Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Tapestry Tour 2016

        "Mastering the Fine Art of Tapestry"
Cresside Collette

6th – 24th September 2016

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.

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 the V & A in London will reveal the magnificence of the Raphael cartoons for the famous suite of 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 Exeter, and the historic Cotehele House in Cornwall. In Paris you will tour the famed Royal Gobelins Workshop and delight in the treasures of the Musée des Arts Decoratifs and the Musée du Moyen Age.

This exciting study tour will be rounded off with a three 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.


LONDON, 3 days

DAY 1 Tuesday September 6th

Check into Indigo Paddington Hotel.

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

Afternoon visit the Clothworkers Centre by appointment to view selected tapestries in the V&A collection.

DAY 2 Wednesday September 7th

A day at Hampton Court Palace, where the collection includes The Story of Abraham, the sumptuous Renaissance tapestries commissioned by Henry VIII. We will have a special tour concentrating on the tapestries in the collection.
Then a studio visit to masterful contemporary tapestry artist William Jefferies at Kew Gardens, on the way back to London.

DAY 3 Thursday September 8th
Minibus to Rickmansworth to visit artist Anna Ray, whose innovative work is redefining concepts of textiles and tapestry.
On to the Henry Moore Foundation at Perry Green, Hertfordshire, the home of Henry Moore for forty years, to view his tapestries woven at West Dean displayed in the Aisled Barn and stroll the lovely grounds.

                        EXETER, 3 Days

DAY 4 Friday September 9th
Private coach to the town of Exeter in Devon, check into the picturesque Magdalen Chapter Hotel
Afternoon visit to Contemporary Tapestry Artist Anne Jackson

DAY 5 Saturday September 10th
Walk around the historic town that dates from Roman times. Tapestries may be viewed in the Museum, St. Stephen’s church, and St. Nicholas’ Priory.
Visit to the magnificent Cathedral Church of St. Peter. A guided tour with the head of the tapisers, accompanied by weaver Pat Johns who designed the altar cloth.
Studio visits to leading Contemporary Tapestry Artists,
Jilly Edwards

DAY 6 Sunday September 11th
Minibus to see Cotehele House, an enchanting Tudor manor set deep in the Cornish countryside that is home to an amazing array of tapestry and embroidery. Mostly dating from the 17thC, textiles comprise the primary decorative element of this unique property. 

PARIS, 4 days

DAY 7 Monday September 12th
Fly to Paris from Exeter airport. Met on arrival and transferred to Hotel Central St. Germain, 3, Rue Champollion, 75005, Paris. The Left Bank location is well situated for all our activities.

DAY 9 Tuesday September 13th

An afternoon tour of the Gobelins Tapestry Workshop, www.museums-of, 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 manufactory, and minister Colbert united all the royal artisans, creating a royal tapestry and furniture works. It has specialised in tapestry from 1697.
A special guided tour by arrangement.

DAY 8 Wednesday September 14th

A walk around the corner brings us to the wonderful treasures of the Middle Ages housed in the Musee du Moyen Age
This year we will enjoy the newly created front entrance and celebrate the return of the sublime La Dame à 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.                                                                        

DAY 10 Thursday September 15th
A morning at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs 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.


          ANGERS, 2 days

DAY 12 Friday September 16th
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 17th
A morning visit to the Chateau to see the Apocalypse and explore the many delights of the garden and buildings, then a stroll along the river to see Lurçat'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 Lurçat that exhibits contemporary tapestry.



DAY 14 Sunday September 18th
Drive through the Loire Valley to Le Manoir du bost
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 Lagorsse.

DAY 15 Monday September 19th
Workshop commences, full day

Day 16 Tuesday September 20th
Full day workshop                                                                                                                          

DAY 17 Wednesday September 21st
Day visit to Aubusson.
Located a thirty minute ride from the manoir, this pretty town in the heart of France has existed on its weaving industry since the 14thC. 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

France Odile Perrin-Crinere runs studio Atelier A2.
Nadia Petkovic has a new studio practice in Aubusson.
Thierry Roger is the last traditional dyer of yarn in Aubusson.
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.

DAY 18 Thursday September 22nd
Full day workshop

DAY 19 Friday September 23rd
Day trip to Felletin
We will travel to Felletin, a small town 10 km. from Aubusson to view the historic workshop of Ateliers Pinton, 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.

DAY 20 Saturday September 24th
Return to Paris, end of tour.

Read about the 2012 Tapestry Tour at

Date and length of tour: 19 days starting in London and finishing in Paris from September 6th to 24th, 2016.
Cost: $7,275.00 (AUD) for twin share, $8,695.00 (AUD) for single room.
Group size: 8 minimum, 10 maximum.
Tour price includes:
All accommodation
All breakfasts
All museum and gallery entry charges specified in itinerary
All meals at the Manoir du Bost
All private coach, minibus and transfers in the UK
Flight from Exeter to Paris
Paris Visite Pass - 5 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 Paris
French speaking guide in Aubusson, 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.

Tour designed and authored by Cresside Collette, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016


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