Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Online exhibition: From Back to Front, curated by Jessica Hemmings

"From Back to Front is an online curatorial project which gathers together recent examples of tapestry weaving that expose their construction: warp threads are left dangling, even the frame of the loom remains integral to some finished works. These visible traces remind us of the vast potential of the woven structure. Exhibitors include Ann Cathrin November Hoibo, Emelie Rondahl, Jennifer Hunt, Katharine Swailes, Lucy Brown (pictures below), Nicole Pyles & Tonje Hoydahl Sorli."

Commissioned by the American Tapestry Alliance and the Laffer Curatorial Program

With due thanks to Jessica Hemmings for sharing this information with me, via her email newsletter.

Lucy Brown, 2009-10, 99 x 138 x 40 in., EPI variable. Rayon (upholstery) cord, vintage and second hand garments, negligées, lingerie. Photo: David Ramkalawon. (Installed at the Rochester Art Gallery, England).

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Eleanor Pritchard

Eleanor Pritchard is a creator of seriously elegant and easily covetable blankets, cushions and a recently added upholstery collection. Sophisticated colour palettes woven in wool, are realized in double cloth and other clever structures. With an ever-growing international clientele, its easy to understand why business is flourishing. It goes without saying I adore the work, but I also really admire the careful styling of all the shots of her products. 

In her own words:

I have always loved playing with colour and pattern. My work often has a mid-century quality and I feel a strong affinity for the aesthetics and design philosophy of this era. Alongside this runs a deep interest in vernacular British textiles and I see much of my work as a re-interpretation of these traditions and techniques for a contemporary audience.

All images reproduced with kind permission from http://www.eleanorpritchard.com/home.htm 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Dash + Miller

Dash + Miller is a brilliant weave design studio based in Bristol, established four years ago. Founded by the talented Juliette Bailey and Franki Brewer, they specialize in producing clever woven samples and meterage for businesses across the spectrum of fashion and interiors. Clients have included Habitat, Pringle of Scotland, DAKS, Jonathan Saunders, Mulberry and Calvin Klein Home.

They work out of an beautiful studio in a converted old schoolhouse. High ceilings and white walls make the shelves of yarns sing and the work on the looms command your attention. I visited them recently to discuss all things 'weave' and left very inspired but with severe studio envy.  Their neatly ordered and perfectly labelled storage and lack of clutter made me return home to have a good tidy up of my mess. Not that you'd guess, should you saw it...... (a work in progress).

Their latest design work to hit the high street is as part of the Best of British range for Marks and Spencer SS14. The line can be found in M&S stores at Marble Arch and Kensington in London, Edinburgh, Bluewater in Kent, and Camberley in Surrey, as well as available online.

There are two garments in this first collection showcasing Dash + Millers unique collaboration with UK ninth generation silk weavers, Stephen Walters & Sons.  Two-tone graphic jacquard's have been selected for a Bomber jacket and dress.

Hope that this collection proves to be a sell-out, not only in recognition of Dash + Millers excellent work with Stephen Walters, but also to serve as encouragement to M&S (and other UK retailers) to start bringing more manufacturing back on-shore.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Penny Wheeler

Last month I was really delighted to see this piece of work at the annual Portal graduate showcase exhibition at Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre in Cwmbran. I had seen images of the work by Penny Wheeler beforehand online, and they were intriguing enough for me to know that I HAD to see the work in the flesh. Those that know my work will understand when I say that I'm very drawn to the power of the unwoven thread as much as the woven thread, hence my admiration. Its not often that I manage to get along to exhibition private views these days, but this one I managed and so I was particularly pleased to meet Penny at the event. She very patiently chatted with me about her work whilst I attempted to keep my very busy 19month old from careering into the ceramics on display (hence not often going to exhibition pv's at the mo......)

A recent MA graduate from Bath School of Art, Penny has a wonderful sense of colour, and the trailing threads offer the perfect counterbalance to the structured woven cloth. I also love her use of the inlay technique, drawing with thread on the surface of the cloth.  

The Portal exhibition has now travelled to Oriel Davies in Newtown, where you can see the work until 2nd January.  

Penny is also part of a very interesting new textile collective called Seam. The members are based in and around Bath and have a forthcoming exhibition, which I'd suggest is a must-see event for your diary should you be nearby:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Hiroko Takeda

I studied alongside Hiroko Takeda at the Royal College of Art, and so have long admired this seriously clever weaver. After a thorough grounding in Japanese textile traditions, a career as commercial textile designer in Japan then followed, before deciding to come to the UK to undertake an MA in woven textiles at the RCA.

Upon graduation she was unsurprisingly snapped up by the ground breaking Larsen Studio in NYC. After nearly a decade working there, she founded her own studio practice in Brooklyn, and has since worked on many inventive commissions and projects within the domestic and contract furnishings field. Recently she designed the panel drapery for ski resort in France.  Other exciting projects include creating work for the Christian Dior boutique in Milan, Beverly Hills and Shanghai for the VIP room wall.

Hiroko has an absolutely innate sensitivity to yarn and finish, and it never ceases to amaze me how she can take recognisable weave structures into such new territory. And I can't describe how much I covet the wrap in the picture above.......

Do check out this interview for more insight as well as her beautiful website.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Louise Tucker

Louise Tucker creates extraordinary hand woven lighting that is incredibly desirable and very cleverly executed.  She will be launching her latest collection at TENT this coming September, and is definitely a name to watch. Expect a beautiful exhibition of elegant, covetable work......

From her press release:

Welsh designer Louise Tucker will be showing her collection of contemporary lighting at London’s premier design event, Tent, as part of London Design Week 2013. A graduate of the Textiles Masters course at Chelsea College of Art and a weave designer with experience working within the Indian Silk industry, Louise is a designer who has been continuously fascinated by the possibilities of natural materials and woven structures. 

Launching her studio earlier in 2013, Louise has aimed to develop a practice that blurs the boundaries between craft and design. 

‘I want to make meaningful interior products that showcase the sophisticated beauty of natural materials.’ 

Over the last few months Louise’s hand crafted designs have been seen at major design events. These have included an exhibition with London’s dynamic exhibition organisers Designersblock as part of the Milan Salone 2013 and showcasing with the University Arts London’s Selected stand at Pulse London.

Supported by the Arts Council Wales, Louise will be exhibiting at Tent with a new range of PREN woven lights. Inspired by traditional weaving techniques and organic forms, the PREN lighting range has been woven out of sustainably sourced specialist wood veneer. Each PREN light pattern is developed by continuously making intricate small scale model. The design is only finalised when the organic forms balance with the subtle beauty of the wood to create a sophisticated simplicity. The woven forms not only create a sculptural object but a delicate light feature. Being a handmade product every light piece is unique and represents the time and care of the maker.