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Rachel Scott studied at the Royal College of Art 1959-64 and was elected a member of the London Group in 1965.
Her early work of rooms, passages & internal staircases painted with earth colours and later a mono-chromatic palette, now collectively are reflected in her beautiful hand woven rugs and come from Rachel spinning & weaving in 1976 the stair carpet which was wearing out. She spun all her own wool on a spinning wheel that her brother had made, a bobbin screwed on a treadle sewing machine base.
The fleeces come mainly from her friends who live on the Berkshire Downs & the Chilterns & have flocks of different breeds of British sheep: Shetlands - fine brown, grey, black wool, Manx Loaghtan - soft/ brown, Hebrideans - black & Herdwicks - coarse grey. The wool is spun directly from the fleece & the yarn is not dyed, the colours are the colours of the sheep. The rugs are tapestry woven on an upright frame loom and are approximately 150x75cm.
After the cotton warp has been wound Rachel starts weaving sitting on the floor, then sitting on a stool then on a chair, then br finally standing on the chair. It is a very slow, simple way of weaving, with the fingers. The designs are true to the nature of weaving: straight lines making geometric shapes. A rough drawing of the design to be woven is made but the interest for Scott comes while actually weaving, for instance judging which grey to use as there are a number of gradations & textures from dark to pale, soft to coarse & whichever one is chosen will then blend & contrast with the other colours around it. After a rug is finished it is washed in the bath & mothproofed so that it shrinks & felts & is made tougher. The rugs can be sewn together lengthwise to make a stair carpet & they can be sewn together to make larger rugs.