Saturday, December 1, 2012


How exciting is this?! I can't tell you how much I just love this work: some of my favourite preoccupations of saturated colour, graphic patterns and triaxial weave constructions have been explored to such dramatic effect by this wonderful new design duo W&Q. They have taken an entirely fresh approach to traditional bamboo woven furniture which has so much market potential..... I can't wait to see this work available commercially. Do check out their website for lots more inspiring images.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Jason Collingwood

Jason Collingwood is a master rug weaver of international repute, in demand for both his work and his teaching. He hand-weaves wonderfully graphic designs that have gravitas and great visual impact. Do check out his online gallery, as he has a huge catalogue of inspiring designs that can be commissioned in whatever colours you might choose. These are some of my personal favourites......

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Linda Green

I first saw Linda Greens work at the brilliant Follow a Thread exhibition at Ruthin Craft Centre. It was one of the best exhibitions I'd ever seen celebrating textiles, which saw me visit and revisit the show time and time again. One of the bodies of work that kept drawing me back was the exquisite 'Exploring Structure' series by Linda, a tapestry graduate of the Royal College of Art and Edinburgh College of Art.

A series of 21 miniature woven studies were created on pieces of found wood, shells and other ephemera upon which the textile remained. It's a delightful depiction of the fact that to weave, you just need 'something' to hold your warp threads taught, for you to then interlace the weft over and under. I love the fact that the 'loom' is not only a functional tool, but an imperative part of the resultant textile artwork. The series was displayed in a linear landscape arrangement, propped up on a shelf against a wall, and the pieces seemed to just dance from one to another. The tiny scale commanded you to look closely and appreciate the minutiae of the fibre and yarn surface in a way that you'd otherwise overlook.

The exhibition toured to Dovecot after it left Ruthin Craft Craft Centre, and you can see some more images of Linda's work in situ, as well as some of the other exhibits on the Innovative Craft Flickr photostream

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jane Harper

Jane Harper is the 2012 recipient of the Peter Collingwood Charitable Trust Award for innovation in weaving. The award aims to recognize excellence for a loom-based textile and I know that this years winner would certainly have piqued Peters curiosity. Jane has created some highly complex multi-layered constructions which have become truly 3-dimensional once off loom. The layers are separated and held proud from the ground cloth with insertions of acrylic sheet.

Jane is recent Textile Design graduate from Central Saint Martins, and this work is from her final degree collection which she entitled Collapsable Constructions. She has now moved back to her home city of Manchester where she aims to use her award towards setting up her own studio. She hopes to develop her structural textiles into functional works that could be used in an interior context. 

Do check out her new website for more images of her degree work.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ismini Samanidou, Crafts Study Centre

My blogging and exhibition visiting activity has been somewhat curtailed in recent times due to me very happily becoming a Mum. However, at the beginning of September I was delighted to be able to stop at the Craft Study Centre in Farnham en route home from Canterbury, to visit Ismini Samanidou's solo exhibition entitled Topography: recording place - mapping surface. Now extended until the 6th Oct, the show is absolute treat, giving an insight into Ismini's design process as well as presenting intriguing jacquard woven lengths. I always relish the opportunity to see samples, design sketches, mood boards, colour studies, yarn wraps etc, as they demonstrate pure, instinctive exploration that has yet to be synthesized into the 'final' work. The wall of cloud study samples was perhaps my favourite part of the exhibition for this very reason. Structural explorations of diverse surafce qualities in unusual yarns on the dobby handloom made a very welcome compliment to the jacquard woven artworks which I am so familiar with. It was also a delight to see her handmade fan reeds which were made whilst on a British Council residency in Bangladesh. These were used to weave some exquisite fabrics, which you can see alongside.

So, I urge you in the few days left to catch the exhibition before the work travels to the Center for Craft Creativity and Design in the USA. There is also a beautiful and insightful catalogue to accompany the show.

wisteria, momijigari, siberia and thread installation

'Cloud weavings'

Siberia lengths and cloud weavings

Watercolour and yarn wrap colour study

Hand woven fabric of varying density

woven interpretation of the texture photographs
Hand made fan reeds

Hand made fabrics woven with the hand made reeds

CNC routed wood replicating woven surfaces

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sian O'Doherty

Sian O'Doherty is one of my very talented graduates from the BA Textiles course I teach on in Coleg Sir Gar. She won the Lucienne Day Award at New Designers this year, and has many other accolades under her belt including the second prize in the Hand & Lock embroidery competition in 2010. Her final year collection was an ambitious exploration into highly complex quadruple cloth structures incorporating hand manipulated floats and an eye-popping colour palette. Some of the woven structures were developed into digital prints for upholstery and covetable cushions covers. This is a weaver to watch: she's going places......



