As some of you might know – about 11 years ago I worked as a weaver at Stirling castle on the tapestry ‘The Unicorn in Captivity’ which was the start of a long and inspiring project – to weave a set of ‘The hunt of the Unicorn’ for Stirling Castle. The project by Historic Scotland – who employed West Dean Tapestry studio to weave a set of tapestries partly to be woven at West Dean and partly at Stirling Castle I wove the top right hand section – almost down to the fence – we wove it on its side and I wove up to the tree before I left the project because of work commitments in my own work.
Since January 2002, the Tapestry Studio at West Dean College has been working on a recreation of The Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries. The tapestries that are completed so far, are hanging in the Queens Inner Chamber at Stirling Castle, as part of a project to furnish the castle as it would have been in the 16th century. Historians studying the reign of James IV believe that a similar series of ‘Unicorn’ tapestries were part of the interior design of the castle at that time. The team at West Dean Tapestry visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York to inspect the originals and researched into medieval techniques, the colour palette and materials. This project is due for completion in 2014. The weavers are working at West Dean Tapestry Studio and at Stirling Castle.
Well – today I had an interview to weave on the last tapestry being woven at the Castle! The last tapestry they are weaving is ‘The mystic capture of the Unicorn’ and is due for completion in summer 2014 – so – I am going to start practicing my medieval weaving skills again before I start!
Its a very exciting project and I feel honoured to be part of it once again.