Exhibition: Marie Hazard & Masaomi Yasunaga

Tristan Hoare is delighted to present a dual exhibition of works by French weaver Marie Hazard and ceramics by Japanese artist Masaomi Yasunaga, curated by Sonya Tamaddon. Both threading and ceramics embody notions of being enmeshed, finding connections, coming apart, thus disclosing multiple incarnations, formats, densities, and textures. In the woven works of Hazard and in the ceramic vessels of Yasunaga, the artists make a poignancy of the familiar by allowing rituals of life and their affiliated embellishments to be misconstrued. Both artists engage in radical acts to bring their artworks to life, stripping their chosen mediums of their centuries-long ties to function.

Hazard and Yasunaga embody the spirit of termite artists, a term coined by Manny Farber in 1962 to articulate an artist’s lack of ambition towards gilt culture but rather a squandering, beaverish endeavour in their approach to art-making. While pottery is typically formed by clay, fired in a kiln and sealed with a finishing coat of glaze, Yasunaga employs glaze as his primary material from which he builds his sculptural works, enlisting fire as his sculpting tool. Each fragile glazed construction is prepared for firing by an act of burial under protective layers of sand and kaolin which organically fuse together in the kiln. After ceding a measure of control to fortuity in the firing stage, Yasunaga unearths the object, enacting a ritual performance of interment, transformation, exhumation. This process is influenced by the Japanese doll making method of Hariko, a papier-mâché technique introduced to Japan between the 8th and 12th centuries.

In the spring of 2020 Yasunaga introduced found stones and mosaic tiles into this practice. Deepening both the notion of the termite process to the work and an element of chance, Yasunaga began deploying tiles to the surface of his works prior to firing them. Yasunaga recalls, “this discomfort indicated the possibility that my own boundaries of beauty existed around the periphery.” In his practice, objects once functional with human activities are reconsidered in a state of material death and it is through this process the artist’s pursuit of beauty lies. With these innovations in non-functional, expressive ceramics, Yasunaga extends the influence of this process into the 21st century towards a significant collective reconsideration of what ceramic sculpture has been throughout its history and what it can become.

This notion of time and materiality also lies central to Hazard’s practice. Hazard’s medium of choice is weaving, drawing upon studies of pastel on paper, photography, painting, printmaking, and literature as research materials to inform her works conceived on the loom. Etymologically the word “text” is derived from the Latin word “texere” meaning woven. Pre-Columbian textiles were made for communication prior to the adaptation of written language. If one looks closely they may find a phrase by Rimbaud delicately disguised into Hazard’s weavings – “on ne part pas” (we are here forever). Continue reading →

Job: The Bristol Weaving Mill Ltd | Head of Product Development. Maternity Cover

Role: Head of Product Development: Maternity Cover

The role is to commence in August 2024 under a fixed-term contract (12-13 months)
PT Role, 24 hours per week, salary dependent on experience

Bristol Weaving Mill (BWM) work across both fashion and interiors, designing, developing, and manufacturing woven products and fabric for a variety of outcomes. End uses include but are not limited to Ready to Wear and Couture Menswear and Womenswear fabrics, finished shawls and scarfs, interior drapery, tapestry panels, upholstery fabric and finished interior soft accessories and products such as throws, blankets and cushions.

From their largest commercial client to the smallest personal project, each of their client relationships are based on offering a service catered to their individual needs.
BWM are looking for a driven and passionate leader with previous experience to head up their small Product Development team.

The successful applicant will need to be an excellent communicator and extremely organised with impeccable attention to detail and quality. The ability to self-motivate and
work independently as well as in a team is essential. A real passion for hand-weaving and woven design is essential for this opportunity to contribute to a small and dynamic creative business.

Project Management:
 Leading the Product Development team, setting and delivering monthly targets for client projects.
 Together with the Production Manger to lead the organisation and monitoring of critical paths in line with company targets.
 Together with the Production Manger to ensure work being completed by BWM sub-contractors runs smoothly.
 Researching and implementing new supplier relationships when necessary.
 Overseeing the division of responsibilities among the BWM Team and flagging up daily and weekly priorities.
 Working closely with the team to make sure that any targets are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time specific.
 Upholding the systems and procedures to ensure efficient and consistent productivity standards in the mill, including project management schedules and project documents.
 Effectively communicating any changes to project critical paths to clients.
 Weekly planning meetings including reporting to company Directors.

Product Development:
 Oversee the Product Development team to ensure the workload is prioritised and distributed, and that projects are running smoothly and on-time.
 Managing key client accounts for existing clients and developing new ones.
 Align any personal design style with the BWM house style and successfully assume and amplify individual client aesthetics through design work.
 Working closely with clients to develop their design ideas through meetings, trend research, mood- boards, CADs and handloom samples.
 Hand-weave design samples for clients and directing other members of the BWM team to weave clientsamples.
Design CADs for clients and projects using Pointcarre weave software and Photoshop, including simulations of products and fabric, and developing original peg-plans and weave structures for client sampling.
 Preparing designs for production thorough and organised digital documentation of design
developments, including product spec sheets, weave tickets, photographic records, and digitised mood-boards.
 Liaising with Production team to ensure projects are handed over accurately and in a timely manner.
 Always designing for the target market, ensuring fabrics and products are costed accurately and in-line with client price-point. Working with suppliers and in-house systems to provide detailed and accurate costings for clients as part of the design development process.
Client Communication:
 Handling customer inquiries for the mill, maintaining communications with existing and new clients remotely by phone, video chat and email.
 Initiating digital meetings and telephone calls with clients and meeting with existing and new clients in-house and at customer premises (mostly UK based only).
 Updating clients on project progress throughout.
 Manage client accounts, including issuing Quotes, Order Confirmations and Invoicing.

