Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Tapestry Tour, 2015

"Mastering the Fine Art of Tapestry"
Cresside Collette

7th – 26th September 2015

From London to Aubusson - a European adventure to discover the historical context and contemporary forms of this rich, tactile medium and participate in a hands on learning experience of this timeless art in a small exclusive interest group.  

You will see the sublime high points of Mediaeval craftsmanship embodied in the 15th C. suites of The Devonshire Hunts, the Lady and the Unicorn and the Apocalypse of Angers.
A visit to Stirling Castle in Scotland will reveal the re-woven Hunt of the Unicorn suite by the West Dean Tapestry Studio, an amazing exercise in reproducing the art of the Middle Ages. At the V & A in London we will see the magnificence of the Raphael cartoons for the famous Classical tapestries designed for Pope Leo X in 1515, and time will be spent in the new Mediaeval and Renaissance galleries. You will visit the private studios of contemporary tapestry artists working in London and Edinburgh, and for the first time you will have the opportunity to participate in a workshop conducted by renowned Scottish artist Linda Green. We will also be guided through the famed Royal Gobelins Workshop and experience the wonderful Mediaeval delights of the Musee du Moyen Age in Paris.

This exciting study tour will be rounded off with a four day workshop at the Manoir du Bost in the heart of France to learn tapestry technique first hand. Conducted by Cresside Collette, tapestry artist, scholar and teacher, it will include day trips to nearby Aubusson, the beautiful French town that is synonymous with this craft.

The tapestry room, V&A                                                             

LONDON, 3 days

DAY 1 Monday September 7th

Check into Indigo Paddington Hotel. www.indigopaddington.com

Visit to The Victoria and Albert Museum www.vam.ac.uk in South Kensington. Highlights will include viewing the 15th C. tapestry suite, the Devonshire Hunts, Raphael's cartoons for the Acts of the Apostles, and the Mediaeval and Renaissance galleries.

DAY 2 Tuesday September 8th

A day at Hampton Court Palace, where the collection includes The Story of Abraham, the sumptuous Renaissance tapestries commissioned by Henry VIII. The Tudor gardens are a special delight and a visit to the famous textile conservation studio is being negotiated.

Then a studio visit to contemporary tapestry artist William Jefferies at Kew Gardens, on the way back to London.

DAY 3 Wednesday September 9th

Minibus to Rickmansworth to visit artist Anna Ray, http://www.annaray.co.uk whose innovative work is redefining concepts of textiles and tapestry.

Minibus to Hertfordsire to the Henry Moore Foundation http://www.henry-moore.org at Perry Green, the home of Henry Moore for forty years, to view the spectacular tapestries woven at the West Dean studio from his drawings and displayed in the Aisled Barn.

The lovely grounds include his outdoor sculpture, two large studios, a gallery and his charming house, Hoglands. 

Visit with Anna Ray


DAY 4 Thursday September 10th

Train to Edinburgh, check into Apex Waterloo Hotel www.apexhotels.co.uk/hotels/edinburgh-waterloo-place

DAY 5 Friday September 11th

Morning visit to the Dovecot Studios www.dovecotstudios.com
The historic Edinburgh Tapestry Company was established in 1912 under the patronage of the Marquess of Bute and originally located in Costorphine, a suburb of Edinburgh. Its internationally celebrated director in the 1960s and 70s was Archie Brennan, who validated tapestry as a vital 20th C. art form, and whose ideas served as a model for the establishment of the Victorian Tapestry Workshop in Melbourne in 1976. In 2008 the Dovecot Studios moved to their beautiful new premises, the former Baths in Infirmary Street.
Afternoon visit to WASPS Studios. The Tapestry course at the Edinburgh College of Art gave rise to the establishment of the artist/weaver and the proliferation of individual studio practice around the world. Many former graduates are based here and we will visit Jo Barker and Fiona Hutchison.

DAY 6 Saturday September 12th

Full day Workshop with Linda Green. http://www.studiogreen.me
A unique opportunity to create an individual Artist’s book with a renowned tapestry artist in her own studio, and see a presentation on her work.

