Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nike trainers made from woven strips of paper



Just came across these rather wonderful Nike trainers on the Ecouterre blog  Strips of magazine pages have been woven into a fabric and made into trainers. Although this is clearly not a new or particularly unusual technique, I certainly would never have made the leap for this kind of fabric being used by Nike for footwear.

Dear Father Christmas, Please may I have a pair of these? Thank you kindly, Laura x

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Okinawa, Japan - Weaver with shuttle; 1960-70

Just had to share this wonderful evocative photograph I found on Flickr.  It's part of a set entitled Working Weavers, compiled to accompany the Anne Wilson project Wind / Rewind / Weave at Knoxville Museum of Art.

Credits as follows:

Okinawa, Japan - Weaver with shuttle; 1960-70

Okinawa, Japan

Weaver with shuttle; 1960-70

Tsune Sugimura. "Unknown Minsa weaver with shuttle, Taketomi island." Photograph. Suzuki, Hisao. Living Crafts of Okinawa. New York: John Weatherhill, Inc., 1973, 64.

Anne Wilson: Wind/Rewind/Weave
Knoxville Museum of Art

These photographs present a diversity of locations of working weavers from various countries and time periods. Libby O'Bryan was the primary researcher of images. Emily Nachison added images, color corrected, and formatted the images with text. Emily Nachison worked from this image bank to create the display in the exhibition. This compilation will continue to grow.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Je vous en prie

I was very excited to learn about a brand new weave company called Je Vous En Prie, based here in the UK. After watching the countdown to their launch on Facebook, I was delighted to peruse their new website showcasing a very covetable range of graphic weave structures in fine silk, made into lampshades, cushions and doorstops.  A collaboration between weaver Fabienne Lecocq interior designer Jerome Barris, their collection, branding, and approach feels very fresh. I'm sure they're going to go far.

In their own words:

Je Vous En Prie specializes in designing and producing woven furnishing fabrics. Working alongside interior designers and private clients they design and produce bespoke fabrics for those who are looking for that unique fabric. The brand has now developed their own collection specializing in woven fabrics that have evolved into a range of luxury silk home accessories. JVEP are very proud to be 100% British in sourcing and supporting other British products to work in conjunction with their own woven fabrics. JVEP fabrics begin their life on the handloom in the studio, being carefully designed and constructed to create beautiful hand woven samples, which are then developed using the very best British Mills.

JVEP work with silk mills using the finest silk which gives our fabrics the luxurious touch. We currently sell on and have a growing number of followers of our blog We make and sell a variety of products: cushions, lampshades, lavender bags, doorstops, draft excluders, furniture and we hope to continually increase our interior collection. We also have a handwoven collection which will be launching next year along with some throws.

Why Je Vous En Prie? This question is asked to us on a near daily basis. It’s a polite French phrase, that has a number of meanings, that just came to us one day and works well with what we strive to be as a brand. We’re a French design duo, we want to infuse French design with British manufacturing, Je Vous En Prie has such a fantastic meaning and as we produce our interiors collection, it really truly is our pleasure!

Je Vous En Prie: ‘My pleasure, no problem, thank you’ 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Margo Selby

The wonderful Margo Selby has a new addition to her distinctive range of double cloth silk and lycra fashion and interior accessories.  These new scarf designs are a deflected double cloth, a celebration of colour and geometry which are also wonderful to handle and wear.  Soon there'll be throws in these designs too..... something else to ask Santa for ;-)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

'Loom' by Axel Russmeyer for Paola Lenti

Axel Russmeyer is a German based maker / artist who I find difficult to categorize..... which is of course something to be admired ;-)

I first came across his work via Brown Grotta Arts.  When recently doing a google search to find his website, I came across this amazing rug design that he did for the equally amazing company Paola Lenti.

You can see that he has woven together silicone rings using a braided rope to wonderful visual effect. These materials mean that the rug is suitable for both indoors and outdoors, and would of course look equally at home on the wall as the floor.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jessica Light

I love Jessica Light's textiles.  I first stumbled across her work at Tent London in 2009, and was thrilled to find that she has a thriving ultra-niche business producing hand made trimmings.  She makes use of surprising yarns such as horsehair and light reflective thread alongside the more expected silks,linens and cottons etc.  Her website is a treat to browse through, full of lovely images.

Below are a couple of pictures of her stand at this years' Tent London:

Hand woven trimming containing light reflective yarn

Dip dyed edges, woven netting, light reflective yarns

A massive tassel made with light reflective yarn

In her own words:

One of the last working trimming weavers left in England, Jessica Light produces exquisite, innovative and contemporary passementerie of exceptional quality. Everything is handmade to order in her East London workshop using methods dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries.