Training is provided for operation of in-house handlooms and CAD software (Pointcarre), but a thorough understanding of hand-weaving and woven construction, and previous experience with weaving software is essential for the role.

To apply please email your CV together with a covering letter and your digitalised portfolio, all in
PDF format to juliet@bristolweavingmill.co.uk by 6pm on Friday 31 st May 2024.

Publication | Woven Optical Illusions : Pattern and Designs from Four to 24 Shafts

Woven Optical Illusions: Patten and Design from Four to 24 Shafts is authored by Stacey Harvey-Brown and Katharina Kronig. Published by The Crowood Press Ltd. ISBN no: 0719843391

Optical illusions are very much part of our time but have been around for hundreds of years. They never cease to fascinate.

Woven Optical Illusions is a newly published book which explores how these effects can translate into woven cloth, the scientific background behind illusory effects and how they can inspire the handloom weaver to develop their creativity.

There are five different chapters, each looking into one particular group of effects and taking the reader from an image to the finished sample. Examples are given to show how to develop the initial inspiration further along with analysis of the visual processes and how to observe them to create the illusion in weaving.

From four shafts through to 24 shafts, the book offers possibilities for weavers at any level of expertise. Particular attention is paid to weavers with eight-shaft looms. The principles behind the development of each sample are explained and all samples are accompanied by explanatory drafts. Plain weave, a large array of tied weaves, colour-and-weave structures, doubleweave and its variations are all used and explained throughout the chapters. A final chapter with technical weaving notes explains these weave structures in more detail.

Within the publication there is a gallery with complex weavings by experienced weavers, mostly with multi-shaft looms, shows the unlimited potential for woven optical illusions.

With many thanks to Stacey Harvey-Brown & Katerina Kronig for the text and image

Job: The Bristol Weaving Mill Ltd. Production Assistant Maternity Cover Role

Role to commence in June/July 2024 under a 1 year fixed-term contract, 35 hours per week.

Salary £21,000 per annum.

The Bristol Weaving Mill Ltd are looking for an organised and proactive weaving mill Production Assistant with advanced knowledge of woven textiles, and meticulous attention to detail. Reporting directly to the Production Manager this role requires a confident and skilled hand-weaver with an interest in industrial manufacturing and sustainable textiles. The successful applicant will have excellent communication skills, be self-motivated and hard-working, able to follow instruction and work well in a dynamic small team. Experience working with industrial machinery is desirable but not essential.

 Production Assistant Maternity Cover Job Role Description:

Organisation and Logistics:

  • Assisting the Production Manager with procurement by monitoring the status of deliveries.
  • Communicating with cut-and-sew subcontractors handing over technical direction.
  • Preparing finishing sheets, Quality Control management and recording.
  • Assisting the Production Manager with logistics.
  • Packing and distribution of fabric rolls, yarn and products in line with project timescales.
  • Assisting with organization of stock and annual stock checks.
  • Archiving of finished projects including technical files and samples.
  • General housekeeping – regular tidying, keeping space organised and manageable.

Technical and Weaving:

  • Assisting the Production Manager with the creation and organisation of CAD files and weave tickets for in-house and outsourced production designs.
  • Under the direction of the Production Manager and Product Development team, working on hand-woven samples ready for industrial application.
  • Hand-weaving of production lengths and products, ensuring targets are met.
  • Setting up of weaving looms from warp winding to threading and reeding.
  • Checking and mending loom-state fabric.
  • General maintenance and upkeep of hand-weaving looms.
  • Cut-and-sew processes including sewing labels and cutting blankets and scarfs.

In-house Industrial Operations:

  • With the support of the Production Manager, working on the general set-up and operation of in-house industrial loom.
  • Creating, checking through and assembling punch-cards for industrial weaving loom.
  • Assisting with the organization of warps for the in-house industrial weaving loom.

Training is provided for operation of in-house looms and CAD software, but a thorough understanding of hand-weaving and woven construction, and previous experience with some weaving software is essential for the role.

To apply please email your CV together with a covering letter and your digital portfolio of weaving to juliet@bristolweavingmill.co.uk by 6pm on Friday 5th April 2024.

Happy New Year 2024

Exhibition: Woven/Unwoven | Laura Thomas

Woven / Unwoven is a major new exhibition of artworks by Laura Thomas at Ruthin Craft Centre, open from the 30th September – 7th January 2024.

