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The Royal Pavillion – Brighton: His Majesty’s Geranium and Gold Silk

Humphries Weaving of Sudbury, Suffolk was involved in the prestigious national restoration at the Brighton Pavilion Saloon 

Built for George IV when he was Prince of Wales, the Royal Pavilion in Brighton is one of the most extravagant buildings of its age.

The room is now faithfully restored to its 1823 glory after conservation and restoration work started in 2002 and costing in the region of £390,000.

Highlights of the restoration include silver and ‘pearl white’ wall decoration using platinum leaf and the revitalisation of the magnificent gilding. A newly commissioned reproduction circular carpet by Axminster Carpets, with a lavish design of dragons, sun rays and lotus leaves adorns the floor.

Geranium and Gold silk woven by Humphries Weaving, Sudbury has been used for wall panels, magnificent drapery and furniture. A film has been made of the process of reproducing the original fabric.

The quest for His Majesty’s silk from Humphries Weaving on Vimeo. Continue reading →

Anni Albers: Tate Modern

This autumn Tate Modern will present the UK’s first major retrospective of the work of Anni Albers (1899-1994). This exhibition will bring together her most important works from major collections in the US and Europe, many of which will be shown in the UK for the first time, to highlight Albers’s significance as an artist.

Opening ahead of the centenary of the Bauhaus in 2019, this exhibition is long overdue recognition of Albers’s pivotal contribution to modern art and design, and part of Tate Modern’s wider commitment to showing artists working in textiles.

Anni Albers combined the ancient craft of hand-weaving with the language of modern art, finding within the medium many possibilities for the expression of modern life.

Featuring over 350 objects including beautiful small-scale studies, large wall-hangings, jewellery made from everyday items, and textiles designed for mass production, this exhibition will explore the many aspects of Albers’s practice – such as the intersection between art and craft; hand-weaving and machine production; ancient and modern.

Albers held a long-standing interest in the relationship between textiles and architecture and the show will highlight her lesser-known commissioned works in this area. The exhibition design will take inspiration from the artist’s own writings, such as her seminal essay ‘The Pliable Plane: Textiles in Architecture’, 1957, in which Albers advocates ‘a new understanding between the architect and the inventive weaver’.

Born in Berlin at the turn of the century, Annelise Else Frieda Fleischmann became a student at the Bauhaus in 1922, where she met her husband Josef Albers and other key modernist figures like Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. Though the Bauhaus aspired to equality between the sexes, women were still discouraged from learning certain disciplines including painting. Albers began weaving by default, but it was in textiles that she found her means of expression, dedicating herself to the medium for the majority of her career.

The exhibition will explore how, here in the school’s vibrant weaving workshop, traditional hand-weaving was redefined as modern art. Continue reading →

Makers’ Tales’: Catarina Riccabona

‘Makers’ Tales’ showcase: Catarina Riccabona at the Guy Goodfellow Collection Showroom

 In celebration of the London Design Festival, textile artist and weaver Catarina Riccabona will be joining the series of  ‘Makers’ Tales’ showcases in the Guy Goodfellow Collection showroom.

Cartarina loves working with her hands. She enjoy the flexibility, the spontaneous changes and the direct contact with the materials that is possible when weaving by hand.

She makes one-off interior pieces, mostly throws, and, more recently, wall hangings.

Her textiles are often large compositions featuring areas of juxtaposed weave structures.

Catarinas’ practice is based on environmental values. She works with a well-researched selection of yarns. She predominantly use natural (unbleached, undyed) linen in her warps. For the weft yarns she likes to work with linen, hemp, wool, alpaca and second-hand or recycled yarns.

Her favourite supplier for plant-dyed wool is a woman in Finland who grows all the ingredients in her own garden and dyes small batches of local rare breed wool by hand.

Every time her results differ slightly, and Catarina loves these subtle and unpredictable nuances.

Recycled linen can be another source of colour and also Catarina buys it from a UK company that re-spins industrial surplus into new yarn. The colours are limited and depend on what is available at any given time. She enjoys this challenge of finding solutions within a set of limitations.

Catarina also collect warp remnants from weave colleagues which she knots them back together to form a continuous string to be used in the weft. During weaving the little knots appear all over the cloth and form a distinct feature that is reminiscent of elements in tribal textiles from all over the world.

This hand-made and natural character that is typical of tribal textiles has always had a strong appeal for her.

