Debbie Siniska
Debbie Siniska Profile Picture 2012

Demonstration, individual attention and showing different samples of my textile work all form part of my teaching process.


What will students gain if they come on one of your courses?

Knowledge for using traditional rag rug making hand tools along with different types of vintage/reclaimed textiles, to create dense tactile hooked/looped or proddy/clipped pile, that will be worked onto a hessian backing

Are there any particular techniques/processes you use in your teaching?

The two traditional techniques are hooking and proddy. The process of fabric preparation, where recycled textiles are cut into strips – the width depending on the fabric – and transferring designs onto the hessian

What inspires your own work?

Nature and the natural world - plant pods, seed heads and leaf shapes inspire my work and more recently The festival of Britain designs of the 50s. I am inspired by the endless possibilities of colour, and the feeling certain colours and combinations of colour convey.

Where can students see examples of your work?

On my website.

Where did you gain your training? Experience?

I have worked at my craft for over 20 years and am a self taught rag mat maker. I studied felt making at City and Guilds level in 2005.

Teaching experience

I have taught MA Students at Carlisle University, and GCSE art students in several Kent schools. I currently teach in primary schools in Kent and East Sussex, and have taught at other residential colleges – teaching rag rug making and felt making, over the past 15 years

Is your work in any public or private collections?

My work was commissioned by Charleston Trust, where I made a reproduction of a large Bloomsbury rag rug that now lies in Maynard Keynes Bedroom at Charleston Farmhouse, that is open to the public. My work is also in a permanent display at the Wildlife and Wetlands ‘Greenzone’ building in Arundel, I made a Green Man banner for them. I have made many commissioned pieces for private houses throughout my career as a textile artist.

Have you written any books/had articles published?

My book ‘Decorative Beadwork’ was published in the Letts contemporary crafts series, I have had work featured in Rag Rug Inspirations – Caselle. Rag Rugs, Letts series and several other craft books. My work has appeared in Craft magazines, and most recently in Craft and Design magazine (July 2008) My work also appeared in the Sunday Times and the Evening Standard this year and the Sunday Telegraph supplement in October 2009. My new book 'Rag Rugs Old into New' is a book I recently published. Debbie recently appeared on channel 4 television on Kirstie's Homemade Home.

Do you belong to any professional groups/societies?

The International Feltmakers Guild and the The Sussex Guild.