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Company Profile: Christopher McEvoy

Christopher McEvoy founded his woven studio in 2017 after graduating from the Royal College of Art, London.  

Being a born and bred Glaswegian, with the backing of Deutsche bank’s DBACE award he returned to the city and opened McEvoy Textiles, becoming the first hand weaving mill in the city for over a century.    

Being based in Scotland was always important to Christopher as his heritage and cultural identity has often infomed much of work. A firm believer in the beauty and breadth of Scottish textiles, the studio has made these techniques central to its collections which have been sold all over the world.  

Offering a range of design, production and consultancy services, the studio became known for a contemporary take on Scottish heritage textiles and a championing of new fibres and processes  being applied to traditional techniques.  A way of thinking that has seen the studio produce work for major fashion houses, cultural institutions and automotive market disruptors.

In 2019 in a move to expand the weaving industry in Glasgow, Christopher teamed up with fellow weaver Chantal Allen to found a new mill in the city – VEVAR– offering power loom production on a small accessible scale within the city. The development of Vevar has allowed Christopher to reimagine the purpose of McEvoy Textiles leading to the rebrand and relaunch of the studio in 2021. 

Now under the eponymous label of Christopher McEvoy the studio will continue to produce a seasonal collection of designs each year for sale as well as hand woven lengths of cloth for the luxury market. However there will be an increased emphasis on craftsmanship, process and materiality. 

This celebration of weaving savoir faire is intended to highlight the breadth of the craft.

As well as championing the process of making itself, this will be applied not just in the studios’s collection, but in an increased level of public engagement through workshops, exhibitions and projects.   

Christopher McEvoy Instagram  Continue reading →

Company Profile: Lark & Bower

Sarah Ward is a hand weaver based in Essex, mostly known for her work as The Aviary Studio. Now she launches Lark & Bower, a new endeavour born during the Covid pandemic.

Most of Sarah’s weaving career since 2010 has been spent producing seasonal collections of hand woven swatches which she sold as design ideas, working closely with brands to develop woven concepts and colour stories for their collections.

The ‘enforced pause’ that came with the pandemic, though initially turning the studio on its head, was an opportunity to evolve and diversify, to re-evaluate a weavers place in the industry.

The idea of ‘off-loom’ weaving was conceived during the first lockdown in 2020, when Sarah didn’t have access to her loom or studio. Desperate to weave, she started using leftover yarn and a needle and thread to make small studies of woven structures; twills, hopsacks, houndstooth, waffle.

Now, despite having access to both, she has continued to work on these small, intricate offerings, whilst pondering why woven structure isn’t more celebrated.

Hand-weaving is an often forgotten art, and one which deserves to be appreciated without necessarily being part of a functional or ‘throw away’ item.

As an ancient craft, weaving is deeply connected to what it is to be a human. Like music, weaving developed in many parts of the world simultaneously, long before civilisations had communication with one another – an idea often forgotten in our new digital and industrial world.

Rejecting the constant demand for newness and instead supporting slow-design and sustainable practice, Sarah plans to use these woven pieces to raise awareness about waste and the impact of the textile industry on the environment, and to shine a spotlight on craftsmanship and woven structure as an art form in its own right.

Continue reading →

Exhibition: Pushing The Limits | A Virtual Shaft Weaving Art Exhibition

Pushing the Limits is a virtual shaft weaving artwork exhibition curated by former European Textile Network ETN president -and always a weaver- Lala de Dios (Spain) and textile artist Olivier Masson (France) who has also engineered the exhibition.

Weaving is one of oldest human industries -if not the oldest- and many kinds of looms or weaving devices have been accompanying humankind since the beginning of times. From the backstrap to dobby looms, the history of weaving has been an uninterrupted succession of technological inventions until the arrival of the first Jacquard hand looms in 18th century France.  The rest is history. Today we are living the digital Jacquard loom era. Contemporary textile artists use this tool which allows for an -almost- unlimited freedom to weavers.

This should not hide the fact that many of today’s artists and designers are happily enjoying weaving in shaft looms as weavers have been doing for hundreds of years. Not only to weave the functional textiles so often associated with the machine, but also works of art ; from Anni Albers’ pictorial weavings to Peter Collingwood`s macrogauzes to quote only two well-known examples from the last century.

The exhibition aims to highlight the incredible possibilities of that supposedly limited “machine” to create textile pieces that are works of art in their own right. Continue reading →

Woven Textile Designer: Milou Voorwinden

Milou Voorwinden is a woven textile designer based in the Netherlands. She graduated from the product design department of ArtEZ University of Arts in Arnhem in 2016.

Voorwinden currently runs her own textile design and research studio and works as a jacquard designer and product developer at EE Exclusives.

She specialises in weaving three-dimensional structures and one-piece woven products on the loom. Voorwinden is inspired by traditional weaving techniques and aims to rediscover, renew and apply the techniques in an innovative way using contemporary digital tools.

The Space Between
The Space Between explores the creation and application of knitted and woven spacer fabrics. The project is a collaboration between Milou Voorwinden, Suzanne Oude Hengel and  the Functional Textiles Unit at Eurecat in Spain. By working alongside the machines and closely with the technicians Francesc Mañosa and Francesc Pera of Eurecat, Oude Hengel and Voorwinden are able to engineer each step of the process, allowing for functionalities to be built directly into the fabric Continue reading →

Social Enterprise: AMMA Natural Textiles | Sri Lanka

AMMA Natural Textiles, is a social enterprise championing the tradition of hand weaving in Nuwara Eliya, a tea estate region in Sri Lanka. AMMA was founded by Josie Mackenzie who was curious to explore the role natural dyes play in the Sri Lankan textile industry and how, when used in combination with handloom could contribute to providing livelihood creation for women living rurally.

