Stories from the weave studio – September

A new season

Sketches detail

September has seen a return to school, routine and time in the studio. There is a change in the air, a crispness to the mornings, and it’s been one of those glorious summery Septembers – warm days where everything seems to be preparing itself for a new season, with autumn just around the corner, a final fling before the colder nights arrive. The autumn equinox has meant a shift in the light, with darker mornings and night falling sooner.

Returning to the studio, I have some sketches on my wall from earlier this year that are providing inspiration for new work. Using a combination of collage, mono print and drawing, I explore new ideas, and pattern and colour combinations in this way. While contemplating these, I have also taken time to finish work left on the loom before the summer holidays began. This is something I find helps me get back into work more quickly after a period away. A warp already on the loom, in this case one of mixed linen fibres, that I have had time mull over in the back of my mind so I can immediately return to the rhythm of the weaving, selecting colours and finding the creative flow to finish pieces. The result is two linen, lambswool and shantung silk scarves. The warp was originally used for a commission, also a scarf, but the additional two (below) are now available in my online shop LiminalWEAVE.

Collage, sketches and mixed media: developing a design

My inspiration comes from many sources: nature, architecture, materials, textiles… and all these are pulled together through sketches I make, usually spontaneously and quickly. Collage is a fantastic way of working as elements can easily be moved around to experiment with interactions between colours, textures and patterns. I sometimes manipulate these sketches digitally to create repeating designs which lend themselves to developing an idea for a design on the loom.

I have some new yarns to work with: the softest organic wool and alpaca blend ‘Echos’ by Sesia from Uppingham Yarns. Organic Sesia yarns are produced with organic blends certified by ICEA (Italian Insitute of Ethical and Environmental Certification) according to GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) standards. Sustainability and traceability are extremely important to me, and I am trying to incorporate more of such materials into my work.

I’ve already begun to combine these exquisite yarns into an exclusive collection of cushions for interiors – a new collaboration I’m working on.

Interior styling: By Ten Creations

It’s been a real pleasure to collaborate with By Ten Creations, who have a number of my cushions, woven in locally grown wool, and woven art wall hangings. Intent on creating a restful and meditative atmosphere in the home, their beautiful photographs represent perfectly the carefully selected items and artisanal one-off pieces stocked in their online store. Here are some of their recent images that perfectly sum up their signature style: effortless simplicity rooted in nature.

Colder mornings

Inspired by the winter landscape of de Vlietland, a wetland area near my home in The Hague, I have created a number of cowl scarves for those chilly mornings. The colours echo the dried reedbeds, the bare tree branches, the water and the dogwood stems flaming red in a weak winter sun. Again, these cowl scarves are available in my shop LiminalWEAVE

Woven art textiles and exhibition: capturing memories

This piece was recently on show as part of the WEEFNETWERK exhibition (17-26 September, Steenfabriek at Gilze, The Netherlands). Woven in vintage maps and mill-end yarns, it repurposes unwanted yarns and attempts to solidify the memories carried by the materials. The exhibition was in an atmospheric, beautifully restored brick factory in Brabant, in the South of The Netherlands, and the exhibition included an extensive and diverse selection of the work of the many talented weavers who make up the ‘weaving network’ here in The Netherlands.

Honeycomb woven paper map

Until next time…

Here in The Netherlands the warm summer weather continues, but the leaves are already starting to take on their autumn splendour, and the nights are drawing in. I look forward to see what the new season brings, and hope to see you here again for my next blog in October as I continue on my journey through the ever-changing year.

Hydrangea
Hydrangea blooms beginning to fade

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