A Bursary and a Frame.September 29, 2014 by Elisabeth Rutt
I have written in this blog before about the value I gain from being a member of the Suffolk Craft Society. Working alongside the Society are The Friends of the Suffolk Craft Society who exist to Support the Society as an organisation and its makers. The Friends are a group of like minded individuals who want to further the aims of the society and help to bring contemporary craft to a wider audience. The group organises events, outings, studio visits and an annual raffle to further their aims.
One of the ways they support makers is by having a bursary fund to which craft members can apply for funding for a particular item of equipment, a project or attending specialist training to further their practice. I am delighted to have recently been successful in an application to purchase a large freestanding rag rugging frame for my studio.
I started making rugs as hangings a few years ago and became frustrated that I could only make relatively small ones due to the constraints of a fixed frame. If you can’t reach the centre of the frame from above and below at the same time you can’t pass the fabric, using a rug hook, through the framed ground fabric, from one hand to the other to make the necessary loop. So I stopped after three rug/hangings but have felt recently I wanted to go back and try again and work larger if possible.
I hunted for quite a while and having sourced the perfect freestanding frame that will allow ground fabric to be rolled up as work progresses, enabling a much larger piece of work to be made, of course the cost was much larger than a home made, fixed size frame! The Friends of Suffolk Craft Society came to the rescue and looked favourably on an application from me for the value of the frame, for which I am very grateful.
What pleases me even more about this is that the frame is made by the wood turner husband of Judith Harrison, a rug maker in Cumbria. I found it on the internet on Judith’s website. Her husband Harold, who has his own website selling his wooden turned items, also makes equipment for Judith to sell on the internet, so with one decision this bursary has supported three makers in one decision, how perfect is that?
My new frame has arrived, is assembled and ready to go; it is indeed beautifully made. Before embarking on a large rug/hanging I am refreshing my skills on a small frame and am really enjoying it. Design work has begun for new projects and I expect there will be plenty of blogging fodder made as I work!