DAY 7 Sunday September 13th

A studio visit to textile conservator, Alison Docherty at Hopetoun House en route to
Stirling, to view the re-woven Hunt of the Unicorn tapestry installation in the refurbished Queen's bedroom at St. James' Palace. www.stirlingcastle.gov.uk/tapestries

Hunt of the Unicorn Tapestry

PARIS, 4 days

DAY 8 Monday September 14th

Fly to Paris.  We will be met on arrival and transferred to the left bank Hotel Central St. Germain, 3, Rue Champollion, 75005, Paris. http://centralsaintgermain.com/

DAY 9 Tuesday September 15th

A stroll down the colourful market street, Rue Mouffetard, for an afternoon visit to The Gobelins Tapestry Workshop, www.museums-of paris.com/musee_en.php?code=349, the most important and long running workshop in the world, situated in the 13th arondissement. The Manufacture des Gobelins was founded as a dye works in the mid 15th century by Jean Gobelin. In 1662, Louis XIV purchased the Gobelins manufactory and his minister Colbert united all the royal artisans to create a royal tapestry and furniture works specialising in tapestry from 1697.
A special guided tour by arrangement.

DAY 10 Wednesday September 16th

A walk around the corner brings us to the wonderful treasures of the Middle Ages housed in the Musee du Moyen Age www.musee-moyenage.fr/ang/index.html
This year we will enjoy the newly created front entrance and celebrate the return of the sublime La Dame a la Licorne to a renovated setting. Other suites of Mediaeval tapestries including The story of St. Stephen, The Offering of the Heart and Aristocratic Life are also on view.
A free afternoon follows to lunch and wander the Left Bank and the environs of the Seine.

DAY 11 Thursday September 17th

A morning at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs  www.lesartsdecratifs.fr enjoying the best of the decorative arts, from Mediaeval to Modern. Walk across the manicured gardens to the courtyard of the Louvre and marvel at the art or stroll in the adjoining Tuileries to fill in the afternoon.
Musee du Moyen Age

ANGERS, 2 days

DAY 12 Friday September 18th

Train to Angers. This historic town in the Loire Valley yields one of the most exciting experiences of the tour, viewing the 100 metre long 14th C. Apocalypse tapestry, the Book of Revelations made visible. Housed in the fortress chateau it is an overwhelming sight.

After booking into a quaint country style hotel, The Hotel du Mail, http//www.hotel du mail we stroll through the Mediaeval town to make an afternoon visit to the Cathedral that houses the Mediaeval Story of Saint Maurille. Woven in 1378-81 for the Cathedral, the designs were drawn by Jean Bondol based on illuminated manuscripts, and the weaving was overseen by Nicolas Bataille whose workshops also produced the Apocalypse.

DAY 13 Saturday September 19th

A morning visit to the Chateau www.francethisway.com/places/chateauangers.php to see the Apocalypse and explore the many delights of the garden and buildings, then a stroll along the river to see Lurcat's answer to the magnificent Apocalypse, his Song of the World suite of ten tapestries woven from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s reflecting on the atom bomb, the apocalyptic event of the 20th C.

They are displayed in the heritage 12thC. St. John's Hospital, adjoined by the Museum Jean Lurcat http://musees.angers.fr/index.php?id=52338 that exhibits contemporary tapestry.

                    Lurcat's 'Song of the World'


DAY 14 Sunday September 20th

Drive through the Loire Valley to Le Manoir du bost http://www.amivac.com/site34079

A week's accommodation in this splendid, secluded manor house in central France offers a unique opportunity to learn the basics of Tapestry Weaving and develop a real understanding of its brilliant technique. Beginners will learn to set up a tapestry frame and weave basic shapes. More advanced students will be encouraged to experiment with Mediaeval tapestry techniques such as hatching to achieve colour gradations, and to adapt them to a contemporary style. Or just relax, read, paint and draw in a beautiful setting.

All materials and looms provided.  All meals catered by professional chef, Valerie Largorsse.