Jessica also incorporates beading and traditional crafts such as macrame, braiding and knot-work into her work and hand spins her own cord.

Apart from using traditional yarns such as silk, linen, wool, and cotton, Jessica is always experimenting and sourcing new and unusual materials. Horsehair, straw, hemp, leather, hand pleated ribbon, semi-precious stones, and springs are just some of the wide range range of materials she uses.

Her inspiration and ideas are drawn from many references. The Baroque, Modernism, Samurai and zulu warriors, origami, and military and ceremonial braiding are all themes that run though Jessica's collections.
Jessica Light offers a bespoke design and colour matching service for both interiors and fashion and her client list includes Vivienne Westwood, Marks and Spencer, MedhamKirchhof, Giles Deacon, Richard Sorger, Johanne Mills, Lesley Vik Waddell.

Insider news!

Am very excited to tell you that Jessica has been booked to run a two day workshop at Craft in the Bay, Cardiff Bay next year.

The information hasn't yet gone on the Craft in the Bay website, but they can take telephone bookings.  I've already booked myself a place!

Details as follows:

An introduction to the art of creating passementerie.
Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th February 2011 at Craft in the Bay

Jessica will teach students how to weave beautiful trims including fringes, fan edges, and gimp braids using techniques that date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. 

Suitable for intermediate.

Places limited to six so early booking is advisable. T: 029 20484611

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lab Craft @ Tent London, Sept 2010

Below are some images of the woven exhibits in the wonderful touring exhibition 'Lab Craft' curated by Max Fraser. The show was part of Tent London, and was one of my highlights of the London Design Festival.  The use of digital technology still causes much consternation with many of the craft traditionalists, so the need for high quality, intellectually stimulating, aesthetically pleasing exhibitions of this ilk is high.  The use of digital technology allows for us to think about making in new ways..... and these tools are just that - a 'tool'.  We remain in control of that tool, we make the decisions, the choices, and it requires haptic skills much like using a sewing machine or a chisel.... it just opens up new possibilities for design and efficiency.

Jacquards inspired by the movement of water by Ismini Samanidou

Jacquard inspired by the movement of water by Ismini Samanidou

Jacquard inspired by the movement of water by Ismini Samanidou

Woven Wood by Gary Allson and Ismini Samanidou

Woven Wood by Gary Allson and Ismini Samanidou

Self Fold by Philippa Brock. Jacquard weave with elastomeric yarns

Self Fold by Philippa Brock. Jacquard weave with elastomeric yarns

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ptolemy Mann @ Origin 2010

Ptolemy Mann is an internationally known weaver of extremely covetable ikat artworks, and I always look forward to seeing her latest works at Origin each year.  This year I was particularly excited to see her brand new range of complimentary cushions that have been jacquard woven to emulate her dyed effects.  These jacquard's are commercially woven in the UK but in extremely small quantities (10m minimum) allowing her to respond easily to requests for different colourways. She was also launching this new range of fabrics at Decorex at the same time to the contract audience..... I look forward to seeing this new venture flourish.

Ptolemy's stand at Origin 2010 showing her range of ikat dyed hand woven stretched artworks

Ptolemy's new diffusion range jacquard woven and digitally printed fabrics made into cushions

Monday, October 11, 2010

Makeba Lewis @ Origin 2010

Makeba Lewis produces handwoven scarfs and neckpieces in silk, soya, steel, copper and gold yarns. Self pleating structures in elegant warp stripes are a tactile treat, as are the metal edge details which invite the wearer to play and sculpt.  The below photos were taken at Origin, the Crafts Council annual showcase event for contemporary craft.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Damson and Slate @ 100% Design

Damson and Slate is a FABULOUS shop in Narberth, Pembrokeshire (my home territory) and so I was delighted to find them at 100% Design - didn't realise that they're not just a desirable retail shop, but also a burgeoning trade supplier.  All of the products are truly 'Made in Wales'.  The business owner and interior stylist Hilary Lowe, works with handweavers, hand knitters, ceramists, printers, and small mills over over rural Wales, to create a covetable range of interior products that have a real feeling of authenticity and comfort.

As a real blanket junky, these waffle weaves are wonderful.

Melin Tregwynt @ 100% Design

For the very first time, Melin Tregwynt decided to break with tradition and not have a bed on their stand at 100% Design this year, wanting to make it clear that although blankets are their core product, they also produce beautiful upholstery fabrics.  Recoloured archive patterns proved popular with their exisiting customers and hopefully won them new fans too. 

