I've been working on a couple of hand woven woollen fabrics for domestic upholstery this year, and have finished this long length of hand woven cloth for a mid-century collaboration with the lovely Elizabeth Rose and her upholstery studio. It is one of two bespoke hand woven designs for a chair collaboration we hope to show later this year. Based on simple grids and window shapes, the cloth is super snuggly and I'm sure that Liz will transform them into two very cosy seats!
10 Feb 2016
I've just got back from a little research trip to Antwerp and Tilburg where I visited the Tilburg Textiel Museum. I went specifically for the Fibre Art from Japan exhibition, which was mind bendingly complex and intricate. I particularly liked learning about TARIKI explained as: a piece often comes out best when the maker entrusts as much as possible in the materials and lets things take their natural course. Embracing coincidence. Now freshly motivated to get into my studio with some new warps on my sample loom and see what happens! In contract to this, was the Textile Lab a specialist textile workshop and guidance centre, for designers and researchers to experiment, produce and learn. I was allowed to walk up to and around all of the machinery, touch samples, see the materials libraries and development pieces. It's an incredible facility, I wish we had something similar in the UK for testing ideas before production stage. I particularly loved the 'tufting' room, which changed my preconceived ideas of what a carpet could be!
And here's one side of the folded booklet we've made to go with all of the blankets, shawls and scarves that are made in small batches for me at UK mills. Showing the story of a Mill woven piece, the environment, the equipment and the processes that each piece passes through the booklets will accompany any orders of these batch woven pieces. Mill woven items are all designed and sampled in my studio on a hand loom, are 'One of a Limited run' and made in the UK.
13 Jan 2016
I've recently travelled up to the north of Scotland to visit the heritage mill that sometimes weaves small limited edition batches of my hand woven designs. I'm working on two new pieces to have mill woven this year, so I took the opportunity to re-visit the machinery, processes and materials that are so incredible there. Though the weaving here is mechanised, and the processes are on a larger scale, it's still the same stages from warping, threading and weaving to hand finishing. It's really important to me that mills in the UK keep running, I personally enjoy the combination of hand weaving and working with specialist mills to produce my range of hand and mill woven works that each reflect a different approach to craft and making, but hold the same appreciation for the time, patience and knowledge involved in woven textiles.
19 Nov 2015
I have recently been focusing on hand weaving and developing a new range of hand woven scarves (as a result of my work on the Handweavers Diploma that I finished at the start of the summer), I decided to make a folded booklet to go with my hand woven pieces to celebrate all of the processes and different stages that go into making a handwoven textile, from winding the warp to beating in a pick of weft! I worked with my good friend and talented visual communicator Henrietta Swift to design and print the booklets, and one of my oldest friends and designer of all of my branding Sarah Archard worked on the new hand woven logo. The story of my hand weaving will now accompany each hand woven item sold.
4 Nov 2015
My old favourite morse-coded LOVE blanket is in this issue of UK Handmade (Winter 2015). It's a really beautiful online contemporary crafts magazine, with some gorgeous features on some of my favourite makers, like this article about ceramicist Elaine Bolt! The photography and process images in the magazine are super inspiring!
28 Oct 2015
Thank you to everyone who came to say 'hi' at MADE London this last weekend. It was exciting to show my new weavings and to see so many people trying pieces on and enjoying the new textures and colours. It's also really great at shows to meet the other makers and designers, some of my favourites this year were Rachel Eardley's jewlery, Emma Lacey's ceramics and Buddug's enamel trinkets. There's an inspiring group of makers let me tell you! Now I'm getting to work on my new web-shop where all of my new winter wovens will be available, and I'm going to freshen up my website while I'm at it.
11 Oct 2015
After finishing my Hand Weaving Diploma course earlier this year, and following an inspiring summer trip to Nicaragua (breath taking!) I am now happily spending allot of time back at my loom in my workshop, where I am weaving up batches of my new designs, which I will be launching at MADE London. My new collection of hand-woven pieces references ENERGY and CONNECTIONS, consisting of many linked and tessellated structures, triangles, diamonds and grids. Importantly all the pieces are luxurious, soft and bright, I'm really enjoying the process of hand weaving, with it's simple variations, meaning that each piece is one of a kind. Working with wool at this time of year is also a very lovely thing! I can't wait to show the collection as a whole for the first time and see how people respond to the designs. I have also been working on some special hand and mill woven booklets, to sit alongside my work, which explain the process and intricacies behind each piece. After the show, I will be continuing to make hand woven pieces for sale on my new web shop (coming soon), and I will be refreshing my website too.