La Demeure du Bost

DAY 15 Monday September 21st

Workshop commences
Full day

DAY 16 Tuesday September 22nd

Full day workshop  
DAY 17 Wednesday September 23rd

Day visit to Aubusson. www.aubusson.fr

Located a thirty minute ride from the manoir, this pretty town in the heart of France has existed on its weaving industry since the 14th C. Under the guidance of Susanne Bouret, conservator of textiles and local resident, we will stroll its streets and visit the individual ateliers open to the public as well as visiting more formal centres such as the Musee de la Tapisserie.www.cite-tapisserie.fr

France Odile Perrin-Crinere and Martine Stamm run studio Atelier A2. www.ateliera2.fr

Thierry Roger is the last traditional dyer of yarn in Aubusson. www.aubusson-teinture.fr

Chantal Chirac restores tapestry cartoons and has built a cartoon museum for their display and preservation in a picturesque building on the Pont de la Terrade.

The conservation studio of Susanne Bouret is at the Terrade, next door to the Chirac Musee de Carton.

Studio visit, Aubusson

DAY 18 Thursday September 24th

Full day workshop

DAY 19 Friday September 25th

Day trip to Felletin

We will travel to Felletin, a small town 10 km. from Aubusson to view the historic workshop of Ateliers Pinton, www.ateliers-pinton.com one of two remaining manufacturers that employs teams of weavers to make tapestries and also produces rugs.

A lively street market operates on Friday mornings, so we will indulge in a picnic lunch.

Then an afternoon visit to the Eglise du Chateau to see the annual tapestry exhibition that incorporates the most innovative work produced in the previous year.

Farewell dinner with Susanne Bouret at the Manoir.

Atelier Pinton Freres, Felletin

DAY 20 Saturday September 26th

Return to Paris by train from Limoges, end of tour.

Read about the 2012 Tapestry Tour at tapestrytour.blogspot.com

        Group at Stirling, 2012


Date and length of tour: 20 days starting in London and finishing in Paris from September 7th to 26th, 2015.

Cost: $6,950.00 (AUD) for twin share, $8,695.00 (AUD) for single room.

Group size: 6 minimum, 10 maximum.

Tour price includes:
All accommodation
All breakfasts
All museum and gallery entry charges
All meals at the Manoir du Bost
All taxis and transfers
London Oyster card
1st class rail from London King's Cross to Edinburgh
Return transport from Edinburgh – Stirling
Tutored 1day workshop with Linda Green
Minivan transfer to Edinburgh airport
Air France flight from Edinburgh to Paris
Minivan transfer from Paris Charles de Gaulle to hotel
Paris Visite Pass - 3 day/ zones 1- 3 Metro pass
Paris Museum Pass - 2 day
Minivan transfer from Paris hotel to station
1st class rail from Paris to Angers
Private coach transfer from Angers to the Manoir du Bost
Two excursions to Aubusson and Felletin
Private coach transfer to Limoges station
1st class rail from Limoges to Paris
French speaking guide in Aubusson and Felletin
Tutored 3 day tapestry workshop with Cresside Collette
Loom hire and materials.

Tour price does not include:
Airfare to London and from Paris
Travel Insurance
Meals apart from breakfast, except at the Manoir
Lunch at Aubusson and Felletin (2 days)

Hotels mentioned in the itinerary are subject to availability and others of similar quality may be substituted.

This itinerary has been prepared with the assistance of Ian Jane at Bentleigh Travel who will be making all tour bookings.

Telephone: +61 3 9557 5898
Fax: +61 3 9557 4786
Shop 7, 271 - 275 Centre Road, P. O. Box 20, Bentleigh 3204, Victoria, Australia.

Email: ian@bentleightravel.com.au

Tour designed and authored by Cresside Collette, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015.

Contact: cressidecollette@gmail.com


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  8. Thanks for sharing this helpful article,
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  9. Great Article!! Thanks for sharing with us. I will try to visit next time, When I will be in London. Last month I got some lovely mandala tapestries from Fairdecor. they are great!!!

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