The focus of my own weaving is usually some aspect of the natural world that has inspired me, influencing my choice of colour and textures. For example after having a very close encounter with a pair of Kingfishers whilst in a canoe, I was inspired to weave in oranges and turquoises, a vivid and dramatic colourway.
This weave was inspired by a chance encounter with a pair of Kingfishers that were feeding young as we took a canoe down the river.
Limes and Raspberries.
This recent commission was inspired by my client, who has a beautifully renovated home. Very wisely she has decorated in neutral tones so that she can change her colours with the seasons. She was inspired by the combination of the limes and the raspberry pinks to bring a 'zesty and summer' feel to her home. It was a lovely uplifting piece of weaving to work on and the surroundings made it look even better.
Spinning yarn to achieve the colours and textures is very important to my work. I love colour mixing and being able to card and spin my own fibre to get the effects that I desire.
Recently, I have spun the wool, woven the fabric and made a cushion to match the colours of a newly decorated room in my nephew’s house.
I loved graduating from black to charcoal to orange, it was vibrant and young and fun to make, just like them really!
Occasionally I dye some of my fibre. This is great fun and especially natural dyeing. Last summer I had a fun day with natural dyeing in the garden with a friend. I found weld growing very near to my home on waste ground, so we popped it into the pot and got an amazing yellow which I later spun into yarn and used to weave a coffee cozy commission.
From fibre to finish!
Early on in my weaving adventure I dyed silk to make a scarf, one of my first great achievements. I used a pattern on a greetings card as my inspiration and built my palette around the subtle blues, lavenders, greens and a splash of yellow. I used acid dyes to space dye the different silks, this is a process where you paint colour with the use of a pipette. I used these threads in my warp as well as my weft. I was completely hooked by the time I had finished this scarf, and couldn’t wait for the next project.
SELLING MY OWN PROJECTS
I have sold some of my work at maker’s markets and craft fairs, and have recently had some commissions. Maker’s markets are a great way to stay in touch with customers, get ideas and understand what people are looking for. I would say that the most comments I receive are about colour. Having fun with colour just adds to the joy of making. This is something I encourage the children in my workshops to do, enjoy colour, be bold and experiment to find out what works for you.