is breathtakingly beautiful, and quite historic.

My class met in this building, which also houses the quilting studio. (No quilting classes were going on the week I was there.)

We had our class at long tables in this room, since there was no weaving going on that week.

Look at all those looms!  My next class might have to be weaving.

Every morning started out cool and misty. . .

And ended up being sunny and gorgeous!

I can't wait to go back!                                                            

No comments:

Post a Comment