In recent months I have been kept busy with requests to teach weave workshops using this simple loom.
The wonderful things about this form of weaving are:
The equipment is very ‘low tech’ and inexpensive if you want to buy your own.
It is very portable so you can weave anywhere, inside or outside, standing or sitting.
I can have absolute beginners weaving within a very short space of time, both children and adults.
You can weave cloth in a ‘conventional’ form or weave an ‘art piece’ incorporating all manner of materials.
I have taught 2 groups of 14, A Level Textiles students at Cirencester College in a morning; a knowledgeable group of 11 from the Gloucestershire Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers and one-to-one with students in my studio.
I now teach on a regular basis at The Bothy at Vanessa Arbuthnott in Cirencester, Prema Arts in Uley and Cotswold AONB Rural Skills in Northleach (where my next day workshop is on Friday 28 April 2017). Check their respective websites for dates, availability and booking. If you send me an email and I will add you to my mailing list and I’ll let you know new course dates.
Just after Christmas, Cotswolds based photographer Chris Boulton visited my weave studio in Calmsden near Cirencester, to capture images of me and my working environment for his ongoing project titled ECHO OF OUR FATHERS. He intends to produce a book and stage an exhibition of the images he has created; portraits of artisans whose practice embraces heritage craft skills. These beautiful atmospheric images are now on his website, please follow this link
A new venture … in October I will be running my own weaving courses at ‘The Bothy‘, which is a fab “creative space” next door to Vanessa Arbuthnott’s shop in Cirencester. Please spread the word, it would be lovely for this to be a success so classes could run on a regular basis.
The Cotswold AONB’s 2nd Sheep and Wool Day took place at their Visitors Centre in Northleach on Bank Holiday Monday. I was invited, along with my folding floor loom, to demonstrate the craft of weaving.
Local groups and businesses supported the event, bringing spinning wheels, home grown wool yarn and of course some Cotswold Sheep. To showcase local wools, I warped my loom with Lleyn from Abbey Home Farm’s flock and wove with Cotswold from Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm
Always popular with children (and adults too), I brought a little loom so they could do some weaving which they could take home. The loom of choice for beginners, the rigid heddle and back-strap, was warped up ready to weave and many visitors had a go, amazing themselves at how good their weaving was!
I travelled up to Bradford with friend and fellow Bath Spa University Alumni, Rosie Smith, for the Bradford Textile Society Design Awards on 6th May. Entering the annual competition for the first time as Independent Designers, we both received a Commendation for our woven designs in British Wool.
In my designs I used wool from different sheep breeds in a range of thicknesses to weave fabric for ‘throws’ in two weights. The colours developed from working with a variety of natural yellow, red and grey dyes which I extracted from plant (or other) substances, layering one over another.
The samples were woven in my studio, by hand (and feet!) on my restored old wooden floor loom.
I was selected to show at New Designers, in June 2015, with fellow students from Bath Spa University’s BA (Hons) Textile Design course. The Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers includes an article by Eve Alexander in their Winter 2015 edition, where she writes on the exhibits of 5 students, chosen on the strength of their weave collections which showcase designs in double-cloth.
The pieces of my work selected for New Designers were from my Degree Show, where I exhibited two collections: Natural Iceland and Urban Iceland.
The four short-listed designers were all invited to the award ceremony not knowing who the actual winner would be. In the end, the winner was Wendy Kotenko from Cornwall and I was runner up!
It was a lovely event and many of the people I spoke to showed their appreciation for my design and how much they liked it.
The Bristol Cloth Award evening and Textile Mingle was hosted by Bristol Textile Quarter, with representatives from various collaborators including Botanical Inks, Dash and Miller and the newly established Bristol Weaving Mill. It was held at the Bristol harbour side ‘Lab Space’, as part of the events marking Bristol as European Green Capital 2015.