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About the Collection

The IMMA Collection is a unique resource which is made available to the public through a vibrant programme of temporary exhibitions and projects. Collection Exhibitions may explore the work of an individual artist, or address a theme or historic period.


In this project, we invite you to make your own bookmark based on the wool artwork of Elinor Wiltshire. First, take a look at this artwork from the IMMA Collection by Elinor Wiltshire: Kestrel over Motorway, near London.

Elinor Wiltshire was born in Limerick in 1918 and died in 2017. She took many remarkable photographs of Irish life throughout the 1950s and 1960s. She captured images of a changing city and the people who lived in it. Although she is best known for photography, she also created beautiful needlepoints and there are a number of these artworks in the IMMA Collection.

What you will need:

  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • A wooden frame to make the loom (you could also use cardboard)
  • A darning needle
  • Pins or tacks (make sure to check with an adult first)

 

Now let’s get to work:

  • Begin by asking an adult to attach small pins or tacks to the top and bottom of the frame you are going to use to hold your bookmark. Decide on the width you would like and space the pins evenly.
  • Attach the yarn onto your frame by making a knot and then loop the yarn up and down the frame. Once this is done, you can begin to weave in your different colours.
  • With the first colour, make a knot at the beginning of the row and then weave in and out with until you come to the end of the row and then weave back again. Make sure to keep the yarn tight enough so that the bookmark stays flat. It can be helpful to use a darning needle to weave the yarn through.
  • Continue weaving with the yarn until you decide to change colour. Remember to finish with a knot at the end of the row, then switch colour by making a new knot, and begin to weave the new colour across.
  • You can add as many different colours and textures to create a beautiful bookmark. It takes time to create one, so enjoy the slowness!
  • When you have decided that you are happy with the length of your bookmark, you end the row and tie a knot, just as you have done. Cut the yarn that is attached to the bottom of the frame to make a frill on the end of your bookmark.

 

Gently take the yarn off the top of the frame and you have finished!

Remember to take a photograph of your creation and please, share your results, your experiments, and artworks with the hashtag #ExploreratHome


About the Artist

Elinor Wiltshire 1918–2017

Elinor Wiltshire (nee O’Brien) and her husband Reginald founded the Green Studios on St Stephen's Green in 1951. Following Reginald's death in 1968, Elinor sold the studio and moved to London where she worked as a botanist and researcher at the Natural History Museum.
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