Dovecot Studio: 21st Century Tapestry | PhD Studentship

21st Century Tapestry: An investigation of smart materials, technology interplay and heritage craftsmanship.

Supported by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH), this studentship offers a unique opportunity to contribute new knowledge and insight within traditional tapestry practice as a structure for smart and e-textile development in partnership with Dovecot Studios and researchers from Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) and the University of Edinburgh (UoE).

This project connects Scotland’s world-renowned tapestry studio with pioneering smart textile design researchers from the School of Arts & Creative Industries (ENU), and Edinburgh College of Art (UoE), and draws on established research within the field of craft practice, smart textile design and technology integration with fine art tapestry weaving.

As one of only five tapestry studios in the world, with a legacy of collaboration with world-class artists and architects spanning over a hundred years, the unique knowledge-base, skillset and working environment, and opportunities for public engagement, provide a unique research framework for the studentship.

The PhD project will explore and question how tapestry practice can embrace innovation in smart materials and create a new marketplace and audience for the medium. Specifically, the research will ask, what does a 21st century smart tapestry look like?

How can the integration of technologies be embedded within traditional heritage tapestry practice and exploit new aesthetics? The project will involve practice-based research methodology and experimental prototyping, providing an experimental counterpoint to literature review work. It will also involve working on looms, using electronic components, conductive and state change materials, reflexive analysis of structural and material tapestry components.

Included in the studentship is an 18-month placement at Dovecot, which will allow studio practice and knowledge exchange, workshops and involvement in wider research networks. Continue reading →

Awards : Cockpit Arts | Weavers

Cockpit Arts has two Awards open for application for talented makers to join the Cockpit Arts community in September 2020. Each of these Awards will provide a subsidised or free space to a Maker, and this round has two spaces on an open discipline Award.

The Cockpit Arts / The Clothworkers’ Company Awards

This Award aims to assist three graduate weavers to set up in business. Weavers can be working in any form: for example, creating products, visual art, working with mills and making samples for industry.

The Award comprises one year’s business support and subsidised studio space at Cockpit Arts Deptford, including space in a shared studio equipped with Leclerc, Louet, ARM looms and a dye area, thanks to The Clothworkers’ Company. The Award is for one year with further financial support for up to two years on a sliding scale, by selection.

  • Deadline for applications: 5pm, Friday 31 July 2020

The Cockpit Arts / Newby Trust Craft Excellence Awards

This Award aims to support two makers to practice their craft at a key stage in their skill development and support their craft business to achieve financial sustainability. The Newby Trust Craft Excellence Award offers two makers each year a rare and valued opportunity to develop their craft skill and excellence in any discipline, nurturing both ability and talent.

The Award comprises one year’s business support and subsidised studio space at Cockpit Arts.

  • Deadline for applications: 5pm, Friday 31 July 2020

Further details and application forms are available to download from their website – https://cockpitarts.com/awards-bursaries/, or please contact maxine@cockpitarts.com for further information or to express an interest.

Text: Cockpit Arts. Image Poppy Fuller – Abbot

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 →

BFTT: SME R&D Support Programme Funding Call | Round 2

The Business of Fashion, Textiles & Technology (BFTT), SME R&D Support Programme is now open for Expressions of Interest (EOI).

The fashion, textiles and technology related sector (FTT) is  innovative and multidisciplinary, informing many adjacent sectors in the wider industry. Quite literally, spanning agriculture to advertising.

This funding call is looking to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the development of the next generation of products, services and experiences in the fashion, textiles and technology sectors – with sustainable innovation at their core.

They look forward to hearing from FTT companies, and those in the wider STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) fields interested in collaborating with the FTT sector, who would like to achieve a step-change in their business trajectory.

You can find more information about the programme, including eligibility, selection criteria, core funding themes and key dates here.

Core themes:

  • Reimagining materials and production
  • Inspiring sustainable consumers
  • Uncovering hidden data and insight
  • Designing new experiences

This year they are also open to partnerships (joint applications), from SME / SME, or SME / SME+ partnerships helping scale the proposed innovations

BFTT SME R&D Support Programme – Expression of Interest Form

BFTT SME R&D Support Programme Round 2 – FAQs

Deadline to register your Expression of Interest: 7 September 2020

Learn more about the 10 R&D projects funded during the initial funding call here.

Text: BFTT. Image credit: © AWAYTOMARS Ltd

Online Exhibition: Complexity 2020 | Innovations in Weaving

Complexity 2020 | Innovations in Weaving

Complex Weavers is an international organisation of weavers dedicated to expanding the boundaries of handweaving. The group encourages members to develop their own creative style, and to inspire others through research, documentation, and innovative ideas.

Its members challenge their skills and imagination by sharing information and innovations with fellow weavers worldwide – both directly and through study groups, Seminars, Complex Weavers Journal, and biennial juried exhibition Complexity.

Every two years members are invited to submit new work for jurying, and the final selections are formally exhibited to the public as Complexity. This year the physical exhibition planned for Knoxville, Tennessee, has been replaced with a virtual exhibition, which has the added benefit of being accessible to a world-wide audience.

