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Exhibition: Blanket Coverage

Celebrating the Heritage and Diversity of Weaving
Textile Designer & Artist Laura Thomas curates a long-awaited exhibition platforming contemporary woven design.

Blanket Coverage opens at Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, Cwmbran, south Wales, on 28th November  – 30th January 2021, in a much needed review of how contemporary weavers continue to challenge the notions of this exciting and tactile art form.

The exhibition features 12 designers and businesses, from the very established to emerging names. Margo Selby, Wallace Sewell, Beatrice Larkin and Eleanor Pritchard are all handweavers who work closely with British mills to faithfully interpret their hand-rendered or handwoven designs into production. Catarina Riccabona and Maria Sigma are passionate advocates for sustainability through their handwoven practice, both producing blankets of true character without design compromise. Llio James and Sioni Rhys Handweavers, are Welsh handweavers of blankets cleverly combining colour and weave structure to create captivating patterns.

Meghan Speilman a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art, has handwoven a new silk artwork specifically for this exhibition, referencing deconstructed blanket designs. Angie Parker a weaver is primarily known for her colourful Krokbragd rugs and artworks, has recently widened her repertoire to include blankets. Lockdown prompted a fresh appreciation for the brightly painted houses around her home in Bristol which led to a new blanket design which she put into production with the local Bristol Weaving Mill
No exhibition dedicated to blankets in Wales would be complete without Melin Tregwynt. The mill has been in the ownership of the Griffiths family for over a hundred years, and under the direction of the current directors, Eifion and Amanda Griffiths the mill has earned a worldwide reputation for its thoroughly modern twist on iconic Welsh double cloth designs.

Blanket Coverage highlights a diversity of practice, from the handwoven to the mill-woven, from the repeatable to the one-off, all with an impeccable eye for quality and attention to detail. All demonstrate evocative use of colour, weave structure and yarn choice resulting in thoroughly covetable and highly collectable blankets to comfort and furnish our homes.

Curated by Welsh textile designer and artist, Laura Thomas, she commented “Its such a joy in these uncertain times to have brought this exhibition together. Blankets are perhaps the ultimate textile symbol of care, nurture and protection that we can all relate to. Despite the introduction of the duvet in the 1980s, they’ve never disappeared from our consciousness. Instead, they’ve been elevated to provide eye-catching design interest to a room. The blankets selected for this exhibition are the heirlooms of our future: a collectors dream!”
Director of Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre, Louise Jones-Williams added: “We are thrilled to welcome back Laura Thomas, an award-winning Welsh artist, designer, curator and educator to Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre. Laura’s passion for weaving can be seen in her own work and also in her championing of fellow weavers in this exhibition. The skills and traditions wrapped up in blankets make them a prized procession in every home, providers of comfort and warmth, which are passed from generation to generation.”

Llantarnam Grange Art Centre is an Art Gallery, Education Space, Café and Craft Shop in the heart of Cwmbran, south Wales.

Blanket Coverage is open Tuesday – Saturday, 9.30am – 3.30pm from 28th November 2020 – 30th January 2021

• All times and dates are subject to change while the organisation navigates and implements social distancing safely in the building. Contact Bob Gelsthorpe for up to date information.

Text & Images: Laura Thomas and Artists own Top to bottom Wallace Sewell, Eleanor Pritchard, Beatrice Larkin, Sioni Rhys, Laura Thomas, Lilo James and Angie Parker

Cockpit Arts: Clothworker Awards | Weavers

The successful recipients of Cockpit Arts: The ClothWorkers Awards for 2020 are Alicia Rowbotham, Millie Thomas and Francesca Miotti.

Millie Thomas
After graduating from Central St Martins in 2018, Millie has worked within the woven textiles industry  in Italy, designing for an Italian Weaving Mill and  in London for a heritage woven textiles company.

Millie’s work takes a biomimetic approach, taking inspiration from nature to explore and often replicate its principles through design. Her approach is process led, looking at the inner workings of the
natural world, from the grooves in beetle shells to the structural pleats in dragonfly wings to design from. She uses this inspiration to create bold patterns, 3D textures and elegant structures.

Continue reading →

Company Profile: Vevar

Vevar is a new studio developed from years of passionate interest in both woven cloth and the rich history of Scottish textiles. The product of two award winning designers, Christopher McEvoy-Barton and Chantal Allen, coming together to develop a modern micro mill in the heart of Glasgow’s East End – an area itself steeped in textiles history.

Services available include design and consultancy with expertise in both Dobby and Jacquard cloth design and manufacture; a range of production services for all projects and budgets – from couture handwoven, to larger lengths produced on in house power looms; and professional and career development where skills and expertise is offered to develop knowledge of the world of design, production and micro manufacturing.

