Stories from the weave studio: June

In balance

Summer grasses and windmill

The summer solstice has just passed, and the days will begin to grow shorter once more. The grasses stand tall by the canal, and life is buzzing all around. Time feels slow now, lazy summer days, and when I’m at my studio, there’s a real sense of calm and reflection. A balance between light and shade, day and night, warp and weft, creating and considering.

A sense of order

I’ve been thinking about what it is that constantly draws me back to the loom, to weaving, and what it is that sets me on that creative journey and drives me to realise an idea, one of many that constantly occur to me when I’m weaving. Perhaps it’s the satisfaction of creating order out of chaos – choosing the yarns for the warp, which is usually a fairly intuitive process, winding them onto the warping frame in a repetitive, rhythmic movement, and transferring them onto the loom into a tidy, regimented row of threads, ready to be pulled through the heddles and bound into fabric. Recurring processes, a measured way of working, each step logically following the one that has gone before. A recipe for creating a new material. A procedure that leads to something tangible although not always as expected. Serendipity in the sequence of threads or the properties of the materials. A pattern revealed. Experimentation… what if?

The imprints and traces we leave behind: work on the loom

Contours, striations, layers of time and history, the imprints and traces we leave and that are left by the passage of time. The old ways, the paths once trodden, the footprints, the memories that persist. These are some of the ideas I’m contemplating in a new collection of work, while currently re-reading “The old ways” and “Ness”, both by Robert Macfarlane – books on landscape, nature, place, people, and how these are all interlinked.

My work explores memory through abstract woven form. Our memories shape us, constantly lingering in our subconscious. Past events, people and emotions are recalled by a snippet of text, a place name, a landscape, a landmark, the familiar dip in the path, the bend of a road, transporting us back in time, locally, globally and personally. I combine repurposed material with inherent memory, such as vintage maps, newspapers and music tapes, in woven structure and form. Connecting with the materials through the process, I imbue the waste material with value, integrity, depth and character; hidden moments in time are revealed.

As I weave using vintage maps – in this case an Ordnance Survey map of the Three Peaks (Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent) from 1973 – I think of the people who have used this map, and the places it documents. The names and markers flicker between my fingers: New Pasture, Old Quarry, Long Hill, Stags Fell, Plover Hill, Thieves Moss…. names and their connotations.

New collection of cushions

The limited edition collection of cushions I’ve been working on using locally grown wool by Grazend Populair is complete. The local Drentse Heide sheep’s wool combines beautifully with fine merino and Shetland type wools in the warp to make striking motifs and contrasting patterns. Some are online in my webshop LiminalWEAVE; others are available at by_ten_creations styling. The cushions also have my new labels sewn into the seam. A signature to my work.

Mixed media artwork

Work on paper and canvas is an intrinsic part of my creative process. The experimentation on paper informs my woven work, and vice versa. During May, many of my works were displayed at the Kunstuitleen Voorburg. It’s been interesting to revisit older paintings and to see how my work has progressed. These, together with a selection of handwoven cushions, are available there (to buy or rent via the website) if you’re local to The Hague. More of my artwork can be seen at www.veronicapockart.com.

Thank you

Thank you for joining me again at this point of high summer as I continue on my journey through the year. I hope to see you here again for my next blog in July.

With warm June wishes, Veronica

Woven newspaper in honeycomb weave

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