Photographs by Dan Staveley

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Architecture of Cloth, Colour and Space Symposium: October 27 2012

A One Day Symposium on the theme of The Architecture of Cloth, Colour & Space

Saturday 27 October in the Chapter House Room, Gloucester Cathedral

Now, more than ever, we live in a climate where diversification and the exchange of ideas across several different disciplines is paramount; to survive creatively we have to apply our skills broadly but with finesse and personal signature.

In keeping with the exhibition title: The Architecture of Cloth, Colour and Space this symposium aims to engage you in the working practice of exceptional people across the several disciplines the title defines.

A colour theorist who engages with computer technology and paint, an artist who wraps facades with colour, an architect who circumnavigates the world through food and innovation, a weaver bridging the commercial craft divide, a textile artist creating installations for outside spaces; they all bring something different to their respective worlds and ours.
Join us in the monumental gothic space of Gloucester Cathedral for a day of creative provocation and glorious debate.
This promises to be a day of innovation, inspiration and enquiry with discussion and discovery at the heart of the conference.

We are pleased to announce that confirmed keynote speakers and contributors for the symposium are:

  • Ptolemy Mann - Chair
  • Margo Selby - international textile designer who builds fabrics on a hand loom using structure and fibre combinations that transform threads into three dimensional forms. Margo has rapidly become recognised as a pioneer within contemporary textiles winning numerous craft and design awards and being involved with high profile design projects such as Eureka with Design Nation and Hidden Art Select. She is passionate about design and has a positive approach to working alongside other designers and companies with a similar ethos.
  • Sophie Smallhorn - artist and colour consultant. Her work explores the relationships between colour, volume and proportion. She creates simple abstract sculptural pieces which act as vehicles to hold compositions of colour. More recently her work has evolved onto a larger format with architectural projects including a large colour installation for the Olympic stadium. Talking about this transition of scale in her work and how the area between an open ended art commission and the constraints that are particular to a design brief have both inspired and informed her creative process. Sophie has created a series of works for the Olympics Stadium in London - here she is in an interview.
  • Garth Lewis - designer and painter who works with colour in innovative and inspiring ways using the digital 'Chromafile' * with hands on painting and printing. Colour and Space will reference his own painting practice and supporting research with colour and computing. He will also demonstrate the uses and effect of colour, with reference to his book, '2000 Colour Combinations' 2 and the software program Virtual Colour Course, to be published in 2012.
  • Anna Glasbrook - Textile Artist
  • Alex Haw - architect and director of award winning practice atmos - a practice dedicated to rethinking and improving our spatial world across the scales, from furniture to urban design. Alex will be speaking on the metaphor and practice of weaving in architecture; on the search for sensuality and comfort and narrative trajectories; on threading meaning through spatial experience.
All have international reputations for their work and drive forward innovation in textile design, colour practice and architecture.

Tickets from Stroud International Textiles
Prices include lunch and refreshments.
There is an Early Bird discount until October 15th: book before 6 pm to take advantage of this offer.

Book online or call us on
+44 (0)1453 751056
Early Bird Booking
£45 Full/ £25 Concessions(includes students and Friends of SIT)
From 6pm October 15th
£55 Full/ £30 Concessions


A GREAT opportunity: Weave lecturer job vacancy, Chicago


The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Department of Fiber and Material Studies announces a full-time, tenured or tenure track-position, beginning August 2013. The department seeks candidates with accomplished studio practices who are proficient in both hand and machine, and analog and digital technologies as applied to textiles/fiber and material studies, preferably with experience in Jacquard weaving. S/he will lead the curricular and pedagogical direction of the weaving area. The ideal candidate should be versed in historic and critical dialogue/theory as related to the field within a broader contemporary art and cultural discourse. Rank and salary are competitive with peer institutions, and are commensurate with quality of scholarship or practice, extent of teaching experience, and current professional standing.

The Department of Fiber and Material Studies encourages an interdisciplinary approach to the investigation of relationships among concept, materiality, and process in contemporary art. Students use a broad range of media and methods with emphasis on the integration of textile, fiber and material study traditions, within an expanded contemporary art context. The department currently has five full-time faculty and up to fifteen part-time faculty. It has up to 20 dedicated MFA students, and over 750 undergraduate enrollments in 60 courses each year.