‘Makers’ Tales’ showcases invited artists and makers in a series of exhibitions designed to celebrate the fine traditions of artisan design and production.

The latest showcase “Catarina Riccabona Hand-woven Textiles” is on from 17th September to 12th October. She will be at the GGC showroom on the 20th September for a “Meet the Maker” day to discuss her work and explain the ethos behind her practice.

Guy Goodfellow Collection Showroom.15 Langton Street, London SW10 0JB
www.guygoodfellowcollection.com   Tel: 020 7352 9002

Text and images, with thanks to Catarina Riccabona

Cockpit Arts / The Clothworkers’ Company Awards 2018

The Cockpit Arts / The Clothworkers’ Company Awards 2018

At the start of July Cockpit Arts in Deptford welcomed five weavers as part of The Clothworkers’ Company Awards. The awards, which are open to weavers who have graduated in the last five years, aim to assist weavers to set up in business by providing weaving equipment, business coaching and support. The 2018 weavers are: Sophie Graney, Vicky Cowin, Elizabeth Ashdown, Poppy Fuller Abbott, Alice Timmis and Claire Whelan.

Elizabeth Ashdown
Elizabeth’s practice focuses on hand woven, hand constructed and hand embellished Passementerie that are designed to be worn on the body as playful, luxurious and exuberant decorations and accessories. She also hand weaves bespoke lengths that are used to decorate interior accessories and furnishings. In addition, Elizabeth creates exuberant and lively large-scale fabrics that are created using Passementerie methods. Leader image Elizabeth Ashdown
i: @ashdowntextiles
email: info@elizabethashdown.co.uk

Alice Timmis
Alice Timmis is an artisan manufacturer working with the fashion industry. Her fabric collections combine industrial and hand-woven techniques and finishes. Weave is very linear. Alice tries to get away from that by treating her fabrics once they are off the loom with a range of finishing techniques including brushing, felting, shrinking and hand embroidery.

This year, especially, has been the busiest yet for her with collaborations with a number of London fashion designers for their A/W 18 collections. The fabrics that Alice created for designers were produced either by hand from her studio space in Cockpit Arts, or industrially in mills.

Working locally to London fashion designers, Alice offers bespoke and innovative fabrics that can be produced through various methods depending on the style of the client’s fashion collection.

Alice also freelances for the well established woven studio, Dash and Miller, through whom she sells her woven mixed media designs internationally to mills and well known fashion houses.
i: @alicetimmis
email:alicetimmis@gmail.com
Continue reading →

TexSelect 2018: Featured Designers

©Rosa Pearks

TexSelect 
TexSelect’s aim is to select, mentor and promote the UK’s most talented newly graduated textile designers, providing an opportunity for realistic development, and a vital bridge between higher education and the real, commercial world.

Those selected for this unique mentorship programme are introduced to buyers, press and sponsors at the TexSelect London Preview and at Europe’s leading fabric fair, Première Vision Paris, gaining exceptional first hand experience of the industry.

There are also opportunities to intern with some of Italy’s finest mills and manufacturers, to be trained on specialist CAD software, and to have work selected for a curated interiors collection.

TexSelect’s Hero Mentor scheme carries the support forward, linking designers with industry professionals who provide ongoing career mentorship.

Many TexSelect alumni now enjoy high-profile creative roles within the international textile, fashion and interior design industries.

The TexSelect charity is entirely funded by the generous sponsorship of industry, by British charitable foundations, and by individuals.  All believe wholeheartedly in supporting textile design talent and in encouraging design innovation and excellence.

The Designers will  be showing at Première Vision Designs, 19th- 21st Sept and on 20th September 2018 at 15.30 there will be the presentation of the TexSelect Prizes for Colour, Fashion, Pattern and Interiors. Also the presentation of The Woolmark Company TexSelect Award ; the Marks & Spencer TexSelect Fashion Fabric Award; and NEW for 2018: The Worshipful Company of Woolmen TexSelect Design Innovation Award for Wool in Interiors.

Venue: Première Vision Designs, Hall 5, Première Vision Paris, Parc d’Expositions de Paris-Nord, Villepinte.

Continue reading →

Cockpit Arts | The Clothworkers’ Awards & The Clear Insurance Award

The Cockpit Arts: The Clothworkers’ Foundation Awards & The Clear Insurance Award

The Clothworkers’ Foundation Awards are open to graduates within the last five years, these awards aim to assist weavers to set up in business by providing studio space and business support provided by Cockpit Arts as well as shared use of looms.