The show presents recent textile creations that bear within them some form of complexity, whether they have been woven on a dobby, treadle, table or Jacquard loom. All were made by hand and designed by humans, and all exhibit technical excellence. Complexity 2020 opens at midday on 29 June 2020. 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 →

Scholarships: QEST

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) awards scholarship and apprenticeship funding of up to £18,000 to talented and aspiring craftspeople working in a broad range of skills, from farriery and cheese maturing to jewellery design, textiles, silversmithing and sculpture. Their next application round is open 14 July – 24 August 2020.

QEST celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2020 and since 1990 has awarded over £4.5million to more than 550 individuals working in over 130 different crafts. They define craft broadly and welcome applications from all areas including rural skills, contemporary craft, conservation, luthiery and much more. A directory of all their alumni can be seen on our website, along with more details on how to apply – www.qest.org.uk QEST have two application rounds each year – in January and July.

Job: The Bristol Weaving Mill Ltd | Maternity Cover

Sales & Design Manager Maternity Cover Role.
The Bristol Weaving Mill Ltd.
Role to commence in August 2020 under a fixed-term contract

BWM are looking for a creative and technically confident woven textile designer with product development and sales experience, and the ability to manage project timelines with meticulous attention to detail. The successful applicant will work to nurture and maintain client relationships through pro-active and responsive communication and design work. This role involves overseeing and managing sales, design, and manufacturing schedules for new and on-going projects.

Bristol Weaving Mill  work across both fashion and interiors, designing, developing and manufacturing woven products and fabric for a variety of outcomes. End uses include but are not limited to Ready to Wear and Couture Menswear and Womenswear fabrics, finished shawls and scarfs, interior drapery, tapestry panels, upholstery fabric and finished interior soft accessories and products such as throws, blankets and cushions.

From their largest commercial client to their smallest personal project, each of their client relationships is based on offering a service catered to their individual needs. Most of their customers seek not only the small-batch and locally managed production capabilities of the mill but are also looking to for BWM to provide input and direction creatively, offering technical advice where necessary.

This job will involve working closely and strategically on sales, building upon the existing client
relationships and establishing new ones. In particular, the role will involve management of key client accounts and overseeing commercial design and manufacturing of finished woven products for home interiors. The successful applicant will need to be an excellent communicator and extremely organised with impeccable attention to detail and quality.

As a designer, the ability to assume the aesthetic identity of a wide range of clients is essential. They should be able to handle multiple projects at once, while maintaining excellent communication with customers and colleagues. The ability to self-motivate and work independently as well as in a team is essential.

Continue reading →

Company Profile: Pink House by Rebecca Cole

Pink House by Rebecca Cole collection is championing the traditions of Aso-oke hand weaving in the Yoruba region of Nigeria to the Interior Design Industry. The influx of cheap, imported textiles and mass-produced European style clothing has drastically diminished the artisan weaving industry in Nigeria leaving fewer weaving communities able to make a living from their craft.

By taking an innovative approach to using the beautiful striped and patterned woven strips, as a form of passementerie for interior design, textile designer Rebecca Cole has identified a way to support the traditions of weaving that she first encountered in the 1990’s.

Whilst on an introductory visit to her husband’s family in Nigeria “I fell in love with not only the magic of Nigeria but also the sense of heritage and family contained in the textiles that had been created and safeguarded by my mother-in-law from every family event. There is family history attached to each piece of As0-oke she has kept.”

The traditions of Yoruba weaving date back to the 10th and 12th Century in Nigeria. The Aso-oke cloth is traditionally woven by men in the Southwestern region of Nigeria on horizontal looms. As early as the 17th Century, Aso-oke cloth was recorded as a valuable trading commodity with the British. Continue reading →

Online Exhibition: Material Textile | Modern British Female Designers

Material: Textile is an online exhibition of historically important and highly collectable textiles by some of the most important Modern female designers working in Britain. Brought together for the first time – and offered as an online and virtual exhibition by The Messums Wiltshire, with an accompanying catalogue and podcast – the exhibition highlights the relevance of these mid-century textiles and the vital role they played in the evolution of taste and culture. It offers us all a unique insight into the artistic vision and originality of these women.

Britain’s history is intricately woven together with the history of textiles and never more so than following the Second World War. This exhibition celebrates the bold vision of the leading lights of 1950s – 70s textile design and introduces their iconic work to new collectors.

Throughout the period the designs created by an inspired group of women artists including Lucienne Day, Marian Mahler, Jacqueline Groag, and later Barbara Brown and many more, brought modern and contemporary art into the home, making it quite literally a part of the furniture.

Many of the textiles on show – produced by Heals, David Whitehead and Hull Traders – sit within collections including The V&A and The Whitworth. They have also featured in exhibitions worldwide in recent years and in publications on the history of the evolution of textiles and the textile industry, and our catalogue includes essays by preeminent historians Lesley Jackson and Mary Schoeser.

Text & Images: Messums Wiltshire website. Top image: Calyx Blue, 1951, Lucienne Day. Bottom image: Mezzanine Yellow, 1958,Lucienne Day