Stories from the weave studio – October

Reconnecting

Blues skies and vapour trails

Crisp mornings, blue skies and vapour trails. The world is opening up again. A reawakening of the need to connect with people and places. The once empty skies and roads are busy again after what has been a moment of respite for the natural world. Sometimes the frantic pace of the morning rush hour catches me unawares and can be overwhelming after the quiet times of lockdown. However, I can recognise in myself the need to reach out, to reconnect, to see loved ones and seek out different vistas.

Open studio

Early October saw me opening my studio as part of The Netherlands Weefnetwerk ontmoeting (‘meeting’ or ‘gathering’). It was a great opportunity to meet other weavers and to share my knowledge and skills with others. It also was an opportunity to tidy my studio (much needed!) and re-evaluate my more recent work, to consider the direction I want my future work to take. Thank you to everyone who came to see me.

Mixed media work

As part of my creative practice, I’ve been continuing to explore colour, form and texture through mixed media work, monoprinting, drawing and collage. New colour combinations and compositions are emerging.

Work of others

Visiting other artists’ studios is a real privilege and insight into their work. The open studios event that took place recently in The Hague gave me the opportunity to visit a number of artists and craftspeople working in the Spanjaardshof. The building itself was inspiring, with its fading splendour and elaborate tiling, and it provided a wonderful backdrop to Angeline Dekker’s site-specific installation, as well as work by Jurjen Ravenhorst, Derek Wel Bergen and Anne Rose Regenboog.

English tabby weave

I recently bought “The Weaving Handbook” by Åsa Pärson and Amica Sundström. This book is invaluable as both an introduction to weaving techniques, giving ideas for projects, but also has a very useful library of weave patterns with corresponding images showing how the resulting fabric will appear. Useful for both beginners and more experiences weavers. It has led me to explore a new weave pattern: tabby weave. One of the simplest weave structures, I have reinterpreted English tabby using varied textures and colours, including multiple yarns, to create ombré effects in the fabric. These lambswool and silk pieces are destined to become scarves (available on LiminalWEAVE).

Interior fabrics inspired by Scottish coastlines

Using the softest organic wool and alpaca blend ‘Echos’ by the Italian company Sesia, whose yarns are produced with organic blends certified by ICEA (Italian Insitute of Ethical and Environmental Certification) according to GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) standards, I am in the process of creating a new collection of cushions. These will soon appear on Masters and Crafters and LiminalWEAVE. The colour palette is inspired by the coastlines of the Isle of Mull, one of the Innner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. The blacks and greys of the sea-battered rocks, the gold and ochre of the seaweed, the white beaches and the tufts of pink flowering sea thrift come together to form a restful contemporary series of pieces.

Until next time…

This month has seen me rediscovering the sense of inner peace that the act of weaving brings, and I’ve started both to follow new threads of ideas and to revisit old ones, such as the reworking of an older sample piece – the new piece is taking shape on the loom (image below). The creative flow that I was missing over the summer has returned and I can’t wait to delve deeper. October is my favourite month, poised on the edge of the renewal that winter brings, with its wild windy weather and glorious raging colours as the trees withdraw into their dormant phase. I look forward to seeing what November will bring as the winter months take their course.

On the loom today

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