Melissa French @ Designers Block, London Design Festival

Whilst at Designers Block, I also went to check out the Puff & Flock Parlour.  Amongst all sorts of wonderful covetable goodies, I was pleased to see the Urban Upholstery Bench by Melissa French that I'd seen previously at the 2009 Designers Block.  Melissa has partially upholstered a garden bench in her jacquard woven fabric in steel and cotton yarns.  The bench has been living outdoors for the last year, so the transformation on the fabric is intriguing - rust marks are starting to appear on the edges, but the fabric is proving remarkably robust. A wonderful demonstration of an idea.... and beautiful too.

Elaine Ng Yan Ling @ Designers Block, London Design Festival

I recently went to Designers Block, part of the London Design Festival, and was very pleased to meet Elaine Ng Yan Ling.  A recent graduate from the MA Textile Futures course at Central St Martins, Elaine has being exploring shape memory jacquard woven structures to interesting effect.  Both fabrics pictured contain moving elements once connected to a power source - subtle and elegant gentle movement which demonstrated this new technology in an accessible way. 

In her own words:

Elaine Ng Yan Ling has spent her MA in Design for Textile Futures ( graduated with a distinction) at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design exploring the function of shape-memory materials. She has focused on how the behaviour of natural elements can be manifested in man-made materials to enhance modern architecture and interior design.

Elaine’s design principle is based on Biomimicry, focusing on hybrid materialisation of craft and technology. By programming shape memory materials she explores how tectonic movement can be achieved through natural responses to heat, light and electricity. Woven and etched patterns respond to changes in environmental conditions such as light intensity or mechanical force. With a sustainable and eco-conscious design philosophy she explores living urban textiles and their responses to sun, wind and rain.

Techno-Naturology is Elaine’s latest discovery in the relationship between natural formations and technology design. Techno-Naturology is the use of
Her specialized craft skills are a cross disciplinarily use of woven textiles design and three-dimensional surface design of wooden materials. The result is a constructive textile that is both an art piece and a functional material.
artificial technology to activate and simulate natural reactions. The concept of ‘Naturology’ tectonic motion is not only about mimicing the behaviour of nature, but also a means of evoking natural movement within an urban landscape. With this design philosophy Elaine enhances the fluidity and functional responsiveness of architecture, creating harmony within our urban environment.

Friday, October 1, 2010

warp+weft: from handloom to production, The National Wool Musuem, Drefach Felindre, Carmarthenshire

Alongside the warp+weft exhibition at Oriel Myrddin Gallery, I have also curated a sister show entitled warp+weft: from handloom to production at the National Wool Museum.  As the title suggests, the exhibition highlights weavers who've developed their practice from craft beginnings into commercial batch production through establishing and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships with mills. 

The designers in this exhibition are:

Donna Wilson for SCP
Eleanor Pritchard
Wallace + Sewell
Fran White, The Linen Shop
Dashing Tweeds
Margo Selby
Tim Parry Williams
Cefyn Burgess
Below is the introductory text to the exhibition:

From the great Northern cotton mills with their rows upon rows of noisy power looms, to the Harris Tweed home weavers in Scotland, the silk weavers of Spitalfields and the modest water powered Welsh mills making flannels and blankets for the local market, the weaving of cloth is a key part of the British cultural and industrial heritage.

In recent decades the textile industry in Britain has depleted dramatically.  Higher salary expectations in the UK coupled with the overwhelming competition from cheap overseas imports meant that many mills just couldn’t survive in the cut throat contemporary marketplace.

Nevertheless, the resilient have survived by embracing new ways of working and responding to new markets.  Niche areas such as technical textiles or luxury fabrics for fashion or furnishings have given British mills a key competitive advantage where quality is paramount and price point is less of an issue.

One such market is the production of short runs for a new generation of entrepreneurial textile designers who have developed their practice from hand weaving into the batch production of luxury woven goods.  The eight textile designers featured in this long overdue celebratory exhibition have all cultivated close working relationships with forward-thinking mills to commercially produce their designs that are rooted in a craft tradition.  Mutually informative, these craft-industry relationships have been rewarding for all concerned both in terms of business development and in extending practical knowledge. 

Throughout the exhibition these dynamic dialogues are self evident by virtue of the successful production of these extraordinary woven fabrics, each demonstrating intelligent approaches to yarn, construction, colour and finishing techniques.  Alongside the garments, interior accessories and fabric meterage on show, you have the rare treat of viewing the usually unseen hand woven samples that mark the beginning of the design and production process.

Please do go and see the exhibition, which is on until 8th January 2011. 

Cefyn Burgess

Tim Parry Williams

Margo Selby

Dashing Tweeds

Wallace + Sewell

Wallace + Sewell

Eleanor Pritchard

Fran White, The Linen Shop

Fran White, The Linen Shop

Fran White, The Linen Shop

Donna Wilson for SCP

Fran White, The Linen Shop