Attraction, repulsion the fascination with men’s facial hair takes on many forms. It was in fact a friends unwavering appreciation that first inspired this design.
Originally intended as a piece of wall art the design process was enormous fun. The moustache is definitely the male accessory of the moment. Researching the various styles and shapes proved enlightening. Pencil, walrus and handlebar these words all had very different meanings before I began this project.
The challenge came when transforming my research into a suitable weavable design, The warp was set up as a simple point draft threaded over all 24 shafts. I used an extra weft technique to create the moustache shape.
Along the way I experimented with various scales, spacing and colours, settling on a simple monochrome palette for my first trial
This is only the beginning, there is still more experimenting to be done. I definitely think the spacing needs to be addressed as some of them appear a little bunched up at present. The order of the moustache styles could also be improved. To be continued….
I thought it best before I begin making up my new warp, I would use the remaining few feet of an existing one I still have threaded onto my loom. A simple point draft threaded over all 24 shafts provided the perfect bed to weave off another chicken themed piece.
In this instance my little ex-bat Dot, re-homed through the British Hen Welfare Trust became the design’s inspiration, effortlessly posing for drawings and photos she made the perfect muse.
I experimented with a couple of design ideas, building on the success of my earlier work. I have kept the draft plan relatively simple opting for a twill structure for the majority of the design. The outline shape has seen the most dramatic change from its earlier incarnations.
The colour choices have been kept relatively true to life, I even got Dot involved in the colour matching much to her bemusement.
I am absolutely smitten with this design and intend weaving off as much of it as the warp will allow. Perhaps then framing the finished piece or if I have enough turning into a cushion.
At present my time is split. I am in the process of weaving off larger sample pieces from one of my favourite collections. My plan is to develop ideas for interior and fashion products. Unfortunately with my weaving width restricted to only 20” this process will take a little time, once complete though I am keen to begin selling the finished items.
The remainder of my time is spent researching for my new collection. The inspiration behind the project came from a recent trip to New York and a visit to the cities Metropolitan Museum of Art. Once inside I was fascinated by the art from ancient Egypt in particular the heavily patterned wall tiles and murals which I thought would translate well into woven designs.
Now with the colour palette in place my focus is on developing potential peg plans and structure ideas.
As I fast approach my 30th Birthday it would seem like no better time than the present to banish all my irrational fears of self promotion and set about photographing and cataloging my work. I thought it best to start from the beginning and over the course of the next few entries document my work from my graduation up until present day. In the past exhibiting has been largely restricted to local craft fairs and art events, with the response largely positive I hope to one day turn my very expensive hobby into something I can devote my time too fully. I look forward to keeping you up to date with current projects and future plans.
From the beginning
I studied Textiles at Winchester College of Art, specialising in woven textiles, during this period I experimented extensively with techniques and weaving processes. My inspiration was often varied and I developed my ideas through a combination of research, observational drawings, photographs and windings. In 2006 I graduated and my final project was made up of a mix of both dobby and jacquard samples. The style of my work was heavily influenced by Anni Albers. I became particularly interested in her use of unorthodox materials and pictorial weaving.
New Designers 2006
Winchester College of Art 2006 – Graduation Show
This was the last of my physical weaving for several years. I worked in men’s fashion for a time before leaving to pursue a more creative outlet. It was then I had the opportunity to purchase my Loom. Since then I have allowed myself time to refine my skills and develop a collection of samples that reflect my present style, combining rich colours and varied patterns.
Crazy chicken lady
Before I continue I need to introduce two very important ladies (chickens) in my life, Dot and Bert, who spend their day’s idly sitting in my garden studio providing me with countless hours of entertainment and an endless source of inspiration.
Although on this occasion I have to concede the design looks more like owls than chickens (I think at the time I got swept up in all the owl craziness)