The art of weaving fabric
Colour is crucial in my work. Recently I’ve been asking myself when this fascination began. I think it began when I was at school; my art teachers introduced me to acrylic paints. I played with mixing colours and learnt that by placing different colours next to each other I could make them sing out or recede. Discovering how colours interact is still a huge part of my creative interest and investigation, both when working on paper and with threads on the loom. Weaving is essentially interlacing two sets of perpendicular threads, and the colours of those threads and the pattern they are combined in can give endless combinations and effects, endless scope for experimentation.
October brings a sense of ending: leaves are falling, blooms are descending into decay. Colours are simultaneously muted and vibrant, and this is my signature palette. Years of colour exploration have brought me to this place. And it’s not standing still, it’s ever changing. Just like the seasons, my work reflects how I see the world and my experience of it.
One of my sources of inspiration is my allotment. Year after year I’ve grown more and more flowers and fewer and fewer fruit and veg. At this time of year the dahlias are a riot of colour, brassy and loud. I love them for their exuberance. I temper their vibrant colours with more muted tones in my woven work, working more subtle yarns into the weft threads, so that the brighter colours can sing out.
It really does surprise me, genuinely, every time I take something off the loom to find that I can make a fabric that is both useful and beautiful.
The Kröller-Müller museum: van Gogh and nature
I’m lucky enough to live just an hour’s drive from the world class Kröller-Müller museum which houses many of van Gogh’s works, and is surrounded by a wonderful sculpture park. I love art in nature, seeing the sculptures in a natural surrounding, being able to interact with the work, touch it, walk round it, experience it fully. The forms and colours of the weathered stone eventually find themselves into my work in one way or another.
New in my shop
For 2021, I’ve produced this unique calendar which features 13 different images of my textile designs. It’s a different take on my designs, viewing them as little pieces of woven art. A limited number of these is available in my shop and you can see more by clicking here.
I have an open studio planned for the 6th/7th November, 11.00-15.00, for those who are in The Hague and surroundings. Due to the current restrictions in The Netherlands, you’ll need to book, which you can do by filling out the contact form on my website by clicking here. Numbers are very limited and on a first come, first serve basis. You’ll be able to find out about my design process, how I translate this into a woven piece, and I’ll be giving weaving demonstrations.
Finally, I’ll leave you with the current stack of soft, warm, luxurious lambswool scarves I’ve been working on over the past year or so. Rich colours pulled together on the loom, fusing colour, texture and pattern in a process of colour exploration.
Thank you for reading this far, and hope to see you here again soon! If you’re interested to see more, I post regularly on Instagram – some daily inspiration and an insight into my creative practice.