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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

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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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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Exhibition: The Jacquard Project | Hannah Robson

In March 2023, Sunny Bank Mills will present a unique project of collaborative work led by weaver and artist Hannah Robson. Hannah has created a series of dynamic woven textiles using an industrial jacquard loom at Bradford College.

These striking fabrics have been developed in partnership with four local artists: a sculptor, a jeweller, a weaver and a mixed-media artist.

Hannah describes her motivation for the project:
‘I wanted to work with other artists to open up the process of weaving, which can be very technical and hard to access outside of an industrial setting. Weaving is a magical process that offers infinite possibilities in terms of design, colour and surface. It has been stimulating for me to see how each collaboration has unfolded and the results are distinct and surprising.’

In 2021, Hannah began working with an industrial loom that needed some attention at Bradford College. Through The Jacquard Project she has coaxed the machine back to life with the help of local weavers and loom tuners, who generously advised her, replaced parts and serviced the machine.

Some of these conversations have been captured in a fascinating film created by Karanjit Panesar, intercut with footage of the action of the loom as it weaves, revealing the atmosphere of making cloth and sharing skills.
Link to film: https://youtu.be/G-blWyqmiBw

The Jacquard Project celebrates the weaving heritage of West Yorkshire through the process of creative exchange and collaboration. These new textiles have a contemporary and conceptual edge, presented as large panels on wooden frames. The cloths carry evidence of the making process – the experimentation and exploration, colour and scale variations, yarn testing, and the glitches of the loom. Continue reading →

Theo Rooden: Visual Artist

Visual artist Theo Rooden (The Netherlands, 1969) loves to take advantage of weaving techniques to build his geometric abstract compositions. In many of his works he challenges the flatness of the fabric with optical effects.

With his self-imposed rules he searches for interesting rhythms and patterns. Possibilities and constraints of the loom and yarn are a source of inspiration. Rooden prefers to make series of works to explore in detail the consequences of algorithms and its variants. When translating a design into a woven fabric, the self-imposed rules need to be bent opening a space for unexpected and interesting results. Intuition regarding colours and composition shape final choices.

Being trained as an Industrial Design Engineer, his path led him more and more to being autonomous to create beautiful things, first in graphic design, later as a visual artist. With a lifelong fascination for patterns he started weaving in 2018. As a fast learner he was able to balance his already developed personal style with the principles of weaving. In 2021 he acquired a damask handloom.

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Weaving Eucalyptus Project: Liz Williamson

Since November 2019, Liz Williamson has invited friends and colleagues in Australia, India and elsewhere to be part of her Weaving Eucalyptus Project, requesting them to colour two metres of silk fabric with locally sourced Eucalyptus leaves.

Liz states “I developed this project in response to an invitation from Dr Kevin Murray to participate inMake the world again: textile works from Australia’ to be shown in Vancouver, Canada in May 2020 as part of their Crafted Vancouver month. The brief called for exhibitors to rethink how they would like the world to be, to develop different strategies for making and how textiles have influenced our world. My proposal involved inviting artists in Australia and India to collaborate with me by colouring cloth with a local eucalyptus which I then wove into panel approximately 17cm wide x 120cm long. The installation titled Cultural Shadows interwove local colour, cultural connections and weaving traditions and represents a community of practice linked by an interest in the natural world, natural materials / processes, and the environment.

This work followed on from recent work which has referenced the rag rug tradition, weaving plant dyed silk fabric in strips as the weft and the Australian ‘making do’ and ‘wagga’ quilt tradition in using readily available, locally sourced colour; unfortunately, not repurposed fabric”

Make the world again: textile works from Australia’ showing in Vancouver was cancelled due to the pandemic but the exhibition was launched online on 21 May 2020 and at the end of 2020 was shown at the Australian Tapestry Workshop in Melbourne until early March 2021. The Cultural Shadows installation included eleven panels from the Weaving Eucalypts Project all woven from silks dyed by Australian and Indian artists and although not comprehensive of the range of colours hidden in Eucalyptus leaves, the colours in these panels reflected each place, while the process and the finished work will represent friendship, community, exchange and expertise. All artists and the species used are acknowledged in the exhibition documentation. Click here for more information
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Rescheduled: My Bones Are Woven: Ann Sutton in Words & Film | The British Library

Rescehduled event: Ann Sutton will be talking about her work and the new film about Ann ‘My Bones Are Woven’ will be shown at The British Library on Fri 16th Sept 2022 Time: 19.00 – 20.45.

To attend this free event click here 

 

 

The Experimental Weave Lab Launch: April – September 2022

The Experimental Weave Lab, (TEWL), is the City of London’s first contemporary, innovative, experimental textile weaving season. Curated by Philippa Brock and Elizabeth Ashdown, this six-month season supports an exciting programme of short and long-term weaving residencies, talks, workshops and outreach work culminating in a final exhibition throughout most of September 2022. The season aims to explore the experimental, sustainable and interstitial spaces that weavers work within throughout UK craft, research, art, design and industry. All events will be announced on a monthly basis, from the start of April 2022 on The Experimental Weave Lab website and on instagram @the_experimental_weave_lab

Each resident will be tasked with pushing the boundaries of their practice within their time at the Lab, with the residencies being supported to enable all residents to be able to spend a prolonged period of time researching and developing both new and established approaches to their craft. There are experimental textile workshops being led by Residents of TEWL, Amber Roper and Sarah Ward at The Brady Centre with the ‘A’ Team in April 2022. There will also be a living archive lodged on the website detailing the processes and outcomes at the end of the season.

The Experimental Weave Lab aims to connect with London based events throughout the programme, including London Craft Week, The Crafts Council Make, Make! Craft! Live! and London Design Festival.

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