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,

 

Bradford Textile Society Design Competition 2016 – Award Winners Ceremony and Exhibition

At the Award Winners Exhibition. The final design and development samples of my handwoven fabric.
At the Award Winners Exhibition. The final design and development samples of my handwoven fabric.

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.

More information and images here

Bristol Cloth Awards

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Taken at the Bristol Cloth Awards, held at ‘Lab Space’, Bristol.

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.

Weaving for Beginners for Cotswold Conservation Board

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Stroudwater Textile Trust loaned this four shaft table loom for use on the course
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My four shaft counter balance floor loom, relocated to the visitors centre at the Old Prison, Northleach.

I have just taught my first course, Weaving for Beginners, as part of the Rural Skills Program that Cotswold Conservation Board/AONB offer to ensure that country skills survive.

The course offers hands-on experiences on a range of looms, from the simple rigid heddle and back strap, to a floor loom.

My floor loom has been relocated to the visitors centre where it will be on display and used in the weaving courses. The next course will take place on Saturday, 28th November.

Wool Week at Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park

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Drop-in weaving sessions for children proved popular. They enjoyed being tied in into the simple back strap loom using a rigid heddle.
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This is where my Shetland wool comes from. This real character was happy to have his photo taken!
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This big beast is a Cotswold breed sheep by the name of Claudius. He did not want to look up or interact with me, perhaps that’s why the use of Cotswold wool has declined!
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This little girl stayed for ages and as it was the end of the day she was given the weaving to take home.

I was approached by the Cotswold Farm Park to come and weave with the public during Wool Week. I took several rigid heddle and back strap looms, ready warped up. Within minutes the children were weaving cheerfully and well. I also took a four shaft table loom on loan from Stroudwater Textile Trust for adults that wanted to explore ‘proper’ weaving.

Cambrian Wool Collection in London for Fashion Week

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Sian Lloyd and Jane Ashley at the launch of the Cambrian Wool Collection at London Welsh Centre for London Fashion Week 2015
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The launch of the Cambrian Wool Collection at London Welsh Centre for London Fashion Week 2015

The bench upholstered with my hand-woven fabric travelled to London with the collection. I met lots of lovely people at the launch, and everybody loved my bench!

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.