You are browsing the Workshops category



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 →

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 →

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 →

Shane Waltener: Weaving as Performance

Shane Waltener’s practice is rooted in ideas about ecology, sustainability and reuse. Taking the form of objects, installations and performances, Waltener draws inspiration from a range of craft practices ranging from textile and basketry weaving to needlecraft and ceramics. Weaving however is at the core of his work.

The artist shares anthropologist Tim Ingold’s view that making is a modality of weaving, not the reverse. Making anything, whether a building with bricks and mortar or verbal communication composing words into sentences is a weaving process. If art is a matter of organising chaos into pattern, the artist’s work is essentially that of a weaver.

Waltener champions the idea of weaving as an ‘embodied’ practice, one that engages the whole body. He is a member of Ambient Jam, an improvisation ensemble which explores movement and music with tactile sculptures. Working with them has led Waltener to use methods common to dance and movement practitioners, relying on improvisation as well as acquired routines and skills in order to develop work. The making process is then recorded as a performance score.

Exemplifying this way of working is his recent work with The Building Action Group (BAG) during his residency at Academie Minerva in Groningen, The Netherlands; the third and final project in a programme following Hella Jongerius and Anotonio José Guzman. In response to the earthquakes caused by gas mining in the province of Groningen, that led to more than 100 collapsed buildings, 400 more being condemned and some 100,000 people being displaced since the early 1990s, the artist proposed to weave a house entirely from locally sourced soil and plant material. Continue reading →

Cockpit Arts: Festival of Making

Cockpit Arts will be hosting their annual Festival of Making event from Friday June 19thJune 21st 2020. Running over three days, this free virtual celebration will feature 65 events run by over 80 of London’s leading makers. The festival is taking place across Zoom, Instagram and Facebook.

Featuring a range of workshops, panel discussions, live demos and studio tours, all led by some of London’s most exciting makers. Three woven textile artist and designers will be delivering the following exciting events across the weekend:

Friday June 21st  at 7pm Nadia-Anne Ricketts, an award winning woven textile designer, invites you to ‘Tune In’ to a live virtual immersive, meditation sound bath experience, where you’ll be taken on an inward exploratory journey to the field of infinite creative possibilities, by playing the sound vibrations of the gong woven into the frequencies of crystal bowls

Saturday, 20th June at 12pm. Vicky Cowin invites you to virtually visit her Deptford studio. You will see  Vicky’s loom and hear about her experience as one of several Cockpit makers supported by a Clothworkers’ Company Award.

Sunday, 21st June at 12pm. Weaver Kendall Clarke, working from home in a temporary studio, will show you how you can discover local colour from your doorstep in this introduction to natural dyes from summer plants, weeds and leaves. Continue reading →

Profile: Orkney Cloth Company

Orkney Cloth Company
Orkney had a rich heritage of textile weaving which had been lost for over 30 years, and the Orkney Cloth Company is hoping to revive it once again.

Weaving in Orkney completely disappeared in the mid-1970s, when the two mills, Argarden and Sclaters closed. Orkney’s cloth was once more renown than Harris Tweed, well regarded for its softness and lightness, and sold all over the world. Unlike Harris Tweed, without a well known tradition of weaving, Orkney tweed weavers were able to create new and contemporary designs, using bold accent colours.

However, by the mid-1970’s the industry had moved on, with the arrival of ready to wear garments and synthetic materials. Their reluctance to invest in wider looms meant that Harris Tweed had the competitive advantage, and both mills closed down.

The Orkney Cloth Company was started by India Johnson, who aims to revive the industry once again. After arriving in Orkney on a graduate weaving placement with ScotGrad and Orkney Creative Hub in October 2018, she began teaching hand weaving.

Continue reading →

Rita Parniczky: ‘Broken Bones’

Rita Parniczky works with photography, video and sculpture including weave and mixed media. Her work predominantly explores structure, visual change, slow time and human behaviour.

Amongst other awards, the work has received the Wall Hanging Award from The Worshipful Company of Weavers and is included in the permanent collection of the V&A Museum.

Most recently, Rita has become recipient of the Theo Moorman Trust Award. Her project reassessed her woven work investigating the role of textiles through experimentation, with new structural works and meeting Sheila Hicks.

Continue reading →

Uniqlo Tate Late: November 2018 | Weavers Talks / Events

Uniqlo Tate Late – November celebrates all things weaving and other events.