Responsibilities  The successful candidate will teach undergraduate and graduate students in an interdisciplinary art school, advise graduate students in a tutorial environment, and maintain an active professional practice. S/he must be capable of performing administrative duties and provide vision and direction as the department chair on a rotating basis.

Qualifications  The ideal candidate has an MFA, a nationally/internationally recognized practice, a strong exhibition record and/or is accomplished within his/her field of cultural production, and a minimum of three years experience teaching at the college level or commensurate experience.

Application Procedure 
By Monday, January 7, 2013 please submit an application at <> . You will be asked to create an account, then complete the application which is a combination of fill-in fields and uploaded documents. Complete the fields for contact information, educational background, and professional references. Required files to upload include: a cover letter stating your interests and qualifications; résumé; artist statement; a statement of teaching philosophy; sample syllabi for an undergraduate studio course employing weave, print, or material construction methods; a brief description of a graduate-level seminar; and portfolio/support materials/visual documentation as appropriate.

Overview of SAIC's search process: After the submission deadline, a search committee composed of faculty reviews applications to identify up to 20 semifinalists for telephone interviews (usually by February). From this pool, a select group of three finalists are invited to campus to give a public presentation of their work, interview with the search committee, interact with students (both formally and informally), and discuss the position in detail with the Dean of Faculty (in March and April). The final candidate is typically identified by or before April. Positions begin in late August.

The School does not publish salaries, as each offer reflects the expertise, qualifications, and unique experience of the candidate. The School's search process typically concludes in the spring, and positions begin in late August.

About SAIC: A leader in educating artists, designers, and scholars since 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) offers undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate programs to 3,000 students from across the globe. Located in the heart of Chicago, the school is one of the largest private schools of art and design in the country with programs reflecting current practices in art. SAIC's educational philosophy is built upon an interdisciplinary approach to art and design that provides unparalleled opportunities for students to develop their creative and critical abilities. Renowned faculty are leading practitioners in their fields. SAIC's resources include the Art Institute of Chicago and its new Modern Wing. Numerous special collections and programming venues provide students with exceptional exhibitions, screenings, lectures, and performances. Multiple galleries on campus provide students with opportunities to exhibit their work for professional development. Extended partnerships with organizations and institutions city-wide, provide students intern- and externships across Chicago.
The School currently enrolls over 3,000 full-time, degree-seeking students in 15 studio departments and 8 academic departments. There are 150 full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty and visiting artists, and 500 adjunct and part-time faculty supported by 300 staff.
Degree tracks include the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio; BFA with Emphasis in Art Education, Art History, or Writing; BA and MA in Visual and Critical Studies; BIA (Interior Architecture); Master of Architecture; Master of Design in Designed Objects or Fashion, Body and Garment; Master of Fine Arts in Studio or Writing; Master of Arts degrees in Arts Administration and Policy; Art Education; Art History, Theory, and Criticism; Art Therapy; New Arts Journalism; Teaching; and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation.

EOE: The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is committed to creating a diverse community of faculty and students, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants are considered on the basis of their qualifications for the position without discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender-related identity, marital status, parental status, military or former military status, and any other basis prohibited by applicable federal, state, or local law.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Textile Matters: Structure & Surface symposium, 19th May 2012

TextileMatters: Structure & Surface

A Bath School of Art & Design, Textile Research Centre symposia event

Images L-R: Ann Richards; Jun Tomita; Lotte Dalgaard; Ptolemy Mann, Lotte Dalgaard; Ptolemy Mann; Ann Richards

Celebrating international contemporary woven textiles practice
Speakers:        Ann Richards (UK) / Lotte Dalgaard (Denmark) /
Ptolemy Mann (UK/US) / Jun Tomita (Japan)
Coinciding with a number of exciting publications and exhibitions by these four leading international weavers, this mini-symposium will celebrate very personal yet inter-related approaches to woven textiles practice - From deep research into material and structure to create textured and shaped cloths, to the extensive use of traditional and evolved dying and colouring techniques for contemporary applied art and design.
In conjunction with The Handweavers Studio & Gallery (London), the event will include book signing of new titles by the speakers, as well as the chance to purchase specialist weaving materials. Chrome Yellow Books will also be offering a fantastic range of textile and related titles.
Convened by Tim Parry-Williams, Senior Lecturer Textiles [Woven], Bath School of Art & Design, this is the inaugural event of the new Textile Research Centre at Bath Spa University’s Corsham Court Campus.

