Now in its seventh year, and gaining momentum with each new calendar, Craft Scotland are back for Fringe 2019. Highlighting the value of craft in the technological age, once again they haven't disappointed. This year they've recruited the help of fibre artist Stephanie Fradette, whose company Le Petit Moose provide novices with the basic skills of hand-weaving.
Doing an excellent job positioning this craft as a skill worth having
As someone who has enrolled in a classic tapestry class before, I can safely say Fradette's manner of teaching made the art of hand-weaving both accessible and enjoyable. Fradette outlines the basics of this artform – from the warping of the loom to the instruments needed and the simplest way of weaving the yarn.
The class has a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere – all the students immediately engage with each other, sharing stories of their previous experience in textiles. Each student chooses their yarn – and begins attempting the classic weave, alongside other techniques. What was most enjoyable is the space she allowed for us to experiment. As long the foundations were secure, there wasn't really any wrong decisions.
After a few hours we had all finished a moderately-sized piece of tapestry, and there was not a single person who was displeased with the result. Fradette was attentive to each individual and supportive, making sure everyone had learned something to take forward and apply to all future creations. The only downside is we couldn't have been there for a few more hours.
Although hand-weaving does differ to traditional tapestry weaving, I think it is a great entry point so individuals can appreciate the value of creating a piece of wall art by hand. In a world where weaving is a dying art, I feel both Craft Scotland and Le Petit Moose are doing an excellent job positioning this craft as a skill worth having.