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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.

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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.

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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.

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Weave Designer Profile: Fiona J Sperryn

‘Scapes Series’

Fresh from London Craft Week…

‘The Cornish landscape always evokes an emotional response in me. The sun dazzling off the water, the splash of the sea, the salty breeze on my face, the call of the gulls. In ‘Scapes’, I’m responding to these sensations, escaping into my imagination, conjuring a landscape’.

Fiona J Sperryn’s recent body of work has been developed on the TC2 digital jacquard loom from her original mark-making. The creative journey started with dirty charcoal drawing outdoors, using local materials and responding to the essence of landscapes visited and imagined.

This was followed by photography and scanning, a clean digital translation into the coded files recognised by the loom. Bobbins were wound with multiple strands of colour and the pieces were handwoven,  indigo dip-dyed and painted once off the loom.

The largest hanging in the ‘Scapes’ series measures 76 x 170cm and the smallest pieces 18 x 15cm within 28cm frames made of recycled ‘Polcore’. Continuing Fiona’s  work with colour blending on the loom in this series, strands of yarn of varying thicknesses are used together with subtle grading of tone and colour as each piece progresses.

The artworks are handwoven using mainly industrial ‘deadstock’ yarns, which include tencel, linen, bamboo, rayon, silk and cotton. It is important to Fiona to limit purchase of new yarn and the creation of waste.

The series was recently exhibited as part of London Craft Week with Future Icons Selects at the Oxo Tower Bargehouse alongside 70 artists and makers, including a number of tapestry and hand weavers.

Fiona hand weaves her artwork in a rural studio in Cornwall and is an active member of Design-Nation. She produces woven pieces to commission for artists and designers.

Fiona additionally offers expert tuition in digital jacquard weaving on the TC2 loom in her studio and is a lecturer at Falmouth University.

Contact: Fiona J Sperryn
IG: @fionajsperryn
FB: Fiona J Sperryn Art

With thanks to Fiona for the text and images

Exhibition: The Tangible Project for London Craft Week 2023

The Tangible Project

Venue: gallery@oxo Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House St, London SE1 9PH
Dates: 10-14 May 2023
Instagram: @the_tangible_project

Three textile artists Amelie Crépy, Jacqueline James and Line Nilsen are creating The Tangible Project with five other very different artists and makers for London Craft Week, 10-14 May 2023.

This exhibition of over 30 new pieces of fine works celebrates the importance of touch through materials and promotes the inherent value of the handmade in art and design. In a world leaning toward digital encounters where so recently society was restricted from physical contact, touch has never mattered more. Hands exploring materials are the lifeblood of artists, a fluid relationship that ignites expression, understanding and a sense of connection.

Amélie Crépy endeavours to use only the purest of materials and as little as possible, often using just one colour. She seeks to replicate synthetic processes and digital techniques with hand-made pigments, inks, dyes and other mediums. Her love for the physicality of woven fabric, combined with her history as a textile print designer, has inspired the development of her current practice and the layered patterns she produces. For The Tangible Project she is focusing specifically on hand made oak gall ink created from crushed up galls found on oak trees which will be transferred onto pure Linen. Her work will be presented as both traditional framed artworks, as well as a large-scale piece hung from the wall. Instagram: @ameliecrepy

Jacqueline James’ current collection for The Tangible Project has been positively influenced by working with artist and textile designer Amélie Crépy during their collaboration to create ‘The Alchemy of Blue’ for Collect Open 2022. She will be combining natural, luxury yarns, including wool, linen, silk and banana fibre, to accomplish interesting surface texture with a sensory tactile quality.

Her latest work will feature custom dyed and handwoven textiles for both the floor and the wall. Several new designs are motivated by her fascination with sacred geometry. Jacqueline is further exploring the use of natural dyes and is excited to share her new colour palette. Instagram @Jacqueline_james_rugs

Line Nilsen who will be showing a range of handwoven artworks – contemporary crafted paintings with strong ties to traditional textile making. Continuing on from past work, she is exploring hand cut floats and textured surfaces in her recent body of work. Building on ikat dye techniques, Line has developed her own way of achieving a softer brush stroke effect in her work. Her pieces are hand dyed and painted in multiple stages to get the desired look. All her weaves are made on a 16-shaft mechanical dobby loom. Line is using her love of craft and materials to connect the viewer to her native Norway.

Instagram: @linenilsentextiles

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