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Welcome to Musings – The Loom Room Blog

4 November, 2016

Exhibition: ‘Weaving Futures’ London Transport Museum 22/11/2016 – 18/02/2017

Exhibition: ‘Weaving Futures’ | London Transport Museum

Dates: 22 November 2016 to 18 February 2017

‘Weaving Futures’ is an exhibition at London Transport Museum highlighting the importance of woven textile design to the London Transport system. The exhibition explores the process and making of digital woven textiles, as part of the Museums’, Designology season.

Each week, visitors will be able to see invited designers/artists in residence in the Designology studio, who will be working on a project brief and interacting with a weaver. The weavers will be interpreting  the residents  work live  into digital woven textile prototypes and final works on a state-of-the-art TC2 digital jacquard loom.

51977-049‘Weaving Futures’ is  curated by design & research industry experts, Philippa Brock and Samuel Plant Dempsey

The Weaving Futures season will start with Wallace Sewell, who will be in residence in the studio from Nov 22nd – 26th 2016

Other residents participating in the season  include: AssembleBeatwovenPhilippa BrockCamiraCentral Saint Martins, BA Textile studentsSamuel DempseyLinda FlorenceGainsborough Weaving CompanyEleanor PritchardRare Thread : aka Kirsty McDougall & Laura Miles, Josephine OrtegaIsmini SamanidouStudio HoundstoothJo PierceTakram & Priti Veja

Resident artists and designers have been invited to respond to a project brief; exploring the role of textiles in modern transport now and in the future. They will focus on ‘untapped’ sources of data generated by, or helpful to, the transport system. Their responses will then be interpreted into woven textiles, live for museum visitors.

The weavers for the season are Rosie Green & Hanna Vinlöf Nylen

Creative responses may span from future speculations on data capture and its textile use, to new methods of digitising human interactions, to creative interpretations and visualisations of existing TfL data sets.

Design & artistic approaches may include drawing, photography, film, sound, mark-making and model making.

wallace-sewell-overground-weavingThe Weave Shed will highlight each resident each week of the season with images, biographies and contact details.

The Weaving Futures: Data and Transport project brief given to the Designers & Artists explores the significance of Jacquard loom weaving beyond textiles, looking at how the Jacquard loom punch card system led to the development of computers and digital data, and how these have affected transport systems as a whole.

The season will also bring to the fore London’s most loved urban fabric – moquette. Many people who have travelled on the London transport network will be familiar with the patterned seating fabric on Tube trains, buses, DLR, the London Overground and Croydon Tramlink, but they may not know of its rich history as integral to the design of the capitial’s public transport since the 1920s.

Derived from the French word for carpet, moquette is a type of woven pile fabric, in which cut or uncut threads form a short dense cut or loop pile. As well as giving it a distinctive velvet-like feel, the pile construction is particularly durable, and ideally suited to applications such as public transport.
Digital Weaving Norway has sponsored the installation of a TC2 Digital jacquard loom for the duration of the exhibition.

The programme is also supported by CamiraThe Worshipful Company of Weavers and Pointcarré.

Weaving Futures events will take place every week in the Museum’s pop-up Designology Studio from 22 November until 18 February.

All day-time events are drop-in and free to attend with the annual London Transport Museum admission ticket. There is also a Late Debate on the evening of 26 January 2017.

The Designology studio and Late Debate series of events, including Weaving Futures, are part of London Transport Museum and Transport for London’s Transported by Design season which is supported by Exterion Media.

The 18 month programme of events and exhibitions explores good design on the transport network and its role in the lives of the millions of customers who use it each day.

