Stories from the weave studio: March

Making connections

Weaving is all about connections: a connection to the past through the loom, the oldest technology known to man, a connection to the material and the way it asks to be used, a connection to my inner self as I determine how to progress with the piece I am weaving, and a connection to the fabric itself as it grows on my loom, every inch of yarn passing through my fingers before it becomes interconnected to make the fabric.

Having a creative practice and being a maker can be a solitary profession, and having the opportunity to connect with others is a great chance to find support, inspiration and forge new connections. Thinking about my work following the prompt ‘connections’ as part of the Seam Collective Instagram challenge #SeptTextileChallenge last September led me to think about my work and process and what it means to me on many levels. It was a real privilege to be mentioned in Seam Collective’s blog connections earlier this year.

Off the loom

Using vintage newspaper, maps and other repurposed materials, I’m really happy with how these unique pieces of wall art have turned out. Making memories tangible, I’ve chosen materials that have inherent memory. The newspaper is dated 13 July 2003. Seeing that date on the newspaper immediately pulled me right back to where I was in that year, and all that has happened since. Where does it take you?

Inspiration: remembered landscapes

Following winter walks in Vlietland, wetlands near my home in The Hague, my work has moved on to an exploration of the colours and atmosphere there. The subdued yet rich palette and the piercingly cold wind. The cries of the birds and the rustle of the reeds. The big skies. Starting with works on paper, investigations into these observations inform my woven work. It’s an opportunity to experiment with colour and form without having to commit to the loom and the constraints it imposes.

Process: from inspiration to woven textile

Following observation comes a distilling of the ideas, colours, atmosphere. Working in mixed media and collage, initially on paper in a very rapid and free way, I use acrylic paint, inks, wax resist, mono print and mark making techniques. The works on paper become pieces in their own right, and I am currently developing these into larger work on canvases, embellishing with embroidery threads whose colours sing out and give the sharp definition I’m looking for. I work simultaneously on the loom with similar colours, and the link between the two is clear. One leads to the other, and I quite often switch rapidly between weaving and working on paper, and back again. More of my work can be seen at www.veronicapockart.com, and I have a number of pieces in the collection of Kunstuitleen Voorburg.

Collaboration with By Ten Creations

In the coming months, I’m looking forward to collaborating with Tessa and Netty of by_ten_creations interior styling. They seek out unique and special handmade products and art, and offer advice on interior decor. They’ll have a number of my handwoven wall art pieces and wallhangings for sale in their online store (coming soon), and I’m also currently collaborating with them on woven designs for cushion fabrics using the locally grown wool produced by Grazend Populair. The flock of Drenthe Heath Sheep is grazed by shepherdess Judith Prins in Meijendel, Wassenaar and sometimes Solleveld in Monster. Truly locally grown. Their fleece is spun into beautiful robust yarn retaining its natural colours of cream, softest marl grey and a rich chocolatey brown; it’s a real pleasure to work with.

Spring equinox

March 20th marks the spring equinox in the Northern hemisphere. Day and night are equal and nature is moving into a period of intense activity. Trees are breaking into bud and bulbs are pushing through into the sunlight. It’s a time of optimism, of fresh beginnings. New projects, new work, new connections and collaborations, and so much to look forward to.

Thank you for joining me on my journey through the year. I hope to see you here again for my next blog in April.

With warm March wishes, Veronica

Handwoven wall hanging and mixed media on board

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