Our Jazzy Rag Rug Ottoman

If you’re a subscriber to the Ragged Life newsletter then you may have seen this rag rug ottoman in various stages of construction. For me, it’s been one of those “it’s endless projects” – you know the ones!

Well, it’s taken lockdown to finally get this rag rug ottoman finished and assembled and boy was it worth the wait. I’m so pleased with how lovely it looks, especially considering the base was £15 off eBay.

Ragged Life colourful rag rug ottoman based on Gillian Ayres design

Cue audition for BBC’s “Money for Nothing” 😂

As always, with a project like this, it’s nice to share a little bit of the inspiration and details in the piece so below has a little more information. I hope you find it inspiring.

Gillian Ayres – the inspiration:

For the past five years, I’ve religiously visited the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London every year. It’s the largest open submission art exhibition in the world (which means anyone can apply to be in it), so it’s a real hotch potch of different styles and there’s something for everyone. One of the artists whose work crops up regularly at the exhibition is Royal Academy fellow, Gillian Ayres. And her art is loud, proud and hard to miss!

Gillian Ayres RA Summer Exhibition
One of Gillian’s pieces.

Unfortunately, Gillian is no longer with us, but her art lives on and has served as the inspiration for many of my pieces, and probably for many other people from different walks of life. This little extract from her obituary on the Guardian website summarises Gillian and her work so perfectly…

Gillian Ayres, who has died aged 88, was one of Britain’s most significant abstract painters, a woman of much vitality and generosity, and a domestic person on a grand, overspilling scale. Her huge, improvised canvases, with paint sometimes an inch or two thick, were often worked on in sitting-rooms and bedrooms while Ayres’s bantams, peacocks, cats and dogs roamed freely from her garden to the kitchen to the studio. The marks of their paws and claws may still be detected in some paintings, for Ayres liked to drape wet, unstretched canvases over furniture and often painted on the floor.

Tim Hilton, The Guardian

Basically, Gillian was an absolute art legend. So, Gillian’s work was the inspiration, how did it turn out? I hope I did her proud!

My Rag Rug Ottoman:

This piece was made using a variety of different fabrics, including everything from cotton and jersey (normal materials) to linen and raincoat material. Personally, I like the frayed edges on some of the fabrics as they add interest, but what do you think?

The corner of our finished Hooked Ottoman made using old clothing
Our upcycled rag rug ottoman styled with trainers
Loopy rag rug ottoman Diagonal Side View

So what do you think? Please comment below to me know your thoughts. What you would like to make? What design would you have done? It’s so nice to hear from you 🙂

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As always, happy rag rugging!

Elspeth x

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