Stories from the weave studio: October

The art of weaving fabric

Colour is crucial in my work. Recently I’ve been asking myself when this fascination began. I think it began when I was at school; my art teachers introduced me to acrylic paints. I played with mixing colours and learnt that by placing different colours next to each other I could make them sing out or recede. Discovering how colours interact is still a huge part of my creative interest and investigation, both when working on paper and with threads on the loom. Weaving is essentially interlacing two sets of perpendicular threads, and the colours of those threads and the pattern they are combined in can give endless combinations and effects, endless scope for experimentation.

October brings a sense of ending: leaves are falling, blooms are descending into decay. Colours are simultaneously muted and vibrant, and this is my signature palette. Years of colour exploration have brought me to this place. And it’s not standing still, it’s ever changing. Just like the seasons, my work reflects how I see the world and my experience of it.

New work

One of my sources of inspiration is my allotment. Year after year I’ve grown more and more flowers and fewer and fewer fruit and veg. At this time of year the dahlias are a riot of colour, brassy and loud. I love them for their exuberance. I temper their vibrant colours with more muted tones in my woven work, working more subtle yarns into the weft threads, so that the brighter colours can sing out.

It really does surprise me, genuinely, every time I take something off the loom to find that I can make a fabric that is both useful and beautiful.

The Kröller-Müller museum: van Gogh and nature

I’m lucky enough to live just an hour’s drive from the world class Kröller-Müller museum which houses many of van Gogh’s works, and is surrounded by a wonderful sculpture park. I love art in nature, seeing the sculptures in a natural surrounding, being able to interact with the work, touch it, walk round it, experience it fully. The forms and colours of the weathered stone eventually find themselves into my work in one way or another.

New in my shop

For 2021, I’ve produced this unique calendar which features 13 different images of my textile designs. It’s a different take on my designs, viewing them as little pieces of woven art. A limited number of these is available in my shop and you can see more by clicking here.

Upcoming events

I have an open studio planned for the 6th/7th November, 11.00-15.00, for those who are in The Hague and surroundings. Due to the current restrictions in The Netherlands, you’ll need to book, which you can do by filling out the contact form on my website by clicking here. Numbers are very limited and on a first come, first serve basis. You’ll be able to find out about my design process, how I translate this into a woven piece, and I’ll be giving weaving demonstrations.

Studio view

Finally, I’ll leave you with the current stack of soft, warm, luxurious lambswool scarves I’ve been working on over the past year or so. Rich colours pulled together on the loom, fusing colour, texture and pattern in a process of colour exploration.

Thank you for reading this far, and hope to see you here again soon! If you’re interested to see more, I post regularly on Instagram – some daily inspiration and an insight into my creative practice.

Veronica

Stories from the weave studio: September

Autumn inspiration

There’s a crispness in the air, and September feels like a new beginning of sorts after the strangest of years so far. Today the equinox marks the beginning of autumn. This truly is my favourite time of year. The colours, the fading splendour of the trees, a feeling of melancholy in the air, the soft thud of acorns landing in the woods, and the sharp, metallic tang of fungi and leaves gently being absorbed into the earth.

At the allotment, the sunflowers are a feast for the birds, the bright stalks of chard provide a pop of rainbow colours, and the dahlias are a riot of hot pinks, rich reds and acid lemon.

There’s just so much to take inspiration from, I want to soak it all up and hold it in my head for the year to come.

New work

Last year at around this time I visited the Voorlinden Museum, a contemporary art museum not far from The Hague, to see the Anselm Kiefer exhibition. The gardens, designed by the renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, were a tapestry of texture and colour, with grasses and seed heads interwoven with Michaelmas daisies and striking dahlias. The combination of soft violet, browns and greens has proven a rich vein of inspiration for the series of scarves I’ve woven over the summer.

Memories of summer

During August, in what is becoming something of a yearly tradition, I was lucky enough to be able to spend a week’s family holiday on the Hebridean Isle of Mull, staying in Limetree Cottage at Calgary, just a stone’s throw from the stunning beach at Calgary Bay. This a magical place where the sea and sky are a constantly changing presence and the colours have gently woven their way into the most recent batch of larger scarves to have found their way off my loom. When I’m weaving, I begin with an idea of the colours and atmosphere I’m in search of, winding these into the warp. Once the warp has been put onto the loom, I combine a variety of weave patterns with a range of colours and textures of weft threads to paint the full picture.

A new way of working

This year has brought many challenges, but somehow I’ve managed to keep working through it, albeit in different ways. Often, my creative practice has been a refuge from everything that has been going on in the world. After a regular start to the year, home schooling, combined with a studio move, suddenly meant that I had much less time to spend in my studio. Working at home, I concentrated on developing new ideas on paper, mixed media pieces which are an important part of my design process, as well as being artworks in their own right. An order of shantung silk from Bart and Francis gave me a broader palette of colours to work with, and the results have since found their way into my woven work.

Upcoming events

I have an open studio planned for the 6th/7th November for those who are in The Hague and surroundings. More details will follow closer to the time… you can join my mailing list (link on homepage) to make sure you don’t miss it.

News

I was so pleased to see my interview with KOEL Magazine published this month on the KOEL Magazine blog. In it, I talk about my motivation to weave, my work and how I came to the place I find myself in now. You can take a look by clicking here.

Studio view

Finally, I’ll leave you with the current inspiration board on the wall of my studio. Ideas, colours, samples; a melting pot of potential… who knows where it will lead.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into my weaving practice, thank you for reading this far, and hope to see you here again soon!

Veronica