Studio Weaving Sessions for 2020

Backstrap Loom with a rigid heddle

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.

Cumbria cushion collection at Get Fresh

The curator at the Devon Guild has done a wonderful job in displaying my pieces within the gallery space, complimenting the work of the other designer makers around me.

For ‘Get Fresh’ I wanted to show these two contrasting collections to reflect the diversity of my designs. Most of my patterns can be woven large or small in scale and be transferable from a rug design to a light soft furnishing fabric.

Although aesthetically quite different, both are designed through extensive sampling on the loom, then woven by hand, in British Wool from breeds not used widely (due to colour or properties of the wool or because they are designated as rare). I avoid using petrochemical dyes by extracting colour from nature or just using ‘non-white’ wool in browns, shades of grey and black.

The subtle patterning is created using just two alternating tones of grey in both warp and weft; simply put, where a pale weft weaves over a dark warp, a horizontal pale line results and a pale weft weaving under a dark warp results in a vertical pale line.

The cushions bear the names of places in Cumbria; the hardy Herdwick breed of sheep are native to it’s fells. I stayed in Newton Rigg on an Agricultural student exchange on my first visit to the Lake District many years ago.

Echo of Our Fathers with photographer Chris Boulton

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

Reproduced with kind permission of Chris Boulton,

 

Sampling for flooring weight woven cloth

Warp and Weft in 2-ply Icelandic wool and Black Welsh Mountain.
Warp and Weft in 2-ply Icelandic wool and Black Welsh Mountain.

Warp number 2 in this project.  Using multiple strands as one end (warp thread) and as one pick (weft pass).

I used 3 strands instead of one thicker one, all going through one heddle and in one dent in the reed. Although the white yarn appeared quite fluffy, it wove without problem to my relief. For a single cloth (as opposed to double-cloth) it was interesting to observe the different feel of the various weave structures; the hopsack giving a thicker and more robust cloth.