With over 20 years’ experience of design and manufacture between them, Christopher and Chantal are equipped to tackle any project with expertise – creating woven textiles across Art, Design and Architecture. Continue reading →

Art Quill Studio & Blog | Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Art Quill Studio: A website featuring glossaries & articles relevant to Textile Art

Marie-Therese Wisniowski works as a full time studio artist, researcher, author, curator, university lecturer and is the former co-editor of Textile Fibre Forum art magazine.

She is the Director of Art Quill Studio & Blog. Her first post on the Art Quill Studio blogspot was published on August 26, 2010 focussing on the first ArtCloth exhibition in Australia featuring international and national textile artists and was titled – ArtCloth: Engaging New Visions and featured important textile artists such as Norma Starszakowna (UK), Joan Schulze (USA), Joan Truckenbrod (USA), Cas Holmes (UK), Jane Dunnewold (USA) and Ken Kagajo (Japan) – amongst others. At the present time over 500 posts have been published.

At the outset Art Quill Studio blogspot was designed to educate as well as to entertain. The education posts were titled, Art Resource, under the header of the post. At the time of writing more than one hundred Art Resources have been published. These are mostly published in the first week of every month. In order to access these resources more quickly, in the ‘Preamble’ of every Art Resource post are links to all of the other Art Resource posts on the blogspot. Example:  One Hundreth Art Resource. 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

Woven Jacquard Engineered Garment Research: Graysha Audren | Maike Jansen

Graduate Research Weaver Profiles: Graysha Audren | Maike Jansen

Seamless by Graysha Audren
Textile designer, Graysha Audren is a recent weave graduate of Central Saint Martins with a focus on sustainable innovation.  She believes good designers are problem solvers at heart with the power to invoke change, disrupt systems, and design out inefficiencies. The textile industry interweaves global politics, economics, trade, society, and business. The industry is a web of complicated supply chains where sustainability needs design-led systemic transparency. To change the entire system and to affect real change, Graysha focuses holistically on questioning inefficient and unsustainable systems, starting at the beginning: the making of the cloth.

Her current project, Seamless, exhibited at the London Design Festival in partnership with Maison/0 and LVMH, proposes a revolutionary way of seamlessly weaving clothing for material waste reduction and supply chain efficiency. Continue reading →

Whitchurch Silk Mill: Heritage Work Placements

Whitchurch Silk Mill are offering 4 x 6-week Heritage Weaving Placements, July to August 2019.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund Preserving the Fabric project has funded the restoration and major improvements to Whitchurch Silk Mill, a Grade Two* listed Georgian watermill on the banks of the River Test in rural Hampshire.  

They are now inviting applications from those studying woven textiles or anyone with experience or interest in working with textiles to apply for a six-week placement.

Deadline for applications: June 7th 2019 – Click here for more details.

Jacquard x Google Arts & Culture – Artist Residency

Google Arts & Culture and Jacquard (Google ATAP) are launching the first artist-in-residency with the goal of exploring synergies between technology, art, and fashion.

The programme
Google Arts & Culture and Jacquard (Google ATAP) are launching the first artist-in-residency with the goal of exploring synergies between technology, art, and fashion at Google Arts & Culture Lab in Paris. Curated by Pamela Golbin, the program will enable three artists to conceive of and create works that explore textiles, connectivity, and creativity over the course of a five month residency. 

This residency will grant the three artists access to the core of Jacquard technology, factories in Japan, mentoring from Jacquard and Google Arts & Culture engineers, mentoring from Pamela Golbin and Memo Akten, and access to the Google Lab space and resources in Paris. 

The end of the residency will be celebrated by showcasing the art installations at a private event in October 2019 and potential partner museums. Additionally, final work and the Making Of process will be featured in a dedicated section on Google Arts & Culture platform. 
 Artists will own the IP of their artwork.

The Residency includes:
– Weekly advisory meetings with Google Arts & Culture Lab and Jacquard engineers – Access to Jacquard Research and Development teams – Artist mentors : Pamela Golbin and Memo Akten – Dedicated Creative Coder and hardware prototyping team- Jacquard Factory visit and inspiration trip in Japan- Three weeks at the Google Arts and Culture lab in Paris- Stipend of 10k€ gross for each artist – Production budget and Jacquard material production: 15k€ for each artist

Continue reading →

Rita Parniczky: ‘Broken Bones’

Rita Parniczky works with photography, video and sculpture including weave and mixed media. Her work predominantly explores structure, visual change, slow time and human behaviour.

Amongst other awards, the work has received the Wall Hanging Award from The Worshipful Company of Weavers and is included in the permanent collection of the V&A Museum.

Most recently, Rita has become recipient of the Theo Moorman Trust Award. Her project reassessed her woven work investigating the role of textiles through experimentation, with new structural works and meeting Sheila Hicks.

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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 →