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Friday, 15 January 2010

Natural Born Weavers

Those who had studied Textiles at Central Saint Martins will surely remember the wonderful weave room technicians, Sri and Lindsay. There is no way on this earth that I would have survived that studio/dobby loom had it not been for their endless patience and good humour - just you try threading a loom without them. Combined, their skills could get the world back on it's feet should the Apocalypse ever come and go, and I'm not kidding.

The weave pathway is still currently being led by Philippa Brock (who I believe is now the head of the textile degree course) and is supported by a number of visiting lecturers, all highly skilled with successful careers.

One of the reasons CSM deserves it's world class reputation is that it's students have access to some of the most highly regarded and experienced designers out there. I was lucky enough to be taught by master weaver Eleanor Pritchard, whose beautiful and technically brilliant woven colour palettes are reminiscent of the post war era. These images are from her website.

                                                      Eleanor Pritchard

Now, this may not be the wisest thing to do - following Eleanor's work with mine, but after admiring her website, I felt it was time to pull out my degree work to see whether 5 years on, time had worked it's magic on my woven textiles, i.e. turned them into the master pieces they longed to be. I haven't actually looked at these since I boxed them up after the degree show (back in 2005) and I have to say that, although flawed from a technical point of view (don't be unkind by clicking on the images to enlarge), I actually quite like them.

My show 'Reflective Fashion' was a collection of woven pieces inspired by a desire to create reflective and illuminating fabrics that may one day adorn the discerning cyclist and/or pedestrian. Being an enthusiastic and committed cyclist, I am also an aesthetically sensitive one, and so, since I have now migrated into the world of interiors, I'd love it if someone were to nick this idea and give it a nice pair of legs... (I have lots of ideas/research for anyone wanting to discuss this in minute detail - call me!)

                                       Photography (of model) by Emma Tarrant

The research behind this work was a collection of slow shutter speed photographs taken of London and NYC at night - hence the streams of colour. Also, I'd like to say that most of the yarn used was hand dyed. Yes, by me. (Be impressed; it was tough.)

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