Wessex Weavers Workshop & Open Studios
Well, so much for my New Years’ resolution to write a blog post every month!
As usual my working life is involving spinning lots of different plates; the biggest one recently has been the launch of the Wessex Weavers Workshop in Bridport with fellow weavers Andrea Cunningham and Sally Parker. Through a friend of a friend we heard of an industrial unit available in Bridport, so we made the leap of faith and we just have to make it work now! Sally and I have been hoarding looms for a while now, so it’s great to have them all in one place and now being used by my first Dorset weaving group.
I’m now planning for the Autumn term of weaving classes, but we’re also inviting other fibre craft tutors to run short workshops and we’d love for the workshop to become a real hub for hand weaving, wool and fibre crafts. So far I can confirm a spinning workshop with Amanda Hannaford on Sunday 2nd November and a taster weaving workshop with me on Saturday 18th October.
Coming up really quite soon is Bridport Open Studios from the 23rd – 25th August – over the bank holiday weekend. Andrea and I will be weaving on her beautiful looms (available for hire!) and exhibiting our work. We’re both quite looking forward to a whole weekend of weaving – quite a luxury!
During the following month I will be moving my beautiful countermarch loom to Aneka Truman’s studio in Hambridge for Somerset Art Weeks. This event runs for two weeks and three weekends from the 20th September to the 5th October and again I’m looking forward to weaving in the company of another creative soul. Aneka is a talented fashion designer and is wonderful at tailoring, so I’m hoping that some of her skills will wear off onto me! On Saturday 27th I will be holding a drop in ‘have-a-go’ weaving session and on the 4th October you can try your hand at tailoring with Aneka; two more reasons to drop by and say hello. (That and we’re really close to the lovely Brown and Forrest restaurant!)
This summer I launched my ‘Reflection’ collection of wraps and scarves at the Contemporary Craft Festival in Bovey Tracey. As usual it was a wonderful weekend – everyone is so happy at this event, visitors and exhibitors alike, which means that even when it’s raining and muddy it’s a good event. The scarves were well received and those that didn’t sell were shown at the Totnes Museum of Fashion and Textiles last month and are now at Sladers Yard in West Bay, Dorset.
Shadow weave is a new structure to me and I really enjoyed playing with the structure and colour combinations in this collection, but every time I thought I can predict how it’s going to look, I’m wrong! I think I still have a lot of playing and experimenting to do – I think it’s going to keep me happy for a while. The above scarves are woven in fine worsted wool with the odd pick of cotton slub or silver lurex as a highlight, they range from £150 to £300.
Currently on the loom is a commission for a series of scarves for an alpaca farm on the edge of Exmoor. Here is a sneak peek of the first one, which is currently drying on the line. I imagine this will still be on the loom for Somerset Art Week, so you’ll be able to see how I’m getting on. I also am trying to design a warp for the wide compu-dobby at the Wessex Weavers Workshop ready for the open studios event! Lots of plates spinning, but none have fallen yet!