This innovative business empowers marginalised women by employing them to make handwoven zero waste garments and accessories. AMMA’s current Kickstarter Campaign is raising money through maker made rewards so that they can continue to keep their workshop doors open and their artisans employed on full salaries. Continue reading →

Exhibition: Blanket Coverage

Celebrating the Heritage and Diversity of Weaving
Textile Designer & Artist Laura Thomas curates a long-awaited exhibition platforming contemporary woven design.

Blanket Coverage opens at Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, Cwmbran, south Wales, on 28th November  – 30th January 2021, in a much needed review of how contemporary weavers continue to challenge the notions of this exciting and tactile art form.

The exhibition features 12 designers and businesses, from the very established to emerging names. Margo Selby, Wallace Sewell, Beatrice Larkin and Eleanor Pritchard are all handweavers who work closely with British mills to faithfully interpret their hand-rendered or handwoven designs into production. Catarina Riccabona and Maria Sigma are passionate advocates for sustainability through their handwoven practice, both producing blankets of true character without design compromise. Llio James and Sioni Rhys Handweavers, are Welsh handweavers of blankets cleverly combining colour and weave structure to create captivating patterns. Continue reading →

Cockpit Arts: Clothworker Awards | Weavers

The successful recipients of Cockpit Arts: The ClothWorkers Awards for 2020 are Alicia Rowbotham, Millie Thomas and Francesca Miotti.

Millie Thomas
After graduating from Central St Martins in 2018, Millie has worked within the woven textiles industry  in Italy, designing for an Italian Weaving Mill and  in London for a heritage woven textiles company.

Millie’s work takes a biomimetic approach, taking inspiration from nature to explore and often replicate its principles through design. Her approach is process led, looking at the inner workings of the
natural world, from the grooves in beetle shells to the structural pleats in dragonfly wings to design from. She uses this inspiration to create bold patterns, 3D textures and elegant structures.

Continue reading →

Research Opportunity: Woven Textile Designer/Technologist

Woven Textile Designer/ Technologist | Robert Gordon University and Harris Tweed Hebrides Ltd.

This is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious graduate in Textiles as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate on a 2 -year collaborative project between Harris Tweed Hebrides and Robert Gordon University (Gray’s School of Art and School of Creative and Cultural Business).

KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) supports partnerships between business and universities or research organisations, placing graduates (KTP Associates) to work on innovative high-profile projects.

The post will be based at the company premises at Shawbost Mill, North Shawbost on the Isle of Lewis. The post holder will design and innovate in new woven fabric development that will test the current business model and manufacturing processes to facilitate step-changes in design, manufacture & branding, to produce new fabrics that minimise seasonality and maximise sustainability.

The successful candidate will receive extensive practical and formal training, gain marketable skills, broaden their knowledge and expertise within an industrially relevant project, and gain valuable experience from industrial and academic mentors. The KTP Associate will benefit from a Personal Development Budget of £4,000.

Candidates must ideally possess a Master’s degree in Textile Design or Textile Technology within woven textiles, or a strongly related discipline. However, those with 1st Class Honours degree in the above disciplines should also apply for this post.

The candidate will be expected to have an interest in island culture and living as they will be located on the Isle of Lewis for the duration of the project. They should be self-motivated with an ability to work independently and to tight deadlines within a dynamic and small team environment.

In addition, they must have experience of working in the textile industry, in particular designing within the woven lambswool market. Knowledge of international markets (in particular European, Far East & US) would be an advantage.

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are required, as the ideal candidate must be able to communicate effectively with a range of different individuals. i.e. technical, academic, business and customers. Team working and flexibility will be a key requirement.

Click here for more information on this post and how to apply

Closing date: 8th October 2020

Informal enquires are welcome. Please contact Josie Steed – j.steed@rgu.ac.uk

Company Profile: Vevar

Vevar is a new studio developed from years of passionate interest in both woven cloth and the rich history of Scottish textiles. The product of two award winning designers, Christopher McEvoy-Barton and Chantal Allen, coming together to develop a modern micro mill in the heart of Glasgow’s East End – an area itself steeped in textiles history.

Services available include design and consultancy with expertise in both Dobby and Jacquard cloth design and manufacture; a range of production services for all projects and budgets – from couture handwoven, to larger lengths produced on in house power looms; and professional and career development where skills and expertise is offered to develop knowledge of the world of design, production and micro manufacturing.

With over 20 years’ experience of design and manufacture between them, Christopher and Chantal are equipped to tackle any project with expertise – creating woven textiles across Art, Design and Architecture. Continue reading →

Art Quill Studio & Blog | Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Art Quill Studio: A website featuring glossaries & articles relevant to Textile Art

Marie-Therese Wisniowski works as a full time studio artist, researcher, author, curator, university lecturer and is the former co-editor of Textile Fibre Forum art magazine.

She is the Director of Art Quill Studio & Blog. Her first post on the Art Quill Studio blogspot was published on August 26, 2010 focussing on the first ArtCloth exhibition in Australia featuring international and national textile artists and was titled – ArtCloth: Engaging New Visions and featured important textile artists such as Norma Starszakowna (UK), Joan Schulze (USA), Joan Truckenbrod (USA), Cas Holmes (UK), Jane Dunnewold (USA) and Ken Kagajo (Japan) – amongst others. At the present time over 500 posts have been published.

At the outset Art Quill Studio blogspot was designed to educate as well as to entertain. The education posts were titled, Art Resource, under the header of the post. At the time of writing more than one hundred Art Resources have been published. These are mostly published in the first week of every month. In order to access these resources more quickly, in the ‘Preamble’ of every Art Resource post are links to all of the other Art Resource posts on the blogspot. Example:  One Hundreth Art Resource. Continue reading →