Date: Saturday 19th May 2012, 10am - 4pm
Location: Bath Spa University, Corsham Court, Corsham, Wilshire, SN13 OBZ
Tickets (to include light lunch and morning/afternoon refreshments):
Full rate £45 / Students (NUS registered) £20

Booking (BY MONDAY 14TH MAY):
Contact: Adele Milton (Bath School of Art & Design, Reception)
Tel: 01225-875533 or Email:

Local information - Bath Spa University, Corsham Court Campus webpage:
Travel to Corsham:
By rail - Chippenham (nearest) / Bath Spa + Taxi (bus services from Bath Spa)
By car – Public car parks in the town a short walk from the Court campus
Recommended accommodation:
Corsham – Guyers House
Bath - Holiday Inn Express
Bath – Hilton

Monday, February 27, 2012

Millbank and Foot, Enterprise Nation

A little while ago I wrote a blog entry about Helen Foot. She is currently seeking support to get a very exciting venture off the ground entitled Millbank and Foot, with fashion designer Kate Millbank. They plan to produce a Shropshire inspired, UK manufactured collection of tweeds and related tailored clothing and products. They are currently seeking votes for the project on the Enterprise Nation website to achieve £500 funding to buy yarn to get the manufacturing started...... please do follow the link to read more and support a new weave business. Thank you.

You might also want to view Helen's rather delicious new online catalogue of her Festival of Britain collection of handwoven scarves......

Friday, February 17, 2012

Job opportunity: Assistant Curator, Bernat Klein project, National Museums Scotland

Image source: NMS

I've just been doing a little googling on the wonderful Bernat Klein..... and came across this job opportunity, which frankly has me salivating. If only I was living in Scotland (and had the spare time!) The closing date is this coming Monday, so if you're interested you're going to have to move fast.

Job Title: Assistant Curator, Bernat Klein project
Organisation: National Museums Scotland
Salary: £22,465 - 25,161 p.a.
Type:Full-Time Position. Contract: 6 Months
Location:Edinburgh, Scotland
Closing Date: Monday, February 20th, 2012

Job Description: These are full time fixed term posts for a period of 6 months to provide subject specific expert knowledge to assist with the cataloguing element of the Bernat Klein Project.

Required Skills: You will have a degree (or equivalent) in a related subject, plus knowledge of and enthusiasm about the subject matter of the Bernat Klein Collection. Proven experience in paid or unpaid work in museums or similar environment is desirable. You will be organised and methodical, with good verbal and written communication skills and ICT skills in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel and Outlook. You should also have experience of managing your own time and workload, working to deadlines and handling multiple priorities. A driving licence is desirable.

Application Instructions: Details of this post and of all our vacancies can be viewed on For further information and an application pack, please visit, telephone 0131 247 4094 (answerphone) or email, stating reference NMS12/208. Closing date for completed applications is 20 February 2012. It is anticipated that the selection event will take place in late March.

National Museums Scotland is committed to being an Equal Opportunities Employer.

These images below show an exhibition of Klein's work at The Scott Gallery, Hawick Museum (August – October 2005). He was renowned as a brilliant colourist who painted fabulous canvases as well as commercially producing woven fabrics for the high end fashion market composed of chunky mohairs, velvet ribbons, and space dyed wools. Oh, I wish I could have seen this exhibition.....
For those of you that want to learn more / see more of his work, follow these links:

I also understand that there is a collection of fabric samples at the Royal College of Art as well.

Monday, January 30, 2012

New publications...

I'm delighted to share with you details of two new books that are about to be published all about weaving.  Margo Selby is having a book launch at her gallery shop this coming Thursday 2nd Feb to celebrate her first publication, 'Contemporary Weaving Patterns'. You can buy also buy it direct from her website.  The book presents 150 weave patterns for you to follow or adapt which can be woven on a 4 or 8 shaft loom, and knowing Margo's approach, the book will be a riot of colour, texture and intelligent structural ideas.

Later this spring (exact date to be confirmed) will see the publication of Dr Jessica Hemmings latest book dedicated to presenting the latest woven textile developments in fashion, art and interiors. The impetus for this book stemmed from the warp+weft symposium which Jessica hosted at the National Wool Museum. Throughout the day, it was clear that there is such a thirst for information and celebration of woven textiles, which has been somewhat neglected by the publishing industry for some time. 

But now we two very different, high quality books published within months of each other celebrating weaving from the practical and theoretical points of view, and I can't wait to get my hands on copies! Make sure you get yours too...... if these books are successful, there will be follow-ups......

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

João Bruno Videira

Once again a favourite blog has directed me towards a wonderful new name (to me) in the world of textiles. João Bruno Videira is a yarn artist based in Portugal, and I'm loving his contemporary twist on woven furniture structures in vivid, graphic colour palettes.....