Introducing — Rachel Scott Weaver & Artist
Rachel Scott trained as a painter at the Royal College of Art, London , 1959-64 and began spinning and weaving in 1976.
Rachel began spinning and weaving in 1976 as the stair carpet was wearing out. Rachel spins all her own wool on a spinning wheel that her brother made for her, from a Native American design, screwed on a treadle Singer sewing machine base.
Rachel's fleeces come mainly from friends who live on the Berkshire Downs and have flocks of different breeds of British sheep: Black Welsh (black with rusty tips), Devon Longwools (cream, silky and tough), Shetlands (fine,brown, grey,black), Manx Logthans (soft, pale brown), Hebrideans (soft,black) and Herdwicks (Beatrix Potter's sheep from the Lake District, pale and dark grey, coarse).
The wool is spun directly from the fleece and the yarn is not dyed, the colours are the colours of the sheep. The rugs are tapestry woven on an upright wooden frame loom and are approximately 60" x 30". After the cotton warp has been wound Rachel begins weaving sitting on the floor, then sitting on a stool, then a chair, then standing up, ending up standing on the chair.
It is a very slow, simple way of weaving, with the fingers and being trained as a painter Rachel has to see what She is weaving as on most looms the work that has been completed is rolled up as one weaves so that the completed work is only seen when the piece is finished.
The designs are true to the nature of weaving: straight lines making geometric shapes. Rachel makes a rough drawing of the design to be woven but the interest for me comes while actually weaving. For instance judging which grey to use as there are a number of gradations and textures from dark to pale, soft to coarse, and whichever one is chosen will blend and contrast with the other colours around it. After a rug is finished it is washed in the bath and mothproofed, so that it shrinks and felts and is made tougher.
The rugs can be sewn together length wise to make a stair carpet and they can be sewn together to make larger rugs. Eight have been sewn together to make a carpet 10' x 10'. Rachel also has a loom made of scaffolding on which larger pieces have been made, approximately 72" x 90".
View our online shop to see what rugs we currently have for sale
Rachel's rugs are exclusively sold at O'DELL'S