I have been invited by the organisers of Stitchfest Southwest to run weaving taster workshops at FibreQuest, a new venture for 2022. Fernhill Farm in the Mendip Hills has a well established Blade Shearing Farm Open Day, which has been expanded to include other fibre related exhibitors and workshops co-ordinated by Stitchfest, for whom I’ve taught before.
I have managed to squeeze in 4 sessions of 1 hour 15mins during Saturday, with space for 4 participants in each. Using a Body-tensioned loom, setup ready to go with local rare-breed Ryeland wool, you will have an hour to weave a sampler in un-dyed coloured wools and natural dyed yarns. What you weave is yours to take home.
Click here for link to FibreQuest for information and to book a workshop.
My studio is situated in the countryside a few miles from Cirencester, so lots of outside shots were taken too; this image is showing the Yoga Meditation rugs I have been weaving during the past year. During lockdown I had no income from teaching so these were created to generate an income. They were (and still are) available to purchase or to commission a bespoke pattern/colourway.
Following the lockdown period at home, I returned to my studio and the tools of my trade, my floor looms. The framework for my year comes from the courses I teach, the craft festivals I attend and the exhibitions I develop new designs for; these were all gone. Using trial samples of a new wool yarn and left-over natural dyed yarn, I revisited one of my designs inspired by Fairisle knitting patterns. It was joyful to allow myself to experiment; the shapes and scale of the patterns and the combination of colours.
For my first rug, the design was inspired by the symbol for Earth from the i-Ching; seeking a motif with significance to Meditation, I sought my Yoga teacher’s guidance. For the 2nd rug I just wanted to use some fabulous pinks and a design I love, as the ‘noughts’ on the front become ‘crosses’ on the reverse.
Dates and information for studio weaving sessions in 2020 can be found under the COURSES tab.
An opportunity to “do some more weaving” has been requested by several of the ‘students’ who have recently attended one of my Introduction to Weaving day workshops. I plan to open my weave studio one day a month to facilitate this; I will be on hand to provide equipment, yarns, know-how and hopefully inspiration to those who want to continue their learning and exploration of weaving.
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
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.