The exhibition represents a distillation of all of Laura’s areas of interest in working with thread, making both woven and unwoven works. The transformation of passive threads, held taut on a loom to be woven into a fabric or placed into position to be encapsulated in glass or resin has kept her transfixed for over two decades and is at the very root of this collection of works.

Laura uses threads as lines to evoke what captures her attention in the world around her whether that be coastal horizons; the edge of a hillscape where land meets sky; a full moon; or the minutiae within coastal strata’s and sand patterns that have captivated her since childhood.

Untypical weave structures have always been a hallmark of Laura’s practice, and are indeed fundamental to this new body of work. Many of the textiles are open Spanish Lace constructions, or sparse leno weaves, with selectively cut weft floats allowing for views through the surface at what lies beyond. Rya knots and cut corduroy’s create inviting surfaces evoking coastal grasses and furrowed fields.

Continue reading →

Double Weave: Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

Double Weave: Bourne and Allen’s Modernist Textiles

This autumn, Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft will be marking ten years since their major redevelopment with an exhibition about the museum’s co-founder Hilary Bourne (1909 – 2004) and Barbara Allen (1903 – 1972), her partner in life and creative practice.

The pair ran an internationally successful textile studio, designing and making a variety of fabrics – tweed for Fortnum & Mason, furnishing fabric for Heal’s and scarves for Liberty. The turning point in their career came in 1951, when they won the competition to design and make textiles for the newly built Festival Hall. They went on to win commissions to make the costumes for the multi-Oscar winning 1959 film Ben-Hur and the interiors of the UK’s first jet planes.

In short, they were two of the most significant textile designers of the modernist period, yet they remain largely unknown – until now.

Double Weave will give space to their story. It will speak to the invisibility of women as leading modernist designers and how women’s intimacy informs creative pursuits.

High profile commissions undertaken by the pair will be on display, such as the costumes from Ben-Hur and curtains designed for the Ceremonial Box at the Royal Festival Hall. Visitors can see Bourne and Allen’s innovative use of natural dyes for hand woven textiles, as well as examples of their early adoption of the metallic yarn, Lurex.

Continue reading →

Grants: Theo Moorman Trust for Weavers

 Theo Moorman Trust

Applications for grants are invited from weavers living and working in the UK. Those who have recently completed higher education need to have two and a half years working experience before applying.

Grants are available to enable weavers to purchase equipment and materials; take a sabbatical to reassess the creative nature of their work; pursue a specific project; or develop in any other way approved by the Trustees.

The closing date for applications is 1 February 2024

Criteria and application forms are available here

Email application and good quality images to the Trust’s administrator: email here

With thanks to the Theo Moorman Trust and Jacy Wall for the  detail image and text.

Opportunity: Whitchurch Silk Mill | Trainee Weaver

Whitchurch Silk Mill is looking for a Trainee Weaver who is keen to learn about making silk on their Victorian machinery. As a working museum, they need someone with a practical hands-on approach with a genuine interest in heritage and weaving silk on tappet and dobby looms. During this one-year training post the trainee will learn how to wind, warp and weave and work in this working museum in the heart of the Hampshire countryside.

The Trainee Weaver will receive:
Full time, paid placement
£19,000 pa
Training in the operation of a Grade Two* listed Silk Mill, including winding, warping, weaving and the operation of a visitor attraction
Time to study
Work alongside the Weaver Tacklers, Mill Engineer and the Mill team
Learn about all aspects of silk production on our historic machinery
Develop skills, such as guiding and working in a visitor attraction

To apply, please send a CV and a covering email letter to Sue Tapliss (click on name for address) by Monday 4th September 2023.

Please do not send portfolios / photographs
Closing Date: 5.00pm Monday 4th September 2023

With thanks to Whitchurch Silk Mill for text and image


Anita Sarkezi | Weave Designer & Award Winner

Winner of the Weavers’ Company Award at New Designers

Anita Sarkezi was born to working-class Slovenian migrant parents in Sweden and returned to Slovenia during her school years. She has since then lived in several European countries, moving to Scotland in 2018.

Sarkezi’s textile design practice is motivated and informed by her Slavic cultural background. Her work is grounded in the interwoven histories of rural material culture and post-colonialism in Central and Eastern Europe, where she questions the traditional use of floral patterns as national symbols.

Her practice explores the relationship between organic and geometric shapes. Using the TC2 digital loom, Sarkezi constructs an imaginary space consisting of personal ornaments and motifs, as well as bold and gradient uses of colour. This serves as a visual metaphor for the flux of movement and migration and an outlet for her personal narrative as a migrant.

Sarkezi gathers visual information through wandering, catching and recording glimpses of nature in urban centres, then incorporating them into a new reality utilising digital and analogue ways of working.

Sarkezi’s approaches to drawing, colour and design exploration are intuitive and chaotic yet neatly edited at the end of the process. They’re all intertwined throughout the creative journey, and she feels colour exploration can end up in a drawing and design exploration can become a drawing. Form does not exist without colour. Each drawing, colour and design exploration has been collaged from diverse sources, aiming to create something that is ‘original’ and is an expression of her own identity and heritage.

Continue reading →