The London Loom Lounge 
Explore the Loom Lounge hosted by The London Loom, brimming with weaving wonders including oversized looms, weaving-inspired badges, yarn displays, music and talks.

18.30–18.50: Nadia-Anne Ricketts, founder of BeatWoven, discusses how she has fused the patterns of music and weaving in her artistic work.

19.30–19.50: Ismini Samanidou, the first weaver-in-residence at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, discusses the links between her weaving practice, photography and improvisation, and Anni Albers’s enduring influence.

20.30–20.50: Dr Priti Veja talks about her research into woven electronic textiles and how she combines innovative design methods with weaving.

21.00–21.20: Do you know your warp from your weft? Join The London Loom’s craft quiz with yarn-inspired prizes at stake. Crafters – this is your chance to shine! Show offs welcome.

Weaving Futures
Meet the next generation of weavers! Drop in to Central Saint Martins’ pop-up weaving lab, hosted by Philippa Brock, jacquard weaver and Tutor, and BA (Hons) Textile Design 2nd Year students – Kieu Vu, Francesca Miotti , Fadhel Mourali and Zoe Daley  to see weaving in action, explore weavers’ sketchbooks and chat to them about their processes.

Audio Tapestry
Explore Stewart Easton’s hand-stitched tapestry where textiles and sound art merge to create a unique audio piece that responds to your touch.

For all other events that night click on the Uniqlo Tate Late link

 

 

Makers’ Tales’: Catarina Riccabona

‘Makers’ Tales’ showcase: Catarina Riccabona at the Guy Goodfellow Collection Showroom

 In celebration of the London Design Festival, textile artist and weaver Catarina Riccabona will be joining the series of  ‘Makers’ Tales’ showcases in the Guy Goodfellow Collection showroom.

Cartarina loves working with her hands. She enjoy the flexibility, the spontaneous changes and the direct contact with the materials that is possible when weaving by hand.

She makes one-off interior pieces, mostly throws, and, more recently, wall hangings.

Her textiles are often large compositions featuring areas of juxtaposed weave structures.

Catarinas’ practice is based on environmental values. She works with a well-researched selection of yarns. She predominantly use natural (unbleached, undyed) linen in her warps. For the weft yarns she likes to work with linen, hemp, wool, alpaca and second-hand or recycled yarns.

Her favourite supplier for plant-dyed wool is a woman in Finland who grows all the ingredients in her own garden and dyes small batches of local rare breed wool by hand.

Every time her results differ slightly, and Catarina loves these subtle and unpredictable nuances.

Recycled linen can be another source of colour and also Catarina buys it from a UK company that re-spins industrial surplus into new yarn. The colours are limited and depend on what is available at any given time. She enjoys this challenge of finding solutions within a set of limitations.

Catarina also collect warp remnants from weave colleagues which she knots them back together to form a continuous string to be used in the weft. During weaving the little knots appear all over the cloth and form a distinct feature that is reminiscent of elements in tribal textiles from all over the world.

This hand-made and natural character that is typical of tribal textiles has always had a strong appeal for her.

‘Makers’ Tales’ showcases invited artists and makers in a series of exhibitions designed to celebrate the fine traditions of artisan design and production.

The latest showcase “Catarina Riccabona Hand-woven Textiles” is on from 17th September to 12th October. She will be at the GGC showroom on the 20th September for a “Meet the Maker” day to discuss her work and explain the ethos behind her practice.

Guy Goodfellow Collection Showroom.15 Langton Street, London SW10 0JB
www.guygoodfellowcollection.com   Tel: 020 7352 9002

Text and images, with thanks to Catarina Riccabona

Exhibition: Le Kilt & Norn

Luxury womenswear brand Le Kilt and experimental design consultancy NORN host an exhibition and workshop at The Michael Hoppen Gallery to explore the reappropriation of traditional materials through craftsmanship and its relationship to punk subculture. The opening night event includes discussions with industry stalwarts as well as a Le Kilt pop-up retail space.

The exhibition features a series of installations that look at the relationship between punk and tradition in the context of craftsmanship. Le Kilt works with small-scale manufacturers to create their version of the modern woman’s uniform, whilst also adding new and unexpected design details such as hand-woven patches made from yarn spun in-house. Similarly, NORN places making and the haptic at the heart of its process; exploring the scope of making beyond conventional expectation of hand skills. Continue reading →