This week’s gem from the Stoddard – Templeton Design Archive is a design for a suite of carpets for Glasgow Cathedral. Designed by Scottish artist and craftsman R. Scott McDonald in c1963, this vibrant red design has as its central feature the Burning Bush - symbol of the Church of Scotland – the roots of which spread and entwine to form a delicate Celtic lacework border enclosing within it the emblems of the City of Glasgow – the bell, robin, hazel branch and salmon, which might be more recognisable to some as follows:
There’s the tree that never grew,
There’s the bird that never flew,
There’s the fish that never swam,
There’s the bell that never rang.
Other designs for Glasgow Cathedral were also found in the Design Archive, so it seems that there was a competition to find an appropriate design. This week’s gem was clearly the winning entry as a carpet woven from this design by James Templeton & Co. using the Chenille process can be seen in situ in Glasgow Cathedral to this day.
Templeton’s were evidently proud to manufacture the Cathedral carpet. The Templetonian, Templeton’s own internal publication, devotes its 74th issue’s front cover to this important commission, and the accompanying article notes technical information, including that there were 128 tufts per square inch of carpet, equating to nearly 4,750,000 tufts in the central square carpet alone, and that the design and production of the carpets took 14 months!
For more information about the Stoddard-Templeton Design Archive click here.
Categories: Archive Services (GUAS)