SOLD OUT Rag Rug Workshop with Vita Cochran


event Details

This event has sold out. 

At this workshop, artist and maker Vita Cochran will respond to the exhibition Louise Henderson: From Life, by teaching you how to make a hooked rug from old woollen garments and fabric. Curator, New Zealand Art, Julia Waite will introduce the workshop with a talk on Louise Henderson’s colourful, boldly geometric works and love for crafts and textiles.

The artists: Henderson and Cochran

Louise Henderson was not only a painter but also a skilled embroiderer, weaver and designer. As one of the first New Zealand artists to commit herself to an overtly modern and colourful style, her works might very well have been an inspiration for Vita Cochran, a maker of contemporary textile objects such as handbags, accessories and embroideries, which draw on craft, art and fashion history. Vita’s work has been collected by major museums in New Zealand and is sold at Anna Miles Gallery in Auckland. Her most recent exhibition After Paintings (2019) showcased handmade rag rugs inspired by modernist paintings.

The workshop

Rag rug making is a craft that developed out of necessity when fabric was a very precious commodity, and rugs for the floor an expensive outlay. Old, worn out or damaged garments are cut up and hooked through a backing fabric to produce a strong, warm and useful item. Recycle and repurpose materials that would otherwise go to waste in an innovative way to create an original product imbued with history. 

By the end of the workshop you will have learnt about the history of rag rugs, discovered how to choose and prepare materials, learnt the technique of hooking and started making a small sample rug, which you can finish at home.

Refreshments, materials and equipment will be provided, but feel free to bring woollen materials you’d like to repurpose; aim to find things that have a reasonably tight weave or knit. The workshop includes a half-our lunch break, please bring your own lunch.

Image credit: Vita Cochran’s exhibition After Paintings. Installation view, Anna Miles Gallery, 2019. Photograph: Samuel Hartnett ©



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