The Weave Shed will cover the exhibition on @weavingfutures twitter and @theweaveshed instagram
@ ltm #designology

wallace-sewell-underground-moquette

Images: Wallace Sewell ( moquettes and loom), Digital weave Norway (image 2)

9 May, 2011

Wonderful Weaving Worlds

A seminar day, organised by Laura Thomas, introduced by Lizzi Walton under the auspices of the Stroud International Textiles Festival is one not to be missed and I’m so glad I was there!  Laura had gathered together 5 disparate weavers, each with a fascinating story of their creative paths and output.  To start off with, Laura talked about her work, especially the acrylic resin work she is probably best known for.  Maybe not so well known, but very appropriate, is the double cloth ‘blanket’ work that she designs for Melin Tregwynt, possibly the best known weaving mill in Wales, and the work that she is doing as Artist in Residence at the Ruthin Craft Centre.  Laura is an ambassador not only for weaving, but also for Wales!

Her first invited speaker was Asha Peta Thompson.  Asha is my sort of woman – bubbly, whacky, with a lovely depracating sense of humour, and obvious enjoyment, understanding and imagination in her work.  What started out as a masters project developing multi-sensorial pieces for special educational needs in line with the National Curriculum, has now grown in many diverse ways, and Asha is now co-founder of Intelligent Textiles, a company that has developed soft switching for electronics and data management which now works closely with several military departments both in the UK and beyond, looking to reduce the burden of weight and ease of equipment usage for on-the-ground soldiers in the field of battle.  As the mother of a young man just about to go into the forces, I felt such a range of emotions seeing Asha talk about and demonstrate the amazing technology that they have managed to integrate into the very fabric of the soldier’s kit.  I just hope the British military hurries up and incorporates this into the uniforms of our soldiers quickly.  It is cheaper and much more efficient than much of the heavy kit and wiring the soldiers have to deal with currently (pun intended!)

Laura (centre) and Asha (right)

Laura (centre) and Asha (right)

After Asha’s presentation, we were all incredibly buzzed and lunch was a time to marvel and meet up with new people, and catch up with old friends.  Weavers from all spectrums were there – industrial designers, university lecturers and students, practising weavers, and enthusiasts alike – all absorbing and being inspired by the presentations.

After lunch, Kirsty McDougal, the weaving half of Dashing Tweeds, presented the story of Dashing Tweeds, the company that gives a contemporary twist to bespoke men’s tweeds with amazing colourways, unusual yanrs (including reflective) and a sense of fun.  Kirsty originally came from the Outer Hebrides and tried to move away from her tweed heritage after university (Duncan of Jordanstone), working as a jacquard designer for the likes of Louis Vuitton, Biba, and Jaegar, but it seems she was destined to come back to it in order to revamp and revolutionize it!  Kirsty has always been interested in science and maths, and is working on a project called Seismic Shifts – structural health monitoring systems for earthquake zones – in collaboration with architecture and Nanoforce.  I would have loved to have heard more about that, but she can’t say much at the moment…..  Ah – tantalising!

Kirsty was then followed by Melissa French – one of the Puff & Flock collective created by the members of Central St Martin’s Textiles Future MA programme.  Melissa talked about her MA project – partial upholstering of outdoor furniture, using cotton warps with silver, iron and copper wefts – which was intriguing, and then about the creation and development of Puff & Flock.

After a short break, the final speaker was Ptolemy Mann.  Ptolemy is well known for her ikat-woven pieces with their jewel colour fields, and she has recently been working on a series of Monoliths.  But she was there, hotfoot from Collect, to talk about the colour consultancy work she does with architects and how that is closely related to her weaving.  I found her whole approach fascinating and logical, and it gives me hope that our public buildings can be transformed by imaginative use of colour right from the start, with integrated thinking between the teams responsible for external cladding and internal decoration.  It was clear from the very professional appearance of all the design work that Ptolemy is an expert in putting her ideas across and she speaks the language of the architects, which is the only way that such strides are made in public works.

After the seminars, there was just time to squeeze in two open studio visits to Tim Parry-Williams and Matthew Harris, both of whom live in Stroud and had kept their studios open late for us to get the chance to see them.

Tim at loom

Tim at loom

Matthew's studio

Matthew's studio

A really stimulating day…..