Behind Rye Lane to the multi-story car park, look at the brickwork, structure, layers and shifting tones. I used an 'end on end' silk warp to make micro interpretations of the patterns in the structure. I also used combinations of yarns in the weft to give movement and direction to the cloth. The silk was a pleasure to weave, and was interesting to watch it gather up and mutate in hot water because of the slightly elasticated orange yarn I had used in some of the swatches.
24 Sep 2014
My aim was to use materials that I previously haven't spent much time using. I chose a selection of silk and cotton to start experimenting and looked close by to where I live for inspiration for a set of wearable swatches. Peckham is full of contradictions, a high rise concrete car park is next to a street full of fruit and vegetable sellers, grey next to orange, cement and concrete next to husk and peel. Textures, repetition, colour, patterns and shapes stood out. I start by looking at the repetitive stacked stalls that surround Rye Lane, and worked on an organic cotton warp using various deflected structures to create the stacking of shapes, colours and form.
21 Sep 2014
I've controversially banned myself from using colour in these swatches!I wanted to limit my pallet and try to explore many different textures and materials. I was drawn to the Brutalist architecture of the Barbican Centre in London, to draw inspiration for structure, pattern and texture. Using my eight shaft table loom, (good for sampling) I put on two warps, a white worsted wool and a fluffy grey wool. Weaving layers and stripes of differently textures areas, in a concrete and aggregate pallet of varying scale, to try to give an illusion of depth and height. I used combinations of strong British wools and chunky novelty metallic yarns to resemble the steel skeletons, sometimes visible.
Last year I made a decision to spend some time testing, experimenting, studying and learning. I enrolled onto the Diploma course at the Handweavers Studio (London) and have just come to the end of my first year of studies. My aims were / are to deepen and broaden to exploration and technical range within my weaving works, taking some time away from products, production and prototyping, to be playful, take risks and try new techniques. I have been enjoying the diploma course so much, that I have been terrible at recording my progress so far, so I am going to start processing my blogging backlog, as I think it important and interesting (to me anyway) to document my experience. Expect studio shots, loom malfunctions, swatches, research, things that don't look like my work at all, but actually are, and hopefully some new ideas that are worth pursuing! I set out to try many different materials, structures and techniques that I don't usually use in my practice, therefore, some worked well, and others I didn't like at all. But it's all valuable learning in my opinion.
20 Nov 2013
Thank you to everyone who came to see me at MADE London this year and hello to the new friends, makers, visitors and blanket strokers I met. It was a really great show and I enjoyed seeing peoples responses to my new works. I shall be keeping people updated on my new developments and experiments in the coming weeks via this blog and my mailing list.
13 Oct 2013
Since returning from my inspirational summer trip in Hungary, I have been continuing my developments with graphic weft faced weaving making a new collection of gifts and homewares for my stand ( number 48 by the way) at this years MADE Craft and Design Show. MADE was a very inspiring, friendly and beautiful show last year, with everyone there celebrating hand made and crafted objects. I made lots of new maker friends and enjoyed meeting craft lovers face to face. It's held in one of my favorite buildings too, designed by Sir John Soan; One Marylebone (opposite Marylebone station) and is open from 25th - 27th October. Click here for a special two for one ticket entry deal.
Here's some images of the studio development of my graphic new hand woven gifts and homewares collection, including sweet smelling bundles of heat cushions (that you warm up and use like hot water bottles), pin cushions for your craft box, framed colour studies and greetings cards, all exclusively for MADE. I will also be bringing bundles of LOVE blankets and HOLD scarves. See you there I hope.
During the Summer I went on another inspiring and rejuvenating trip to Hungary. This year more than ever, I noticed traditional Hungarian textiles and craft objects being valued, respected and enjoyed by a large part of the country and people. The heritage, skill and knowledge has an important place in the Hungarian heart and also now in mine. I'd love to do a Hungarian weaving project inspired by some of these colours, patterns and materials.
After weaving squares, blocks, dashes and Morse-code almost continuously for the past few years, I have recently been pretty preoccupied with trying to weave triangles. A natural progression I think (?). Wanting to work this out without using colour at the beginning stages, to just focus on the interlacement of woven areas and floating threads, I spent a weekend working on a navy and white linen warp, experimenting with triangles, diamonds and arrows. I look forward to developing this graphic work into something new and exciting in the coming months, and am looking out for triangles everywhere.
9 Jul 2013
19 Mar 2013
Pleased to announce that an exciting new online retailer that specialises in luxurious textiles from around the world, is open and stocking my HOLD wrap; TWOFOLD. Twofold embraces dichotomies like style and substance, old and new. Striving to find products that embody these values and are beautiful, lively and strong. I am please to be in such inspiring company on the site. Have a look through the textiles treasures here: twofoldstyle.com