The 1st of February, St Brigid’s Day, Imbolc, marks the beginning of spring in the natural calendar, and on that day, it did feel as if there was indeed a perceptible lightness in the air, the earth was beginning to stir with life, and the birds were noticeably singing more enthusiastically. Each day now, the lightness advances, day length increases and the dark days of winter are receding. Momentum grows as we move out of the dark and into the light. The cycle of nature moves on.
Ebony, jet, obsidian, onyx, raven, charcoal, inky black: working in monotone
In January I was approached to weave a number of highly textural, raw pieces for use as decorative pieces in a wabi sabi style house, that would honour the memory of the fire damage sustained to the house. After discussions with the lovely lady who commissioned this work, we found the perfect mix of materials and I spent much of February bringing these pieces to fruition. I am truly touched to be entrusted with this project, and the finished work is now winging its way to California. I love undertaking commissions – the challenges they provide and the discoveries I make along the way are invaluable to broadening my experience. A well as making another person happy along the way! This series of work is entirely in black hues, and so I was able to concentrate exclusively on the materiality. A mixture of cotton, linen, hemp and wool with steel is used as the warp and the weft comprises lambswool, British wool, and painted paper that is either torn into strips or cut into strips in a paper shredder. The labour intensive process results in a highly textured surface, but with stability in the fabric. If you would like to commission a bespoke piece, please do contact me; I’d love to hear from you!
My loom has been taken up with the black wabi sabi style weavings, and on my work table the painted papers mix nicely with a woven wool sample from a couple of years back. On the studio wall, some recent mixed media collage and woven newspaper pieces from last year.
‘Air’: new work
Simultaneously to weaving, I also make mixed media collage work, monoprinting, painting and drawing as part of my process. It helps me to consider the colours and textures I want to combine and gives me inspiration for new woven pieces. I’m delighted that one of my new pieces ‘Air’ will be available at the Kunstuitleen Voorburg to borrow or buy, and will be on show from 25th February as part of the VERSE VERF exhibition.
Newly available cushions
Four cushions woven in British wool, and other mixed wools have recently become available, and are now listed in my online store LiminalWEAVE. These highly textural cushions are in muted mossy greens, sage, greys and charcoal. This natural palette was inspired by the lichens and mosses on rocks on the Scottish west coast. The backing fabrics are either a matt satin sage green or grey velveteen fabric which complement the handwoven fabrics.
OBJECT Rotterdam 2023
As part of Rotterdam Art Week, OBJECT Rotterdam fuses craft, design, art and architecture in the wonderful HAKA Gebouw on the Vierhavenstraat (four harbours street). This coming together of creatives, new and established, is a real inspiration and a highlight of the year for me. This year’s offerings didn’t disappoint, with and explosion of colours and new ideas. Below are some of my favourites. Take a look at my Instagram for links to some of the studios and creatives mentioned.
Minim.aal at Icoon gallery, Hoek van Holland
The exhibition ‘Minim.aal’ at Icoon is housed in the truly stunning brutalist architecture of a bunker from World War II, part of the Atlantic wall defence built by the Germans to defend the coastline from attack. The distressed and textured concrete tells the story of time, and the exhibition complements, and is complemented by, its surroundings. I spent a good couple of hours here as part of the Rotterdam Art Week, when it was possible to meet the curator, Helma, and some of the artists to talk about their work. Very insightful.
New yarns: my paintbox
My yarn stocks were getting low on some colours, so I’ve just received a big order from Uppingham yarns, suppliers of the lambswool and British wool spun in Yorkshire by Z. Hinchliffe that I use for my handwoven scarves. I’ve also recently purchased some beautiful Lithuanian linen, which I’ve used in the commissioned wabi sabi style decorative pieces. New to me, the Lithuanian linen is of premium quality and comes in a rainbow of different colours and 1- to 4-ply. I conservatively ordered black and natural tones, but will definitely be ordering more colours in the future.
…so much for your support. Your kind words, follows, likes, commissions, purchases and recommendations spur me on to keep creating and pushing my work to new levels and in new directions. Thank you for joining me on my creative journey through the seasons. If you’d like to see more of my work and inspirations, I post regularly on Instagram @veronicapock and my work is available online at LiminalWEAVE on Etsy.
Looking forward to seeing you again in late March,