Today’s Spotlight On post is all about the super talented Elspeth Jackson aka Ragged Life aka dreamy rag-rug paraphernalia that had me oo-ing and aah-ing at The Handmade Fair!
Hello, tell us who you are
Hi everyone, I’m Elspeth Jackson, rag rug designer, maker, teacher and fabric hoarder at Ragged Life.
and what do you do?
I design and make rag rug homeware, fashion and art under the “Ragged Life” brand as well as running rag rug workshops in London, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Bedfordshire. “Ragged Life” is all about being rough around the edges and unique so every piece I create is handmade using materials sustainably sourced from local charity shops. I love trying out different quirky designs and over the years I’ve made everything from traditional rugs, festive Christmas wreaths and bold & bright cushions, to rag rug photo frames, handbags and decorative letters – I even rag rugged up a tissue box once!
How did it all begin?
Every year my school used to put on a recycled fashion show for arts students to take part in. My mum had been making rag rugs for as long as I could remember so one year I bit the bullet and asked her to teach me so I could make a rag rug costume. It took weeks to make and weighed a tonne but I ended up winning a prize, so all was not in vain. From there I just kept on rag rugging and here I am today!
What’s your favourite thing you’ve created?
My favourite piece is a “Scandi-style” rag rug called “Pepper”. It’s a very simple design but I love how the neutral colours blend together to create a gorgeous rug that could sit anywhere in the home. Mine just so happens to sit next to my bed which is perfect as it’s the softest rug to sink your feet into first thing in the morning.
The infamous tissue box I rag rugged was a bit of a failure in terms of both concept and execution but most of the highs and lows come from the running of a small business. It can be quite a challenge to stay motivated and inspired when you work for yourself but meeting lots of new people at workshops keeps things fresh.
What are your top 5 inspirations?
The Tate Modern / V&A Art Exhibitions – I recently went to the Sonia Delaunay exhibition which was full of wonderful inspiration.
Cuba – I absolutely love the art, music and textiles that are coming out of there at the moment.
Sarah Akwisombe’s Blog – that lady sure knows her way around an interior!
Pinterest!! I regularly find myself losing track of time browsing boards.
The Renegade Craft Fair – there are so many fabulously talented designer/makers in one place at once making it a melting pot for ideas and creativity.
And how can we find your online so we can all gaze at your fab work!
You can find me either on my website www.ragged-life.com where you can browse my work and sign up for a workshop, or if you’re a social media butterfly then I’m on all of the below and we’d love to hear from you!