Visitors to Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima) can now buy traditional ‘clippy mats’ which have been handmade in the region by a group of Horden-based crafters.
Members of Horden’s ‘Hole in the Wall’ craft group will see their handmade mats go on sale in the mima shop as a result of a partnership organised by East Durham Creates, which aims to increase opportunities for people in East Durham to get involved with the arts and culture.
Nikki Locke, Head of East Durham Creates, explained: “We want to celebrate the creativity and talent which we have right here in East Durham. These incredible hand-crafted mats showcase a traditional skill which has been used here in the North East for many years and which has been passed down through the generations, and we hope that visitors to MIMA will want to take a piece of this craft home with them.”
Members of the Hole in the Wall group meet every week at Horden Youth and Community Centre to make their clippy mats, which are also sometimes known as ‘hooky’, ‘proggy’ or ‘raggy’ mats. The mats would traditionally be made using old clothing and hessian from coal sacks. The fabric would be cut into strips and woven through, or pushed into the hessian, resulting in a textured mat which could be used on the bed or on the floor.
Six members of the group will have mats on sale in the mima shop, including Marguerite Hales, who said: “We feel proud and satisfied to see our mats for sale at mima. It feels wonderful to have our craft and creativity appreciated by other people.”
Each mat which is sold at mima will be accompanied by information about the person who made it and the inspiration behind the design.
Retail Manager Lindsey Richardson added: “Our shop supports traditional crafts and contemporary design. The mats that the Hole in the Wall group have made are creative and very appealing. They work perfectly with other hand-made, unique items that we stock, and connect well with our local heritage.”
Councillor June Clark, councillor for Horden division, said: “I’m proud to represent a village so proud and enthusiastic to continue traditional crafts and this group have taken their skills to a new fresh audience in their interpretations. This builds on our Horden Creative Social in 2016 supported through East Durham Creates, which I organised to help several local arts groups showcase and encourage participation and which was very successful in attracting interest. Initiatives like this are putting Horden well and truly back on the map in lots of new ways.”
The Hole in the Wall clippy mats are available now from mima, Middlesbrough.