Shore to Floor

Hi, I'm Rebecca. I have been living beside Loch Caroy on the Isle of Skye for the last 15 years. I was born and brought up in Birmingham, UK, originally studied engineering then spent 20 years working in IT. I gave it all up to move to Skye with my husband and began teaching Egyptian Dance and growing my own vegetables. I have always loved making things. As a dance performer I spent a lot of time creating dance costumes and loved working with fabrics.

I was inspired to do something about the debris that is washed up on our shores by a trip to Orkney. There I learned from Mark Cook the art of Celtic Knot making using recycled rope. On my return, I started Shoretofloor to collect waste rope and reuse it to fashion beautiful mats based on classical Celtic-knot designs. I started by scouring the local beach and also picking up suitable rope when out walking elsewhere, but soon found other sources, begging rope from beach cleans and from local fishermen, who otherwise have to pay to dispose of waste rope. Any rope discarded or lost at sea must surely be a threat to marine life, so salvaging and repurposing it appeals to those wanting an ecologically friendly memento of Skye.

Most of the rope is washed up in tangle of seaweed and sometimes netting and floats. It needs to be painstakingly disentangled and sorted. Then the usable lengths must be soaked, sanitised and scrubbed before they can be reused. First, the washed and sorted lengths are inspected. The length and thickness will determine which designs are feasible and also the number of turns that can be incorporated. I try to do something with every suitable piece of rope I come across but am particularly excited by interesting colours and materials.

I fashion the rope into mats ranging from 10 cm pot stands to large door mats, so far up to 78 cm x 56 cm, using basic knot techniques and splicing. The mats are practical and hardwearing, depending on the condition of the initial materials. Each piece is unique, and any small irregularities reflect the rope’s previous history, especially wear and splicing. I would describe some of the pieces as “sea-ravaged” and this makes interesting designs that are more ornamental.

I started with a few traditional designs and am now researching and experimenting with new knots all the time, inspired by my beachcombing finds.

Shipping policy

Items will be dispatched within 1-2 days. Delivery is by Royal Mail 1st Class signed for or Parcelforce Worldwide. UK orders should arrive within 3-5 days, International orders will take longer. Postage costs are per item with this seller.

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