Mary Jane Toulson
t. 01359 259646
Walsham le Willows
Bury St Edmunds
Mary Jane uses vibrant colours and strong geometric shapes to create her one-off rugs, which she describes as ‘paintings for the floor'. Produced using simple weaving techniques, texture and raised surfaces are created through looping and knotting in thick Yorkshire wool. Mary Jane studied at West Surrey College of Art, which specialized in using natural materials for threads and plant dyes and this has been an on going inspiration, fitting in with her interest in conservation and ecology.
A recent update from Mary Jane describing the making of the rug shown in the picture on the right
RED SAILS IN THE SUNRISE
I love the process of weaving - constructing a solid piece of cloth from many separate threads, interweaving, seeing it grow. The threads have to be kept under tension (in order)! This means the constructed fabric needs to be ‘rolled on’, constantly, around the front roller, so that it disappears once woven, and only revealed when the work is complete and there is the excitement of unrolling and hoping that the design has worked.
A design plan for the finished work is necessary, (not always strictly kept to)! My design for this rug came after discussing publicity for the Suffolk Craft Society Exhibition at Bury St Edmunds (which never happened) and Jenny Nutbeem was going to make special 50th Anniversary sail banners to be hung outside, in orange, turquoise and gold, bold contrasting colours to attract attention.
I found some of these bright complementary colours in my large wool stock - just the uplift needed to counteract the for the doom and gloom of ‘the virus’. The triangular shapes, like bunting, which hopefully we can hang out when it is all over and rejoice at the Aldeburgh Exhibition.
As crafts people, we are lucky to have our minds and eyes trained to take in new ideas and to make things, some useful, but every one of them individual.