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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)

2 October, 2011

The Weavers Website

This week I am writing a bit about a new website which is currently being set up to be a one-stop shop for people wishing to find information on weaving in the UK.  With funding from the Worshipful Company of Weavers, Philippa Brock, course leader at  Central St Martins is compiling a comprehensive list of yarn suppliers, commission weavers, accessories and loom suppliers, professional bodies, short courses etc.  With input from practitioners and tutors, students and manufacturers, the website is aiming to be the first place that anyone looking for information on weaving will go.

This project is filling a hole that has existed for a long time and responds to many weavers’ desire to have a place where all the information could be found.  Several people have been working quietly away on separate projects, but have had difficulties with funding.  This central, funded, and updatable service will prove invaluable to practitioners, people wishing to commission weave, and anyone wishing to learn about weaving.

The site is due to go live later this month, and I will give you the live link once it does.  In the meantime, I hope it has whetted your appetite to see what the UK still has to offer from fibre to fabric, tuition to exhibitions and commissions.

Happy weaving!

10 May, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

With a title like that, you would be forgiven for thinking that I am going to talk about Kate Adie, BBC reporter extraordinaire, as that’s the title of her autobiography.  That may come once I’ve read the book, but in the meantime, last weekend, I visited the Stroud International Textile Festival, a festival that’s been going for a few years in the Cotswolds, and one that has increased in stature over the years. 

This year, of special interest to me was a lecture series involving some textile artists and weavers who I respect and wanted to meet.  The first of these is Michael Brennand-Wood, well known in the UK and Europe, but less so in the US I think.  I have met Michael on a number of occasions, but particularly wanted to see his latest work and hear him talk as he is coming to be our lead speaker at the Midlands Textile Forum Symposium in November.  The talk was interesting and thought-provoking, and I’ll look forward to hearing more from him later in the year. 

The other speaker who I wanted to hear over the course of that weekend is Philippa Brock, the Weave Leader at Central St Martins, London, who was showing slides and actual fabric from a wonderful project she’s been doing in collaboration with Sir Aaron Klug, Nobel Laureate.  I had heard about Philippa from a number of sources, but could never find any information on her other than her connection with Central St Martins and she’s working in an area of textiles that really interests me.  I love science, art and nature, and her involvement with a sci-art project on this sort of scale was something I just had to find out more about.  Her lecture was also informative, insightful and stimulating and I got the chance to chat with her before the lecture. 

Anyway, the title of this post doesn’t actually refer to the festival, but to a wonderful couple I stayed with.  I’m usually pretty well organised when it comes to going anywhere, but this time, I managed to get up late, meet up with other dog walkers and make myself reaaaaaally late in getting going, so I bundled everything I needed into a larger bag, and set off in a hurry.  I had one of those vague feelings that I’d forgotten something, but it was only when I pulled into the local supermarket car park to grab something to eat before Michael’s lecture, that I realised what it was!  I had forgotten to transfer my wallet, complete with all my cash and cards, from my usual bag to the one I was using.  Ironically, I had actually gone back to pick up a few business cards which are the usual thing I forget!!

You can imagine – for a second, total blind panic.  Then I breathed again, and the heat flooded through me as I berated myself for being such a total brainless idiot!  Then some deep breathing while I tried to calm my thoughts so I could actually do some useful thinking.  Well, since I was there already, it would be daft to go all the way back without hearing at least one of the lectures I’d travelled 120 miles to attend, so I went to the lecture.  Sitting calming myself before it started, I thought – ‘Oh well, hopefully something will sort itself out’, so I focused on the talk, deciding to deal with the problem later.

After the talk, I went for a walk through the park.  I rang my husband and explained the situation to him, and bless him, he was prepared to meet me half-way with my wallet, but I knew he had a concert to play in and that would cut into his free-time and possibly make him late if the traffic was bad.  I had the phone number of the B&B people I was due to stay with, but they were out, so I left a message.  A short while later I had a reply.  No problems, I could stay there as planned, they would lend me some money for an evening meal (thankfully I had a bag of mixed fruit & nuts in the car, and a bottle of water) and whatever I needed for the following day and I could send them a cheque when I returned home.  And these are people I had never even met!

When I met up with Terry and Nan Dyer, my hosts at Silver Street Farmhouse, in Coaley, Worcestershire, I couldn’t have hoped for a more lovely couple.  The wonderful smell of fresh homemade bread wafted out of the kitchen, and then Nan brought me a couple of thick slices of the warm bread for me to keep me going until my evening meal!  The room was a lovely attic room in their farmhouse from the 1600s, there was tea and coffee, and I was able to relax and count my blessings.  The meal at a local pub was good with a lovely walk through country paths, across fields and bluebell woods and I watched the sun go down over the horizon on the way back.  After a great night’s sleep, breakfast was guaranteed to last me the whole day until I got home! 

So if ever you find yourself in the beautiful area of Stroud, do make a point of visiting Terry and Nan Dyer for a night’s B&B and say that I recommended them.  One good turn deserves another!  They were wonderfully kind and generous to a stranger!