The selection panel, including the acclaimed ikat weaver and designer Mary Restieaux, and representatives of The Clothworkers’ Foundation, will be looking for up to four individuals who demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit as well as creative excellence and craft skills.

The Award contributes to the cost of a place at Cockpit for one year from July 2018 and will include a space in a shared studio equipped with a dye area and Leclerc, Louet and electronic ARM looms.

The Cockpit Arts / Clothworkers’ Foundation Awards recipients will be awarded a place at Cockpit Arts for one year worth £3,000 (to be supplemented with a £1,000 contribution each from successful applicants, payable on a monthly basis)* Continue reading →

Exhibition: 1580 | Space & Volume

Dates: 5th March – 25th April 2018.
Meet the Maker: 21st March 2018
Address: The Guy Goodfellow Collection Showroom,
15 Langton Street.
London. SW10 0JL.

During London Design Week 2018, Master weaver, Philippa Brock showcases her three dimensional  woven textiles work, in the Guy Goodfellow Collection Showroom  as part of their “Makers Tales” series. A celebration of innovation in constructed textiles.

Philippa is showing some of her new abstract works, from the series  ‘1580: Volume and Space in the Third Dimension’,  informed by endless repetition, medieval ruff sizes, cellular kite construction and psychedelic honeycomb mushrooms.

This work explores the experimental weaving of multiple vertical interconnecting layers, that expand into 3D forms once removed from the loom. These pieces are sized and suspended, resulting in a series of abstract kinetic works interplaying with shadow and form. Continue reading →

Exhibition | Woven: Unwoven

Peter Collingwood | Woven:Unwoven

Venue: Crafts Study Centre,University for the Creative Arts, Falkner Road, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7DS
Dates:Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm

In 1950 the young Dr Peter Collingwood decided to abandon his medical career and dedicate himself instead to becoming a weaver.

Collingwood developed a technical mastery over his weaving equipment, and tailored his creative output to what the loom would permit him to do, mindful of weaving at economic speed, with the future ‘repeat’ potential and marketability of a design ever in mind.

He gained a reputation as a teacher, making many teaching visits to America, and produced four important books on the techniques and art of weaving.

Collingwood’s first purchases of woven materials were made in his years as a recently qualified doctor, posted with the Red Cross, to help with refugees in Jordan, and he added to these throughout his life.

This broad ‘Ethnographic Collection’ displaying both completed historic and contemporary objects and samples, from Indonesia to South America, Arizona to Africa, now resides at the Crafts Study Centre.

Continue reading →

Exhibition: Soft Engineering | Textiles Taking Shape

Three leading textile artists will be exhibiting their innovative work in Winchester Discovery Centre, City Space from 13 January to 18 February 2018.

Having pursued separate careers in knitting and weaving, Deirdre Wood, Ann Richards and Alison Ellen found they had many common threads that have now inspired them to work together on this joint exhibition.

Their different approaches interconnect and cross over in intriguing and sometimes surprising ways. Soft Engineering introduces a central theme of textiles taking shape through the interplay of raw material and structure, and the exhibition shows how this plays out in varied ways, with spontaneously emerging shapes, the repetition/shifting of simple shapes, pleating, folding, twisting, and double-sided fabrics.

These three makers create work on widely different scales, encompassing large wall pieces, garments, scarves and textile jewellery. Continue reading →

Company Profile: The Aviary Studio

Founded by Sarah Podlesny, The Aviary Studio is a UK based hand weaving studio and design consultancy providing fabric ideas and development to the high-street and high-end fashion and interior markets.

Striving to fulfil the constant demand for newness in an age where copying has become standard practice, The Aviary Studio‘s main aim is to inspire.

Sarah graduated in from Central Saint Martins in 2010 with a BA in Woven Textiles, and also participated in the Texprint that year, winning the Prize for Innovation.

Since then, she has experienced and worked in many areas of the industry, including with suppliers, brands, and studios. Sarah spent 4 years designing, weaving and selling for Laura Miles of Woven Studio, and during that time she was also designing jacquards for the womenswear line at Vanners Silk Mill.

Her initial studio practice experience, gained her an understanding of the technical and creative possibilities and constraints of woven fabric, and a great deal of experience selling, liaising and problem solving with clients.

From her time working for a mill, she learnt the invaluable skill of translating hand woven swatches into mill adaptations, and expanded her understanding of weave to industrial and computerized level, as well as hand woven. Continue reading →