Clippy mat celebrates Sunderland’s patron saint

PROUD: The Traces of MonkweaRmouth rug at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens with some of those who helped to make it, including rugmakers from Durham, Tyne Valley, Richmond and the parish of North Weardside.
PROUD: The Traces of MonkweaRmouth rug at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens with some of those who helped to make it, including rugmakers from Durham, Tyne Valley, Richmond and the parish of North Weardside.
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MORE than 100 people, and 12 months of precision stitching, have crafted a community clippy mat which celebrates the city’s patron saint.

The artwork was unveiled at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens this week to mark the feast of Benedict Biscop.

People across the city who have contributed to the making of the rug were invited along to the venue’s textile room to see the fruits of their labour.

The Traces of Wearmouth rug is a homage to Benedict Biscop’s vision, which made the monastery of Monkwearmouth-Jarrow into the cradle of English Christianity.

The craft project is the brainchild of artist Ian Potts.

He said: “My intention for making this piece of work, Traces of Wearmouth, was to illustrate and give credit to the influence of the monks of Wearmouth-Jarrow on untold religious manuscripts throughout the world.”

Ian, who created an original ink drawing for the artwork, enlisted the help of celebrated rug maker Heather Ritchie to oversee the making of the rug, which she began stitching at St Peter’s Church, Monkwearmouth.

Over the course of the past year, more than a hundred stitchers have contributed to the making of the rug, including Sunderland Antiquarian Society, pupils from St Aidan’s School and people attending rug-making workshops. The rug was also made in memory of Sylvia Thompson, a fund-raiser for St Peter’s.