Raw Talent show at New Brewery Arts

RawTalentRaw Talent is a biennial exhibition at New Brewery Arts in Cirencester showcasing the very best work produced by the students and tutors of our extensive education and participation courses and workshops.

Exhibition dates: Saturday 26th May – Sunday 17th June.

I will be exhibiting a long foot stool upholstered in my hand-woven British Wool cloth.

Detail of Cambrian Wool piece



January 2018 workshop/course dates

What can you make from your weaving experiments? Some ideas to inspire!


Friday 12th , 9.30am to 12.30 and/or 1.30 to 4.30pm

Half day weave practice session primarily for students who have done my Introduction to Weaving workshops or are not absolute beginners. Wide range of equipment and materials available for you to experiment with or bring your own. Held at my studio at The Tallet, Calmsden. £22.50. Please send me an email/message to reserve a place as limited to 4 at each session.

Saturday 20th

Day Course ‘Introduction to Weaving‘ in The Bothy at Vanessa Arbuthnott, 12 Ashcroft Road, Cirencester. GL7 1QX. For information and booking please go to The Bothy website or phone the shop on 01285 831437.

Friday 26th

Day Workshop “Introduction to Weaving‘ for Lechlade Craft Barn at Lechlade-on-Thames, GL7 3DL. For information and to book please go to http://lechladecraftbarn.com


Cushions to “brighten up your home this winter” according to Interior Designer Nicole Hood

Screen Shot 2017-11-05 at 09.57.15

Cushions from my Cotswolds Inspired collection were snapped by Interior Designer Nicole Hood, on the Country Life / British Wool stand at Decorex International 2017; a show which is “internationally renowned for being the destination where interior design professionals discover the finest and most coveted luxury products from new, emerging and established talent” (www.decorex.com)

To see her blog post “7 ways to brighten up your home this winter”, go here

I designed the fabric for these cushions using hand-spun and dyed British Wool from rare breed sheep. The cloth was woven by hand, sufficient for only 3 of each pattern/colour combination. These designs are available (while stocks last) directly from Rebecca Connolly Design or through my only outlet, Vanessa Arbuthnott Fabrics

Humbled to be amongst the wool ‘greats’


On Wednesday I arrived at Baker Street, London, to run a weave workshop for The Campaign for Wool as part of their Wool Fusion event. I was chuffed to see my name in the big list of contributors on the outside of the venue!  Thanks to Thomas B Ramsden for providing the British Wool yarn used by the workshop participants to explore weaving.

This “stunning collection of photography surrounded by fashion, flooring, fabrics, furnishing and film” is beautiful, colourful, inspiring and thought-provoking too! It’s on for a couple more days so try and visit.

Herdwick wool weaving at Decorex

IMG_20170920_170017At the end of the 4 day show, I wove with wool dyed orange from Dahlia flowers to finish off, just before disassembling the loom.

The two-tone warp in grey British Herdwick Sheep’s wool, produced three versions of the design I had planned prior to the show, and I will continue to sample creating new versions now the loom is back in the studio.

My aim was to sample with the same yarns in the weft, changing the height of the blocks as they increased in width across the cloth. However the change in the pattern within the blocks was visually too subtle, so by changing the number, thickness and colour of threads in each weft pass/pick I created three versions, the definition improving each time.

My designs often originate from the properties of the wool I am challenged to work with. Hand-weaving with this Herdwick wool, resulted in a fabric I can see being used on large floor cushions in a rustic kitchen or outdoor room.

The Country Life / British Wool stand at Decorex International 2017


On the British Wool / Country Life Magazine ‘Design Sense” stand at Decorex International 2017, flanked by Brintons Carpets , Roger Oates Design and Zoffany Fabrics and Wallpapers as interior design businesses who all use British Wool as an important part of their brand story. During the 4 days of the show I demonstrated hand-weaving on my old floor loom (as well as lots of talking to the lovely interested audience!) I wove a design created for the occasion in 2 natural grey Herdwick wool yarns.


Vibrant colour from summer plant dyes


Running a natural dyeing workshop in the summer is the best time of year as the students have a vast array of plants in full bloom to extract colour from. This day of alchemy was held at The Bothy @ Vanessa Arbuthnott’s fabric showroom in Cirencester a couple of weekends ago.

Will wild Golden Rod give the same colour as the cultivated garden variety?

What colour (if any) will white flowers give when boiled up?

Will deep pink Dahlia flowers give the same colour dye? The answer:-  it produced the zingy orange (in the centre of the image) on the wool we used to create a colour reference.

The students were guided in the preparation of dyestuffs, fresh, dried and concentrated extracts; with the mordanting of the wool to ensure the dyes didn’t wash out; the varied dyeing methods and processes, then played with colour by dyeing a second colour over the first using all the coloured dye-baths we had produced during the day. Each student chose their favourite colours to dye 3 skeins of British Wool to take home.