There’s a crispness in the air, and September feels like a new beginning of sorts after the strangest of years so far. Today the equinox marks the beginning of autumn. This truly is my favourite time of year. The colours, the fading splendour of the trees, a feeling of melancholy in the air, the soft thud of acorns landing in the woods, and the sharp, metallic tang of fungi and leaves gently being absorbed into the earth.
At the allotment, the sunflowers are a feast for the birds, the bright stalks of chard provide a pop of rainbow colours, and the dahlias are a riot of hot pinks, rich reds and acid lemon.
There’s just so much to take inspiration from, I want to soak it all up and hold it in my head for the year to come.
Last year at around this time I visited the Voorlinden Museum, a contemporary art museum not far from The Hague, to see the Anselm Kiefer exhibition. The gardens, designed by the renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, were a tapestry of texture and colour, with grasses and seed heads interwoven with Michaelmas daisies and striking dahlias. The combination of soft violet, browns and greens has proven a rich vein of inspiration for the series of scarves I’ve woven over the summer.
Memories of summer
During August, in what is becoming something of a yearly tradition, I was lucky enough to be able to spend a week’s family holiday on the Hebridean Isle of Mull, staying in Limetree Cottage at Calgary, just a stone’s throw from the stunning beach at Calgary Bay. This a magical place where the sea and sky are a constantly changing presence and the colours have gently woven their way into the most recent batch of larger scarves to have found their way off my loom. When I’m weaving, I begin with an idea of the colours and atmosphere I’m in search of, winding these into the warp. Once the warp has been put onto the loom, I combine a variety of weave patterns with a range of colours and textures of weft threads to paint the full picture.
A new way of working
This year has brought many challenges, but somehow I’ve managed to keep working through it, albeit in different ways. Often, my creative practice has been a refuge from everything that has been going on in the world. After a regular start to the year, home schooling, combined with a studio move, suddenly meant that I had much less time to spend in my studio. Working at home, I concentrated on developing new ideas on paper, mixed media pieces which are an important part of my design process, as well as being artworks in their own right. An order of shantung silk from Bart and Francis gave me a broader palette of colours to work with, and the results have since found their way into my woven work.
I have an open studio planned for the 6th/7th November for those who are in The Hague and surroundings. More details will follow closer to the time… you can join my mailing list (link on homepage) to make sure you don’t miss it.
I was so pleased to see my interview with KOEL Magazine published this month on the KOEL Magazine blog. In it, I talk about my motivation to weave, my work and how I came to the place I find myself in now. You can take a look by clicking here.
Finally, I’ll leave you with the current inspiration board on the wall of my studio. Ideas, colours, samples; a melting pot of potential… who knows where it will lead.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into my weaving practice, thank you for reading this far, and hope to see you here again soon!